Patience is a virtue and while Tennessee Titans GM Jon Robinson frequently made moves in his first three draft classes, he has recently been much more patient.
Sometimes that has been a good thing, other times patience has cost the Titans the chance to add some really players that fit exactly what they like.
For example, Jon Robinson famously talked about how he almost traded up for A.J. Brown in the second round because he wanted to make sure that he got his guy, but the cost was going to be too high so he stayed patient.
On the other hand, in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns traded one pick above the Titans to draft Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah and then the Carolina Panthers traded up two picks above the Titans to draft Tommy Tremble (when this was announced the Titans traded down).
So, should the Tennessee Titans’ GM go back to his old, aggressive way of doing business in the draft?
Recreating the Tennessee Titans 2018 NFL Draft class
People react differently to the Tennessee Titans 2018 NFL Draft class depending on what you want a draft to be.
For my money, a successful draft is any class where you end up with at least three starting-caliber players and it is a good draft class if you end up landing a Pro Bowler/All-Pro with one of your picks.
Despite only having four picks in that class, the Titans got their Pro Bowler in Harold Landry. I would also argue that Rashaan Evans was a good starter when he was with Dean Pees and he completely fell off the deep end in 2020 when Mike Vrabel took over the defense. I also think that Dane Cruikshank is a solid starter and that he just got stuck behind one of the best safety tandems in the NFL in Kevin Byard and Amani Hooker.
The reason why the Titans should seriously consider this risky strategy is because there is a very small trade-up that might be the difference in getting “their guy” at wide receiver or getting “a good prospect” at wide receiver.
In that 2018 class, Jon Robinson gave up the 25th pick and a fourth-round selection to the Baltimore Ravens in exchange for the 22nd pick and a sixth-round selection. They did that to jump the New England Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers (planning to trade up) who were going to select Evans.
Now imagine that Treylon Burks is still on the board after the first 20 selections of the draft. New England has had terrible luck drafting receivers in the first round and they just traded for DeVante Parker. So, would it be possible for them to consider trading down a few spots and believing that a player they like will still be there?
If Jon Robinson reaches out to his old mentor Bill Belichick and manages to trade a 1st and a 4th to move up five spots in the draft, it would mean bypassing WR-needy teams like the Green Bay Packers, Dallas Cowboys, and potentially the Buffalo Bills.
I’m not sure if it will happen, but is a fourth-round worth missing out on a chance to secure the perfect fit for this offense? Fun fact, when Jon Robinson was in his aggressive trade phase, he didn’t have a 4th round pick in any of his first three draft classes.