Story By: Brady Trapnell
Like I wrote last night, Jon Robinson gets his guys.
And, he was aggressive once again Saturday afternoon by trading up to pick defensive back Dane Cruikshank out of the University of Arizona at pick 152 in the fifth round.
Cruikshank, listed at 6’1” and 209 pounds, is the Tennessee Titans third pick in the 2018 draft, as they traded away their third and fourth round picks.
The Titans say they will place the California native as a defensive back on their depth chart; however, they will most likely use him at the safety spot.
“I’ll have to establish myself once I get there,” said Cruikshank, who has never played safety, on a conference call after he was selected. ” . . . I feel like I can do it all, so I don’t think I’ll have trouble playing free or strong safety.
I can tackle, I can play in the box, I can roll to the post, so it doesn’t matter to me.”
His only experience other than playing cornerback and nickel corner is playing “spur safety,” which is a roaming position in the box that slots between linebacker and safety.
He started all 13 games his senior season at Arizona tallying 75 tackles, 5.5 for loss and 1.5 sacks. He intercepted three passes and deflected five others.
Lance Zierlein, a draft analyst for NFL.com, said Cruikshank has high potential in special teams and as a backup safety full-time.
“Height, weight, speed prospect who has a chance to be drafted off his measurables and Combine testing alone,” said Zierlein in his draft analysis. “Cruikshank does have talent and is a hungry hitter, but he may lack the consistency in coverage to hold up as a full-time safety or cornerback.”
Cruikshank did intercept both former USC quarterback Sam Darnold and former UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen last season.
This is an interesting pick for the Titans, but Robinson clearly sees potential and versatility, which has been a common thread in this draft class.
I will have updates the rest of the day on the Titans selections, and answers on each of the picks from Robinson and head coach Mike Vrabel at the podium.
Featured Image: Houston Chronicle