#2 Trading out of the #1 overall pick in 2016
Robinson was handed the job with the Titans guaranteed the first overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. It’s a new general manager’s dream to be able to land a job with that kind of capital waiting. While most general managers salivate at the opportunity of picking first, Robinson saw the immense value of trading the pick to get future picks.
The Titans had just taken Marcus Mariota in 2015 and needed to surround him with talent. The team was lacking talent on the roster after a series of mishandled picks and free agency moves that dropped the team to the bottom of the NFL. Robinson knew that other teams were clamoring for a quarterback and pounced at the opportunity when the Rams came calling.
The Rams offered an abundance of picks in exchange to move to the top spot in the draft. The Titans sent the 2016 first round pick (#1), fourth round pick (#113), and sixth round (#177) picks for the Rams’ first round pick (#15), two second round picks (#43. #45), and a third round pick (#76) in 2016, as well as the Rams’ first and third round, picks in 2017.
Those picks turned out to be massive in changing the fortunes of the franchise to bring in talent to fill the roster. The Titans were able to select Jack Conklin, Derrick Henry, and Corey Davis with those picks. It gave the team a plethora of young talent, particularly around Mariota to aid in his development.
The Titans hijacked the Rams in a move that was near unprecedented. The Titans had no clear player to take with the first overall pick, so trading down was the best move. With the Rams knowing that Robinson was still able to get multiple first rounders for a team that moved to the top spot.
While not all the trade assets panned out, it’s a trade that will define Robinson’s career and set a positive path in his first draft. Robinson showed his draft acumen, roster building, and ability to move assets around.