JOE BIDDLE: Titans GM shocks again

(Photo: WKRN)

I confess. I am flabbergasted. I’m still shaking my head.

After last year’s NFL Draft, rookie general manager Jon Robinson came off as a wheeler-dealer. No one could predict his next move. I called him “Trader Jon.’’

He fooled all of the NFL know-it-all media types. He wrecked thousands of mock drafts from coast to coast.

Robinson had everyone who ever watched an NFL game scratching their heads.

Well, Thursday night, Jon Robinson was up to his old tricks. No one saw this coming. Prior to the draft, Robinson even let it be known that the odds he would go wild in his second draft were 50-50.

The Titans had two spots in the first round – Nos. 5 and 18. Guessperts were staying up late at night trying to get into Robinson’s think tank.

He shocked us again.

Jon Robinson stood pat. Was he ill? What went wrong? Had he lost his nerve?

The only surprise he gave us at No. 5 was drafting a wide receiver from Western Michigan University, not exactly known as a cradle of NFL players.

With the No. 5 draft choice, the Titans took Corey Davis of WMU. You could hear crickets in the background.

Davis is just shy of 6-3, weighs 209 pounds and played four years in college. He is known as a playmaker at his position, but Western Michigan is not exactly Alabama, LSU or Ohio State. The competition he has faced is not the same.

Titans fans have to trust Robinson’s judgment. There were more wide receivers that had more impressive statistics.

Wide receiver is definitely a position of need for the Titans. They needed a wide receiver with speed and hands of glue.

With a high first round pick, Davis is projected to play early and often. Time will tell if Robinson’s first pick was on the spot.

Davis set a career FBS record of 5,285 yards and had the second best number of career touchdown receptions with 52. Last season he had 19 touchdown receptions.

There is some concern with injuries Davis has had with an ankle and a shoulder. He didn’t play in the Senior Bowl, nor did he run a 40 at the Combine or on his Pro Day.

Obviously the Titans medical staff has signed off on Davis being healthy or he wouldn’t rate a No. 5 pick.

The next draft pick in the first round was the No. 18 slot.

Is this where Robinson makes a move or take a surprise pick?

Tennessee and former Brentwood Academy star defensive rush end Derek Barnett was taken by Philadelphia, the same franchise former Vols legend Reggie White became one of the all-time great pass rushers so he was out.

Hold on to your hat. Jon Robinson made the 18th pick, Southern Cal defensive back Adoree’ Jackson. Jackson had nine returns for touchdowns last season.

He seems to possess the qualities Robinson and Coach Mike Mularkey want.

So the first round showed Robinson didn’t have to go crazy in the first round. They seem to be two solid picks and two positions of need.

Granted he has two more days to wheel and deal. All bets are off.

Joe Biddle is a sports columnist. He is also a member of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame. Contact him at