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Poker Face: What Will Titans GM Jon Robinson Do in NFL Draft?


PHILADELPHIA – It's draft day in the NFL.

What will Titans general manager Jon Robinson do this year?

"I think after last year, everyone around the league is looking around wondering what he might do,'' NFL Network analyst Charles Davis said of Robinson. "Because what he did as a rookie GM -- most people are going to sit back and wait until they feel more comfortable. Well, Jon got comfortable in a hurry, and he made his team better in a hurry, too."

The Titans begin draft day with two first-round picks – No. 5 and No. 18.

Robinson, however, said earlier in the week he's received some interest regarding a potential trade, and hinted something could develop on Thursday night.

Time will tell.

A year ago, in his first season as the team's general manager, Robinson made five trades, including some big ones in the NFL Draft. He ended up taking Michigan State tackle Jack Conklin in the first round. Even before that he hauled in some valuable picks, including what turned out to be the fifth overall pick in this year's draft.

NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock believes Robinson is in a great spot again this year.

In fact, in his most recent mock draft, released on Wednesday night, Mayock has the Titans trading the fifth overall pick to the Browns, who are scheduled to pick at 12. At five, Mayock as the Browns taking North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. Then at 12, Mayock has the Titans taking Washington receiver John Ross. Mayock then has the Titans picking USC cornerback Adoree' Jackson with the 18th pick. It's unclear what the Titans got in compensation in Mayock's projected move.

"I think Jon could be looking to move back at 5 and 18, and I think he is in a good spot for both,'' Mayock said. "At 5 because of the quarterback situation -- if Cleveland or somebody was looking to come up ahead of the Jets (who pick 6th), that's the perfect place to be. And at 18, the run of offensive linemen starts right after that and I think he's in a perfect place if the Giants or somebody wants to come up and go get an offensive linemen. Jon likes his picks, and I could very easily see him trading down at 5 and 18 or both."

Mayock, however, doesn't necessarily think the "unpredictable" label fits Robinson.

"I don't think he is unpredictable," Mayock said. "I think he knows what he likes. No.1, he likes multiple picks, and No.2 he likes tough, physical players. And last year, you saw who he took. He moved down and then back up to get the offensive tackle last year, and I think that defines who he is. He likes big-bodied, tough guys he can hang his hat on. He knows what his needs are and I think he has a plan. I think he knows the type of players he wants and if he can move down he will."

Robinson made three moves in last year's draft:

• Robinson traded the No.1 pick of the draft to the Los Angeles Rams for the 15th overall pick in the draft, two second-round picks (43 and 45), and a third-rounder (76) in 2016. The Titans also received the Rams' first-round pick (fifth overall) in 2017, along with a third-round compensatory pick (100).

• The Titans traded the 15th and the 76th overall pick, along with a second-round pick in 2017, to move up in the draft to land Conklin with the eight overall pick. The Titans also received the Browns' sixth-round pick, No. 176. Conklin was named All-Pro in his first season.

• On the third day of last year's draft, the Titans traded with the Broncos and acquired cornerbacks LeShaun Sims (5th round, 157) and Kalan Reed (seventh round, 253rd) in exchange for the 176th pick of the draft and a sixth round pick in 2017.

Earlier this week, Robinson put the odds of the Titans picking at five and 18 at "50/50."

Here on Thursday night, Titans fans will find out.

"And really, nothing would surprise me on draft day with Jon Robinson,'' NFL Network draft analyst Dan Hellie said. "In the short time frame he has been a general manager, you look at him and you see a guy who is fearless in terms of making moves. And they've worked out.

"I wouldn't surprise me one bit if he's busy making deals again."

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