Tennessee Titans general manager Jon Robinson is known for taking a three-win team and making them a winning franchise for five consecutive seasons.
His offseason moves have been nothing short of franchise-changing, but if there is one thing Titans fans and NFL analysts have criticized Robinson for is his first-round picks.
When you think of a first-round pick, you think of someone that can come in and immediately change your franchise for the better. They usually come with high expectations and often don’t meet them.
It’s fair to say not a single one of Robinson’s first-rounders have met any high standards yet.
Robinson didn’t necessarily silence his critics in 2020 when he drafted Isaiah Wilson in round one of the 2020 draft.
— AtoZSports Nashville (@AtoZSports) February 23, 2021
Some regarded Wilson as a potential steal and an offensive lineman who could eventually help mold a nasty Titans offensive line. Instead, Wilson quickly headed toward massive bust territory for the Titans.
Let’s take a look, and rank, all of Robinson’s first-round picks.
6. ISAIAH WILSON
This one is obvious. Wilson is easily the worst first-round pick of Jon Robinson’s career. Wilson’s most memorable snap was on special teams for the Tennessee Titans when he got pancaked.
Otherwise, he was too busy doing donuts on Nashville’s streets and attending parties at Tennessee State University.
Jon Robinson gave Wilson an ultimatum and said Wilson was going to have to decide on if he wants to play pro football or not.
Wilson then tweeted that he was done with the Titans, in a tweet showed earlier in this article.
I thought Robinson couldn’t do much worse than former General Manager Ruston Webster in the first round, but it seems Wilson proved me wrong.
5. RASHAAN EVANS
After Wilson, this list becomes tough. Because all of Robinson’s first-rounders are kind of on the same level except one guy.
They are all quality players who have been vital pieces on the Tennessee Titans but haven’t put together a season you’d expect a first-rounder to have.
Evans falls under that description. Evans is a crucial piece to the Titans’ defense but hasn’t been anywhere near the game-wrecker the defense desperately needs.
He has 260 combined tackles in his career, 12 tackles for losses, 13 QB hits, and six pass defenses in 47 games. So far, his career year is 2019 under Dean Pees, when he had 111 combined tackles, 8 QB hits, nine tackles for losses, and 2.5 sacks in 16 games.
4. ADOREE JACKSON
Adoree’s stats don’t jump out at you. He only has two career interceptions. But the only thing that has hindered Jackson from being a staple cornerback in this defense is staying healthy.
Most forced incompletions among rookies by season:
2016: Jalen Ramsey – 12
2017: Adoree’ Jackson – 19
2018: Josh Jackson – 10
2019: Jamel Dean – 12
2020: Jaylon Johnson – 14 pic.twitter.com/3Vkz7armte
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) February 22, 2021
That 2017 season by Jackson was the only season when he started every game.
Despite only starting one full season, Jackson has 33 pass defenses for the Titans. For context, the two corners drafted before him, Marlon Humphrey and Marshon Lattimore, both have 50+. They’ve both played far more games.
The only reason Adoree isn’t higher on this list is that he can’t stay healthy.
3. COREY DAVIS
Corey Davis’s career got off to a rough start. Much like his draft buddy Adoree Jackson, he could not stay healthy.
Davis played just 11 games in his rookie season. He started every game in 2018 and put up 891 yards but then missed a few games in 2019 and 2020.
Yet, he finally looked like the receiver the Titans believed they drafted in 2020. Davis soared to a career-high 984 yards and five touchdowns, creating one of the NFL’s best tandems with A.J. Brown.
Much like his former quarterback Marcus Mariota, Davis had to deal with many coordinators and scheme changes. That paired with injuries has hindered Davis from being a real threat in the NFL.
2. JACK CONKLIN
This is the only person on this list that isn’t a Tennessee Titan any longer. Conklin had a couple of down years with the Titans, but he is for sure one of the better right tackles in the NFL.
In Conklin’s rookie season, he was a First-Team All-Pro and selected to the 2016 NFL All-Rookie Team.
Conklin left to join the Cleveland Browns in free agency in 2020, and he was once again a First-Team All-Pro left tackle for a rejuvenated Browns team.
Conklin had his ups-and-downs, but he was a solid tackle for the Titans, and it was tough to see him walk.
1. JEFFERY SIMMONS
Out of all Robinson’s first-round picks, Simmons has to be the best one. Simmons has shown the potential to be a true game-wrecking defensive tackle.
Simmons missed most of his rookie season recovering from an injury he suffered during his college days. He was also once projected as a top-five draft pick but slid down the board due to his injury other issues.
In his first full season with the Titans, Simmons had a monster year. He recorded 49 tackles, 3 for losses, and 14 quarterback hits. He had a forced fumble and three sacks as well.
If the Titans can fix their defensive woes around him, Simmons could become a force in the NFL. Heck, he already was one this year, but the historically bad defense around him drowned out his success.
Jon Robinson will need to find his next Jeffery Simmons this year if he wants to capitalize on the Tennessee Titans’ open Super Bowl window. Robinson whiffed on his 2020 draft class, so 2021 has to be a hit.
Featured image by Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports