NASHVILLE, Tenn. —Titans general manager Jon Robinson and coach Mike Mularkey addressed reporters on Tuesday at a pre-draft press conference at Saint Thomas Sports Park.
The Titans are scheduled to make nine picks in the three-day draft, including the 15th overall pick in Round One.
But as Robinson has already proven, he's not afraid to deal. He addressed questions about a potential trade during the presser, while also discussing other topics.
• Robinson thanked controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk for her support during the process. Robinson also recognized director of college scouting Blake Beddingfield and his scouting staff, along with Brian Gardner, the team's director of pro scouting, and his staff.
• Robinson thanked late Titans scout C.O. Brocato and his family, calling the longtime scout a "monumental figure in scouting and in personnel and team building."
"I know he has meant a ton to this franchise,'' Robinson said of Brocato, "but more importantly he has meant a ton to the game of NFL football and scouting in particular."
• Mularkey echoed Robinson's comments of gratitude, and also thanked his coaching staff.
Robinson on moving back up in draft: "I think we'll take every scenario and every opportunity on a case-by-case basis. How much is that going to cost the currency we were able to trade (with the Rams) to move back up? I think you just have to evaluate all of that on an individual basis and then do what you think is best. … There's a cost in doing business and we would like to maximize the value on any move that we make, whether it's a move up or move back in any of the rounds."
Robinson on the difference between tackles Laremy Tunsil/Ronnie Stanley and other tackles in draft: "They are each their own individual players. Every player has their strengths and weaknesses. I would say that whole offensive line group is a pretty strong group. There's a lot of good football players outside at tackle and inside at the guard and center position."
Robinson on how the strengths of draft match up with needs of team:** "I think fairly well. That's one of the factors that played in our decision to move out of the first pick. It is a pretty deep draft at various positions and we think there's going to be a lot of good football players in the second or third round. There's three of those guys we can get now if we keep all of those picks that we weren't going to be privy to if we stayed at one."
Mularkey on versatile prospects like Ohio State's Braxton Miller and Navy's Keenan Reynolds: "I think they have more value (with me) than maybe some of these teams, some of these other coordinators, head coaches. They'll probably be talked about a little more than most because of their ability to do multiple things. I've had that in the past and we'll talk more about them."
Robinson on receivers in draft class: "I think it is a good position group. I think there's good football players at that position group. There's guys who can play on the outside, guys who can play on the inside, and there's guys who can do a little bit of both. I think if you were going to poll all 32 teams on the definition of a No.1 receiver it might be different for 28 of those teams. I think there's guys who can come in and have an impact to an offense at the receiver position."
Robinson on drafting players for immediate need vs. drafting for long-term success: "It's a balancing act. I don't really like the term "reach for a player." When we are on the clock we will look at the players that are available to us, and determine which guy really fits what we want to be not just now, but in the future. Because that's what we want to build for – we want to build for perennial success. So if the need matches the fit, then that's great. But in the end we want to make the decision on who fits us best and who is going to be the type of Titan we're looking for."
Mularkey on draft outlook: "What we are going to try and do, and what we have been talking about doing since we've been together the last three months, that when the roster is put together with 90 guys, we want the most competitive 90 players when camp starts, and that is at every position. Building depth on this roster has been talked about."
Titans GM Jon Robinson, head coach Mike Mularkey talk NFL Draft at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Gary Glenn)
Robinson said he's kicked the tires with teams on moving back up**, "but 31 teams are doing it, taking stock of where they're at. 'Would you be interested in sliding back?' Or, "Hey, would you be interested in coming up?' I'd say we have made a few calls and fielded a few calls as well, but that is just kind of standard draft procedure. It has happened everywhere I've been, just exploratory calls … I would say it has been both ways, back and forth."
Robinson on the value of the 33rd pick – at the top of the second round: "I hope very. Usually those picks at the top of each round, especially when there's turnover. The way the draft works now, the draft ends Thursday night and teams have an entire day the next day to take stock of their draft board, see which players are still there, and try and formulate a plan to move back up there to the top and maybe get a guy. The same thing will happen on Friday night leading up to Saturday with the picks at the top of the fourth round. I would say that there's definitely value being at the top of each round."
Robinson on whether Zach Mettenberger is getting trade interest: "I would say Zach has been here and he's been working. He's buying in to what we are doing, and we are excited that he is a part of this football team."
Mularkey on how many holes team can fill in draft and how much team can improve in 2016: "It is nice to have all the picks, and we think we are going to build depth and hopefully … have a number of starters with the picks we have right now. This is not a one year, turn it around in one offseason in three months and think you can change things immediately. We are talking about a lot of young players we are going to be bringing in here. We think we are on the right track, but with the situation we're in with the picks and what we did with DeMarco (Murray) and the free agents, we are going in the right direction. But this is going to be a work in progress. I think what we have done to this point has been very good for this football team, and this franchise."
Robinson said he monitors mock drafts,"but I wouldn't necessarily say we set our board by the composite mock draft that's been given to me. We have done (mock drafts) for fun a couple of times, had the scouts sit around the room and pick a player. Are you right on it? Probably about as right as the mock drafts are."
Five more nuggets**
• Robinson and Mularkey said the coaches have had plenty of input in the pre-draft process, and Robinson said "it's paramount for the coaches to have input."
• The Titans haven't made a decision on whether to pick up the fifth-year option on guard Chance Warmack. Robinson said that decision won't be made until after the draft and "we are still talking through some scenarios on that one."
• Robinson said the team's moves in free agency should allow them to attack positions in a different way than they might have previously.
• QB Marcus Mariota has dropped some subtle hints "and tries to chime in" about players he prefers in NFL Draft. Robinson jokingly said "we don't need any comment from the peanut gallery."
• Robinson said defensive line is a "really good position group" with plenty of quality depth.