The Tennessee Titans’ GM loves to gamble.
Last season, with the Tennessee Titans picking 29th in the 2020 NFL Draft, Jon Robinson took a risk. With a need at right tackle and not many players left on the board to fill it immediately, the Titans pulled the trigger on Isaiah Wilson, the young redshirt-sophomore out of Georgia with all the physical potential in the world, but the need to work hard to put it all together.
Three career snaps and one rap EP that garnered mixed reviews later, Wilson is off the Titans roster and out of the league entirely, just over one year since he was drafted in the first round. With that going just about as poorly as it could have, surely Robinson would air on the side of caution for this draft, right? Wrong!
Riverboat Jon struck again, taking Caleb Farley out of Virginia Tech with the 22nd overall pick, a player who addressed a glaring need at cornerback, was viewed as one of the best defensive prospects in the class regarding pure talent, but one who suffered a torn ACL his freshman year of college and has required two back surgeries in addition to the season-ending knee injury in 2017.
There is a precedent for Robinson gambling on the upside over injury, however. Just two seasons ago, the Titans took a swing on the surprisingly similar draft profile of Jeffery Simmons out of Mississippi State. Like Farley, Simmons was viewed as one of the most talented players in the class but slipped all the way to 19th overall due to a torn ACL. Tennessee shot their shot on Simmons from half-court, and so far, he’s looking on track to be a ‘nothing but net’ type pick.
To catch lightning in a bottle twice in three years might be a fool’s errand, but the 2021 draft announced to the world that Robinson isn’t afraid to try.