Tennessee Titans had a top-5 draft class in 2016

NASHVILLE, TN - JANUARY 01: Derrick Henry
NASHVILLE, TN - JANUARY 01: Derrick Henry /

Jon Robinson kicked off his Tennessee Titans career with a bang in 2016.

The Tennessee Titans started off the draft with the first pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. However, Jon Robinson quickly earned a new nickname around the NFL: Trader Jon.

It was just over a year ago when Robinson made a move to drop down to the middle of the 1st and grab a haul of picks from the newly minted Los Angeles Rams.

Even after that move down, he managed to turn that draft in the 4th best that year according to Bleacher Report.

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In his retrospective examining all the draft classes, Bleacher Report’s Brent Sobleski put the Tennessee Titans in the top-5.

Before you think that this draft was inflated thanks to landing a top five pick in the 2017 NFL Draft out of the deal, think again. This draft class was purely based on what the 2016 NFL Draft class did last year and what they look like going forward.

Here is what he had to say about the Titans class:

“The draft is an opportunity for a team to establish an identity. This was never more evident than in the Tennessee Titans’ approach to the 2016 class. General manager Jon Robinson wanted the Titans to be more physical, hence the genesis of #ExoticSmashmouth. 

Robinson achieved this by trading out and back into the top 10 to select Michigan State offensive tackle Jack Conklin. The rookie responded with one of the best first-year campaigns for any blocker. According to Pro Football Focus, Conklin graded as the league’s best rookie offensive lineman. He even earned first-team All-Pro honors. 

The team also added 247-pound running back Derrick Henry. The Heisman Trophy winner served as a backup to DeMarco Murray, but he managed 490 yards on 110 carries. He and Murray form a talented duo running behind one of the league’s better offensive lines. 

Both free safety Kevin Byard and wide receiver Tajae Sharpe worked into starting roles. Sharpe finished third on the team with 522 receiving yards. Cornerback LeShaun Sims also strung together multiple strong performances and has a chance to be a big part of the Titans secondary alongside new additions Adoree’ Jackson, Logan Ryan and Johnathan Cyprien. 

Tennessee surprised with a 9-7 record last season because the front office is building the team the right way.”

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  • He has some great notes on the Titans draft class. We all know that Jack Conklin was a stud, but people tend to miss how great the drafting of Derrick Henry late in the 2nd was.

    On top of that, they managed to find a great starting free safety in the 3rd round and landed a solid contributor/top-end depth player in Tajae Sharpe on Day 3.

    Sims did flash towards the end of the season and figures to be a big part of the cornerback competition opposite Logan Ryan and Adoree Jackson.

    The only thing I would argue is that Aaron Wallace looked like a long term contributor on special teams who could have enough burst to eventually make an impact as a sub-package speed rusher for Tennessee.

    More from Titan Sized

    That was the Titans portion of a great article that I really recommend you check out in full as soon as you can.

    Here are some notable rankings to Titans fans:

    8. Jacksonville Jaguars

    19. Indianapolis Colts

    24. Houston Texans

    31. L.A. Rams