2016 NFL Draft: Titans GM may have tipped his hand on the No. 1 pick
Tennessee GM Jon Robinson spoke to the team's official website about the importance of line play.
What are their priorities heading into draft day? Well, new general manager Jon Robinson spoke to the team's official website and shined some light on his thought process. Let's take a look at a few different quotes:
- “If you look at the Super Bowl, really the outcome of that game was decided by the lines. Denver, they beat Carolina’s line and they got to Cam (Newton). Denver’s line was able to hold off Carolina’s rush, Peyton (Manning) stayed upright, and he was able to get the ball out and Denver wins the Super Bowl.”
- “If you watch the Super Bowl, the team that actually got to the quarterback, they won the Super Bowl. The team that protected their quarterback, they won the Super Bowl. So it is about the lines, and protecting the quarterback and keeping him upright so he can get the ball to the guys who run and catch.”
- “I think offensively we have the quarterback, we have a couple of pieces up front on the offensive line in Chance (Womack) and Taylor (Lewan). And we have to get some more consistency out of the entire group because if one is playing good and four are playing bad, then we’re only as good as a whole.’
- "We’ve got some pieces on the offensive line that are good football players. Taylor Lewan is a good football player. We just need him to be more consistent. We’ve got some playmakers at wide receiver. We just have to be more consistent. That’s what we’re talking about is that consistency on a day-to-day basis, so that those guys can maximize their abilities and show up on Sundays.”
So ... yeah. Safe to say the Titans will be taking a long look at the offensive line with the first pick in the draft. Like Robinson said, the Titans have their quarterback: Marcus Mariota.
They have some playmakers: Kendall Wright, Dorial Green-Beckham, Delanie Walker. And they have a couple offensive line pieces, as noted above, in Chance Warmack and Taylor Lewan, but every other spot on the line is wide open.
Many rumors and mock drafts have connected them to Ole Miss offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil -- both Dane Brugler and Rob Rang have them taking Tunsil No. 1 overall, and so does Pete Prisco. So do all four mock drafters at NFL.com, Mel Kiper at ESPN, and Dan Kadar at SBNation.
Mock drafts aren't always correct, but we were pretty close to a consensus this time last year with the Bucs taking Jameis Winston, and that's exactly how things turned out. Given Robinson's comments, it's possible the Titans could turn to a pass rusher like Ohio State's Joey Bosa with the No. 1 pick, but he did seem to be talking more about the offensive line than the defensive side, and considering the team's big investment in Mariota -- and his multiple injuries as a rookie -- the offensive line seems like a pretty good bet.
Tunsil's widely considered the top prospect there, so right now he should probably be considered the odds-on favorite to come off the board at No. 1.
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