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Two trades up put Titans on 121-pick hold, suggest comfort level with overall roster

TicketsBar2NASHVILLE, Tenn. – But dealing up for Rashaan Evans in the first round and dealing up for Harold Landry in the second round, Jon Robinson told us how he feels about those two players.

“Can’t be more excited about the two guys that we’ve added over the last two days,” Robinson said.

He also told us that he feels pretty good about the backend depth of the roster, where he won’t have a lot of kids running around this summer with only three more picks in the draft.RobinsonVrabelLaughDraft

To secure Evans and Landry, Robinson deemed it worth watching things unfold for a span of 121 picks stretching from Friday night to Saturday afternoon, from the 41st pick (in the second round) to the 162nd  pick in the fifth.

And while he patched the biggest holes and fortified the defense, he left himself at least two trouble spots, where the Titans will look for a late pick or undrafted to break through or where they will need to shop the second- or third-stage free-agent market.

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TicketsBar2NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The scouting report Jon Robinson and Mike Vrabel offered of Harold Landry was just as glowing as you’d expect for a player a team traded up to draft.

Landry had 16.5 sacks in 2016 at Boston College, but then saw a big dip in production as he missed time and dealt with an ankle injury as a senior.Landry3

(Photo courtesy Boston College.)

“Still has a fastball, still really athletic, can dip and bend, can change direction, can turn the corner and get to the quarterback, can set the edge,’ Jon Robinson said. "He’s got good length. He’s not a really tall, tall player but he’s got long arms and he’s got some snaps with his hands.”

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Titans trade up again, snatch pass rusher Harold Landry

TicketsBar2NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Harold Landry isn’t likely to be Jevon Kearse.

Kearse, the dynamic pass rusher who did a great deal to transform a perennial 8-8 franchise into a Super Bowl team in 1999 fell into the Titans lap at No. 16 that year.Landry2

(Photo courtesy Boston College.)

In a similar and unexpected fashion, Landry lasted until the 41st pick of the draft. He was too good for the Titans to resist at that point, and the dealt No. 57 in the second and No. 89 in the third to the Raiders.

A young edge rusher was the team’s top need given that Brian Orakpo and Derrick Morgan are both heading into the final year of their contracts and the team has no viable third option right now given Kevin Dodd’s failure to develop through his first two seasons.

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Four scouts assess new Titans' ILB Rashaan Evans

TicketsBar2EvansIntro1NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Rashaan Evans showed off a big personality to go with the big game he displayed at Alabama, a package that led the Titans to trade up three spots and draft him 22nd on Thursday night.

It’s hard, frankly, to find objections to him.

Media response has been positive, fan response has been positive, and four scouts/personnel men I spoke with were all positive.

Here’s what they said about the Titans’ new inside linebacker:

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Barring a trade, will one of these 16 guys last 24 picks for Titans in Round 2?

TicketsBar2NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Twenty-four picks.

nwosuBarring another trade up, the Titans have a 24-pick wait for their next pick, 57th overall in the second round.

I count 16 players that I’d be intrigued by there. Will one of them last? I’d think so.

The Titans need Mason Rudolph (and another quarterback), inside linebackers (with Rashaan Evans in-house), defensive tackles, cornerbacks, offensive linemen, running backs and tight ends to come off the board to maximize their chances to get an edge rusher, a safety or a receiver they like.

(Uchenna Nwosu photo courtesy of USC.)

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Did Mike Vrabel get his first win over the Patriots with Rashaan Evans?

TicketsBar2NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Did Mike Vrabel get an early win over Bill Belichick when the Titans drafted Rashaan Evans?

We’ll probably never know if and how much the Patriots may have coveted the Alabama linebacker.

But for the price of a 90-spot drop from the fourth to the sixth round, the Titans eliminated any chance of Evans heading to New England.IMG 8401

The Titans leaped over New England and Carolina to land their man, and New England selected Isaiah Wynn, the offensive tackle from Georgia.

“I wouldn’t say we beat Bill in anything and we didn’t beat the Patriots in anything in that

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TicketsBar2Evans3NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Rashaan Evans likes staying close to home (Auburn, Ala.) and school (Tuscaloosa, Ala.). He likes reconnecting with his good friend Derrick Henry as Titans' teammates. And he likes how the team that drafted him made him feel about their 

After Mike Vrabel was on the field with him during his pro day drills on March 7 and he then sat down with the Titans. After that,Evans said, he felt “they really saw something they were looking for.”interest.

During the draft his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, told him that the Titans were a possibility, despite the fact that he did not visit the team. Jon Robinson’s first three first-round picks were spent on players who had visited.

(Photo courtesy Alabama.)

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Rashaan Evans a big talent at a spot the Titans often undervalued

TicketsBar2NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Titans first use of their first pick on a defender came after a trade up of three spots that netted them Rashaan Evans, the Alabama linebacker.

When he was introduced as the team’s Mike Vrabel said the Titans would emphasize coverage consistency with front multiplicity.Evans

(Photo courtesy Alabama.)

And Evans looks to be an ideal piece for that front, where he’s can certainly be an inside linebacker but is also capable of rushing off the edge.

He was one of the linebackers Vrabel jumped into drills with during the Titans tour of pro days, so the coach got a up-close feel for a fellow linebacker.

Evans (6-foot-2, 232 pounds) carried a bit of mystery into the draft because he didn’t run a 40 at the combine or at his pro day, creating speculation he didn’t want to post a time.

But the Titans clearly feel he’s fast enough, and they made a deal with Baltimore to jump the Patriots and Panthers to get their man.

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