Titans GM Jon Robinson: Picking 29th the Price of Success

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INDIANAPOLIS – In Jon Robinson's first year as general manager of the Titans, the team headed into the offseason with the No.1 pick of the NFL Draft.

Robinson, of course, traded it away in a deal with the Rams. Picking eighth overall in 2016 – when the team selected tackle Jack Conklin – required Robinson needing a little more patience.

In the three drafts since, Robinson's first-round selections came at picks No. 5 (Corey Davis) and No. 18 (Adoree' Jackson) in 2017, No. 22 (Rashaan Evans) in 2018, and No. 19 (Jeffery Simmons) in 2019.

Robinson is going to need a lot more patience this April.

At this year's NFL Combine, Robinson is eyeing the talent, knowing he'll have to wait a long time to pull the trigger in this year's NFL Draft.

"We're kind of in a different spot, (but) it's a good spot -- that means we had a good season," Robinson said. "We're down to 29. There's a lot of good players in this draft. Would I like to be in the top 10 and have a shot at one of those guys up there? Sure, but that means we didn't win very many football games. So, this is a good problem to have."

After advancing to January's AFC Championship Game, a month later the Titans have roughly 20 players scheduled to become free agents in March, including quarterback Ryan Tannehill, running back Derrick Henry, cornerback Logan Ryan, and Conklin.

Robinson said earlier this week the team has had discussions with the agents for players, and how those go – along with what the team does in free agency -- will determine the team's needs in the upcoming NFL Draft.

Robinson knows changes are coming.

"I want to try to keep as many of those guys on the team as possible," he said. "But the 2020 Titans, they're going to look different than the 2019 Titans. That's the way it is. The 2019 Titans look different than the 2018 Titans. There's rookies that come in, there's trades that happen, there's free agency, there's waiver claims, and we told our team that. And they understand that. They're professionals."

In the meantime, Robinson, head coach Mike Vrabel, and members of the team's scouting staff and coaching staff, are here at the NFL Combine, looking for ways to upgrade the roster.

"I think all the position groups are pretty deep," Robinson said of the strengths of this year's draft. "I think the O-line has got some pretty good depth to it. I think the receiving position and the running back position have good depth to it. On the back end, the secondary. Got some longer corners, it seems like. There's some length at the corner position. So I'm excited this week to get to sit with these guys and talk to them and get to know them as people because I think that's paramount, is getting to know these players as people."

Check out Titans players over the years at the NFL Scouting Combine. (AP Photos)

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