NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Dillon Radunz may be a terrific offensive lineman for the Titans.

It won’t change the fact that his selection as the 53rd pick in the draft is the result of Jon Robinson chasing like a struggling blackjack player, trying to make up for an awful hand. 

Radunz

If the Titans hadn’t wasted the 29th pick in last year’s draft on Isaiah Wilson, who busted his way out of the NFL in remarkable time, Tennessee wouldn’t have been thinking about the position at all. [Unlocked]

Radunz seemed like a great guy in his Zoom session with the Titans press.

“I definitely want to be thrown in with the starting five,” he said. “That’s just the competitor in me.” 

It’s not his fault in the least that he’s heading to Nashville as a result of the Titans-Robinson-Wilson failure.

But boy has that put the Titans resource expenditure out of kilter.

Let’s look at just what the team has spent in picks and dollars on the position with Robinson as the personnel decision-maker.

  • The No. 8 pick in the 2016 draft on Jack Conklin
  • The No. 29 pick in the 2020 draft on Isaiah Wilson
  • The No. 53 pick in the 2021 draft on Dylan Radunz
  • The No. 82 pick in the 2019 draft on Nate Davis
  • A five-year, $80 million contract with $50 million guaranteed for Taylor Lewan
  • A four-year, $44 million contract with $22.5 million guaranteed for Rodger Saffold
  • Two contracts for six years, $31 million for Ben Jones

Two firsts and a second spent on right tackle in six years?

"I think tackle is a premium position in the National Football League," Robinson said. "I think that's a position that resources are allocated towards, and you know, we are going to keep looking and keep trying to add football players at that position that we think can come in and contribute to the team and help us win.

You could argue, I suppose, that for a team built around Derrick Henry and getting big production from Ryan Tannehill, investing big in the offensive line makes sense.

I can counter-argue that a team needs to be crafty in roster building and has to find and develop at least one offensive lineman who’s a middle- or late-round guy or a relatively inexpensive free agent.

And that would leave more room to do more to solidify a defense that fell apart in 2020 and to replace free-agent defectors like Corey Davis and Jonnu Smith -- players the Titans did nothing to replace in the first three rounds. Expecting real first-year help from the fourth round and beyond is, typically, exceedingly wishful.apple icon 144x144 precomposed

Not exercising Conklin’s fifth-year option after the 2018 season was the right move at the time based on his injuries.

Once he jumped to the Browns as a free agent in 2019, he didn’t need to be replaced with another first-rounder in Wilson, who turned out to be one of the worst picks in history.

And after Wilson’s massive failure, he didn’t need to be replaced with a second-rounder.

But at least the Titans should have some real solid offensive line depth now.

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