Ability to find hidden gems
As great as Robinson is at picking early in the draft, you could make a very strong argument that he’s even better on days two and three than he is on the first day. And in case you skipped the previous slide for whatever reason, he’s pretty decent in the earlier rounds as well.
Since Robinson took over in 2016, the Titans have selected safety Kevin Byard, tight end Jonnu Smith and right guard Nate Davis in the third round, linebacker Jayon Brown and wide receiver Tajae Sharpe in the fifth round, and linebackier David Long in the sixth round.
In the previous slide, I mentioned how impressive it was that the Titans found four key starters with their top-four picks over the last two years. It may be even more impressive that the team has found four key starters in the last four years in rounds three through seven, while also finding contributing role players such as Sharpe and Long, among others.
In fact, Byard and Brown are more than just key starters. Those two are full-blown stars on this defense and are both in the conversation for the best in the league at their respective positions.
Byard in particular became the highest-paid safety in NFL history, and every cent was rightfully earned. Byard has a mind-blowing 18 interceptions since taking over as a full time starter in 2017, by far the most interceptions in that span.
The Titans’ superstar safety is more than just a ball hawk, also.
Byard missed two tackles on 55 attempts (3.6 percent) this season. The second lowest percentage out of the 66 defensive backs that qualified.
For perspective, the league average on missed tackles for a defensive back is approximately 15 percent. Not bad for someone who was passed on 63 times in the 2016 NFL Draft.
Robinson’s ability to draft well, especially in the later rounds, is arguably the main reason why this franchise went from a team that won five out of their previous 32 games, to a team that was one win away from the Super Bowl just a few years later.
Every single year Robinson has helped this team take a step forward towards becoming a contender, and last year they finally had the breakthrough. Titans fans should have all the confidence in the world that Robinson will now help the team take the next step from contender to champion sooner rather than later.
Now that we have went over J-Rob’s best draft moves, let’s take a look at the rare but occasional poor draft decisions that Robinson has made during his tenure as Titans GM.