The Tennessee Titans head into this weekend’s draft still lacking numbers at a number of positions.
Players chosen in the first couple of rounds will be expected to make an immediate contribution, and even those in the third round (where the Titans have two picks) could work their way into the Titans lineup.
Specifically, the Titans are in need of help at wide receiver, cornerback, tight end, right tackle and edge rusher. Even though they have nine picks total in this year’s draft, Robinson likely won’t be able to fill all those holes with immediate contributors. And beyond that, Robinson and the Titans might be tempted to stray from those needs if the talent on the board dictates that they go that way.
“I think that if you can get it to match up that’s where need meets the best player on the board, then that’s kind of a perfect world,” Robinson said of choosing talent vs. need. “You’re going to need good football players at some point. Just because we may not have a glaring need at a position doesn’t mean that we wouldn’t take a player there if we think that the impact that he could have on the team at some point this year. You can’t predict injuries. Knock on wood that we don’t have a bunch this year, but you just don’t know. Having good players that can go in the game and play at a winning level at any position is important.”
The Titans top two needs are likely at receiver and cornerback, where they simply lack in numbers. At receiver, Corey Davis walked away in free agency, Adam Humphries was a cap casualty and Kalif Raymond was not retained. They did sign Josh Reynolds from the Rams in free agency, but the need for another impact player beyond A.J. Brown is definite. But that is one area that is deep in the draft, and the Titans perhaps could find an impact player beyond round one – as they did with Brown three years ago.
“I think that group, it’s pretty balanced from top to bottom. You certainly have some premium players at the top and then there’s good depth players and role players really all throughout the draft,” Robinson said.
The cornerback group, however, might not be as deep in this year’s crop, and could dictate that the Titans try and find an impact player there earlier rather than later.
“I think the corner group, there’s some good players at the top and kind of in the middle, and in the back you’re kind of drafting some traits,” Robinson said. “There’s some guys that are really fast at the back end, there’s some guys that are really good tacklers. It’s kind of, ‘What do you want for your football team? To what degree can they play in the kicking game?’ It’s important for that position. I think both position groups have pretty good volume. The receivers are maybe a little more evenly spread, let’s say value-wise maybe more so than the corners.”
As for edge rusher, the Titans added Bud Dupree from Pittsburgh, but he is coming off a December ACL injury. The Titans could add someone to provide depth at the very least in the draft.
“ think that’s a good position group. I think there’s certainly some guys at the top and then there’s some guys kind of in the middle there that we like, that we think can be situation guys, and maybe grow into full-time, starting, end of the line of scrimmage guys. Then there’s some developmental guys that are going to be later on that we think have some upside as well. I think that’s a pretty good depth position as well,” Robinson said.
The guessing game ends Thursday night, and Robinson says the Titans will be ready, no matter which direction they go in the first round.
“I think that we look at, there’s certainly some players at the tackle position that are worthy of first-round picks. We’ll just kind of see how it goes, how those guys come off the board,” he said. “That’s that horizontal component that I was alluding to. Is there a linebacker or a pass rusher or a corner, any position. How do you have those guys stacked up versus the other position when it to comes to your time on the clock?”