Titans Pick Arizona Safety Dane Cruikshank in NFL Draft



NASHVILLE, Tenn. –** The Titans selected Arizona defensive back Dane Cruikshank in the fifth round of NFL Draft on Saturday.

And once again, general manager Jon Robinson moved up to get him.

The Titans drafted Cruikshank at pick No. 152 in the fifth. The team traded away picks 162 (fifth) and 215 (sixth) to move up and land a player known for his versatility.

"Whatever they need me to play – I mean if it's safety, if it's corner, nickel – I am coming in there to do my job," Cruikshank said. "Whatever they ask me to do, that's what I am coming in there to do.

"… This is my professional job now, so this is something I am going to invest a lot of time doing. Whether it is picking my coach's brain or one of the veteran's brains in the room, I am looking forward to (getting better)."

Cruikshank (6-1, 209), who made a pre-draft visit to Saint Thomas Sports Park, was a team captain last season. He played in 25 games at Arizona in 2016 and 2017, and finished with 108 tackles and five interceptions. He began his college career at Citrus College, where he was considered one of the country's top JUCO players.

Cruikshank tallied 75 tackles, 5.5 tackles for a loss, three interceptions and 1.5 sacks last season at Arizona.

"He's a versatile defensive back, played a lot of positions," Robinson said. "We spent a lot of time with him this spring. He has really good size, really good speed. He has played outside corner, he's played inside corner, he's worked some at safety, played some in the kicking game. So we're really excited to add him."

Cruikshank intercepted quarterbacks Sam Darnold (USC) and Josh Rosen (UCLA) - a pair of top 10 draft picks - last season.

"I am versatile," he said. "I feel like I can play a lot of positions, and I feel like I can do a lot of things, especially I the back end, in the secondary."

Cruikshank had an impressive NFL Combine, running the 40 in a time of 4.41 while also bench pressing 225 pounds 25 times.

Cruikshank joined former Alabama linebacker Rashaan Evans (first round) and Boston College edge rusher Harold Landry, III (second round), who were selected on the first two days of the draft, among the team's picks on the defensive side of the football.

Cruikshank said he expected to be drafted between rounds 3 to 5. He said he made a lot of different visits during the pre-draft process.

"I know they have Adoree' Jackson and Antwaun Woods on the d-line – a couple of Pac-12 guys," he said. "I know they have (Kevin) Byard, a Pro Bowl safety back there, and that's someone I can learn from. So they have a lot of good players on defense. … I feel like we are going in the right direction.

"I am just looking forward to the opportunity, and looking forward to taking advantage of it."

The Titans select Arizona DB Dane Cruikshank in the 5th round (#152nd overall) of 2018 NFL Draft. (AP Photos)

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