The 2016 NFL draft results are in and there looks to be a glimmer of hope for long suffering Titans fans out there. Missing an identity for far too long, the Titans appear to be establishing one. Get ready for grown man football once again in Tennessee.
Clues to this renewed identity came early when new Titans General Manager Jon Robinson traded back up in the first round from pick #15 to pick #8 to select Michigan State offensive tackle Jack Conklin. The far more hyped Laremy Tunsil was still sitting there but the Titans focused on high character players this year (hooray!) and opted for the drama less Conklin. Words I heard in Chicago to describe Conklin include “mauler, tough as nails, and solid.”
The signal was heard loud and clear in Round 2 when the Titans shored up their defensive line with the selections of Clemson DE Kevin Dodd (#33) and Penn St. NT Austin Johnson (#43). If you had any doubts, the Titans then took Alabama RB Derrick Henry with their final selection in the second round, pick #45. Offensive guard and “road grader” Sebastian Tretola out of Arkansas rounded out the list of prospects in that line. The Titans also picked up some solid prospects at skill positions such as DB and WR.
Conklin and Henry will join TE Delanie Walker on a team that has long been far too soft, particularly in its receiver corp. For the Titans, becoming a tougher football team isn’t a luxury its a necessity and to give Robinson credit he recognized this need and went out to fill it.
Time will tell how good these players actually are but for the Titans it seems clear they are ready to establish once again their identity. Its grown man football time in Tennessee once again.