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 »This Week in History
Tennessee Titans
INSIDE SLANT

  Inside Slant | Notes, Quotes | Strategy and Personnel | Player Wire

  The offseason edict had been clear for the Tennessee Titans fix the offensive line and protect Marcus Mariota.

On Thursday night, the Titans made a move to do just that, trading up from No. 15 to No. 8 in the first round to select Michigan State tackle Jack Conklin.

Conklin said he felt that Tennessee might be his draft-day destination after he met with the club on a pre-draft visit.

"I fell in love with the program and everything they're trying to build there. I had a sense when I left that that was going to be the organization I wound up with," Conklin said.

Conklin said he was "beyond speechless" when he found out the Titans had traded up to get him in round one.

The acquisition of Conklin was paid for with the Browns' sixth-round pick (No. 176) and the Titans gave up their first-rounder (No. 15) and a third-rounder (No. 76) this year and gave up a 2017 second-round choice as well. Both of the 2016 picks dealt to Cleveland came from the Rams when the Titans traded the No. 1 overall pick to Los Angeles two weeks ago.

Conklin is definitely known as a physical type player, something he enjoys.

"I pride myself on being a mauler, but I pride myself more importantly on playing every play of the game, playing the first play like I play the last," Conklin said.

The question now for the Titans is where Conklin will play. The most obvious spot would be at right tackle, but Titans general manager Jon Robinson left open the possibility that Conklin could play elsewhere.

"Jack has played left. At one point, he played right. He's played some guard. Versatility in the offensive line is important. ... He can play either side," Robinson said. "Stylistically, we were able to evaluate all the skill sets that we were going to ask him to do in our offense. It made it a really good pick for us."

There is one thing that is almost certain - Conklin will be in the lineup somewhere.

"I'd be very surprised if he isn't starting for us Day 1," head coach Mike Mularkey said.

Conklin's jump up the draft board came as Ole Miss' Laremy Tunsil's draft stock fell, partly due to a video that appeared on his Twitter account minutes before the draft began. The Titans, when they held the top pick, were strongly connected to Tunsil as that pick.

Instead, they get Conklin, a self-made player, who went from being a walk-on at Michigan State to being an All-America selection and then the eighth player taken in the draft.

Robinson said Conklin is just the right type of guy for the Titans, who are trying to remake themselves into a tough-minded team.

"We wanted to get ourselves in position to make sure we get our type of guy," Robinson said.


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