Titans have 4 picks to wrap up draft, starting in 5th round
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) New Tennessee general manager Jon Robinson has shown he's a bit of a gambler, making four trades - three during the NFL draft - to revamp the Titans' roster.
Now the pressure switches to coach Mike Mularkey with 10 draft picks to turn around a franchise with only five wins the past two seasons.
''We've gotten more competitive over the entire course of the weekend,'' Robinson said. ''I think the offensive line is going to be a competitive spot. I think the receiver position is going to be a competitive spot. I think the cornerback position is going to be a competitive spot. The d-line is going to be competitive ... Go down the list.''
''I'm very happy with the results,'' the Titans coach said of Robinson's first draft as a GM.
The Titans, who traded away the top pick, wrapped up the three-day draft Saturday by making Southern Mississippi cornerback Kalan Reed the final selection at No. 253 overall - also known as Mr. Irrelevant.
Tennessee will now have the last two Heisman Trophy winners on the roster after selecting Alabama running back Derrick Henry with the No. 45 overall pick. The 2015 winner joins quarterback Marcus Mariota, the No. 2 overall pick and 2014 Heisman winner.
And if Reed has any concerns about making the final roster as the last player selected, he can look to Titans kicker Ryan Succop - he was Mr. Irrelevant, the final pick of the 2009 draft.
The Titans wound up with six defensive players for coordinator Dick LeBeau and four on offense to help Mariota, including tackle Jack Conklin out of Michigan State at No. 8 overall.
Tennessee also drafted linebacker Kevin Dodd of Clemson, defensive tackle Austin Johnson of Penn State and Middle Tennessee safety Kevin Byard on Friday night.
On Saturday, the Titans waited about two hours Saturday before kicking off the fifth round by taking wide receiver Tajae Sharpe of Massachusetts with the 140th pick overall. The 6-foot-2, 194-pound Sharpe led the nation with 111 catches for 1,319 yards last season, and he can't wait to get to work with Mariota.
''Oh, it sounds great to me catching passes from a former Heisman Trophy winner,'' Sharpe said. ''I just want to hurry up and get down to Nashville and get to work with the great, upcoming quarterback. He's a young guy as well, so I want to get our chemistry going as well and help the Titans get some more wins.''
The Titans traded back into the fifth round with Denver for the 157th selection and selected cornerback LeShaun Sims of Southern Utah. To draft the 6-foot, 203-pound Sims, the Titans gave up the 176th pick and a 2017 sixth-round pick to move up to 157. They added Arkansas guard Sebastian Tretola at No. 193 in the sixth round and UCLA linebacker Aaron Wallace at No. 222 overall.
Tennessee needed a wide receiver in the draft. The only acquisition the Titans made during free agency was acquiring Rishard Matthews from Miami.
Wide receiver was an issue for the Titans all last season as Tennessee started by keeping four players at the position. Injuries limited Kendall Wright to 10 games and Justin Hunter to nine before a dislocated ankle. Harry Douglas led the unit with 36 catches, while rookie Dorial Green-Beckham had 549 yards receiving.
Sharpe went to the Senior Bowl, though an injury kept him from playing in the game. He said he worked out for the Titans and sees himself as a strong route runner with good hands.
Tretola met Conklin at the combine, and the 6-4, 320-pound lineman said he comes in determined to start immediately. The Titans started three different players at left guard last season, and Mularkey said he will let all the linemen compete, including right guard Chance Warmack, to see who winds up starting.
The newest guard Tretola is ready to come in and block for both DeMarco Murray and Henry.
''You don't get much more lucky than that in this league,'' Tretola said.
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