NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Peter King got to know Jon Robinson a little bit at this year's NFL Combine.
The long-time sports writer with Sports Illustrated and analyst for NBC's Sunday night NFL show Football Night in America spent an hour with the new Titans general manager in Indianapolis.
King has learned a lot more about Robinson in the past month, especially the last 24 hours. Robinson shook up the NFL Draft by trading the No.1 pick to the Los Angeles Rams for a bundle of picks.
King likes the trade for the Titans, and he loves the guts Robinson showed to pull it off.
"Jon Robinson should be congratulated today by anybody who loves the Titans,'' King said. "A move like this shows that he's not afraid, and I think he had to have learned some of that under (Patriots coach) Bill Belichick. If you are afraid, go into some other line of business. Clearly, he is confident that he knows football, and he knows the kind of team he wants to put on the field.
"He has done what he has needed to do so far to get the Titans headed in the right direction. Now comes the hard part. He has to pick the right players."
The Titans traded the No.1 pick of the draft to the Rams for the 15th overall pick in this year's draft, two second-round picks (43 and 45), and a third-rounder (76) in 2016. The Titans will also receive the Rams' first-round pick in 2017, along with their third-round pick in next year's draft.
In addition to Tennessee's No.1 pick this year, the Rams will also receive a fourth-round pick (113) and sixth-round pick (177) in 2016.
As a result of the move, the Titans now have six picks in the top 76 in this year's draft – 15, 33, 43, 45, 64 and 76. The Titans already held picks 33 and 64.
"I understand it from both sides, but obviously Tennessee made a great trade,'' King said. "I am really not surprised (Robinson) made the trade, but I am surprised he got so much because I could get a sense at the scouting combine that he wasn't just saying he was listening to offers. He wanted an offer, and he wanted someone to blow his socks off, and the Rams did. And the Rams started talking to him at the Ole Miss Pro Day, (General Manager) Les Snead did, and they finished it up and I think what happened here is Jon looked at the landscape and said, 'You know, I really like (Ole Miss tackle) Laremy Tunsil and I really like (Florida State defensive back) Jalen Ramsey, but is this Anthony Munoz and Deion Sanders at the top of the draft? No.
"These are two really good players who could be cornerstone players for the next 10 years. But they have some questions about them … and neither is a lock. So instead of having the No.1 pick you now get six picks in the first three rounds of the next two drafts. You have six picks in the top 76 this year, and you have more control over the 2017 draft than anybody. The Titans are the only team with multiple ones. So I think Jon Robinson did a really good thing for his franchise."
Robinson, who worked previously with the Patriots and Buccaneers, traded for running back DeMarco Murray earlier this offseason. The Titans have added 10 new players since the beginning of March.
The NFL Draft is scheduled to begin on April 28.
It's unclear what the Rams now plan to do with the No.1 pick, although most believe they'll select a quarterback – either North Dakota State's Carson Wentz or California's Jared Goff.
While King believes the Titans are big winners today, time will tell, he said.
"Look, if whoever the Rams pick is their quarterback for the next 15 years and is a Philip Rivers-caliber quarterback, then both teams won big,'' King said. "But if the quarterback is not very good, then the Rams got obliterated and Les Snead and Jeff Fisher are going to both get fired.
"It is impossible to know today what is going to happen. There's no guarantee the Titans are going to make all those picks work. I can say today it looks like the Titans won the trade, but ask me again in a couple of years.
"I will say this,'' King continued. "The Titans need a boatload of help and I've talked to a bunch of people and they've told me the strength of this draft is between 20 and 50 or 25 and 70, or whatever. So the Titans now have the ability to get five or six players this year who can contribute to a real overhaul of this team. I think it is a fascinating trade and I think it is a really good trade for the Titans."