Jon Robinson isn’t playing around this draft. The Titans General Manager is stepping up to the plate this NFL Draft. Coming into the draft the defense was the biggest need that needed addressing. The Titans major weaknesses on the defensive side revolved around their pass defense. In the second round, the Titans drafted highly coveted edge rusher, Harold Landry. In the fifth round, the Rob-Father delivered again. He traded the teams fifth and sixth round picks to the Ravens to move forward 10 spots and drafted safety Dane Cruikshank.
Cruikshank Bio and Stats
He is a 6’1″ 209 lb. imposing safety from the University of Arizona. Cruikshank was a very productive two-year starter for the Wildcats. During his two years, Cruikshank recorded 135 tackles, those included seven for loss. He also contributed 12 pass breakups and five interceptions. Cruikshank displayed a high enough level of versatility to attract the attention of the Titans. Cruikshank joins fellow a young group of safeties in Kevin Byard, Jonathan Cyprien, Denzel Johnson, and Brynden Trawick.
Cruikshank had a very successful NFL Combine to pair up with his impressive college stats and brings a lot to the table for the Titans. He boasts excellent safety speed with a 4.41 second 40-yard dash. He has a 38.5 inch vertical to pair with his speed and the hands of a wide receiver. With a little polish, Cruikshank can develop into a great complimentary ballhawk to Kevin Board. Add that to his 135 tackles, including his seven for loss and Cruikshank also provides an excellent tackling pedigree. At the combine, he completed 25 reps of a 225 lb. bench press, so he has the strength to be able to bang around with the NFL bodies. Cruikshank adds valuable depth and talent to a position of concern for the Titans.
Obviously, Cruikshank still needs to contribute in training camp and polish his craft. He is a raw prospect but with a huge ceiling. Expect Cruikshank to serve mostly as depth in his rookie season with a chance to contribute in small doses. Cruikshank needs to address a few of his weaknesses in practice before he is ready to receive more significant reps in the season. A few of his major concerns at Arizona include struggling with mental busts in coverage and struggled in outside coverage. In 2016, in particular, Cruikshank received nine pass interference penalties and allowed many touchdowns in coverage.
The Duck’s Crystal Ball Says: Good Pick
Personally, I really love this pick. I think those weaknesses will be shored up under the tutelage of the secondary coaches and veteran safety Jonathan Cyprien. The Titans are very fortunate to be able to draft him at pick 152 in the draft. I believe, after some time to develop, Cruikshank will prove well worth the price paid to draft him.
Agree? Disagree? Want to continue the Conversation? You can Matt on twitter @iduck14 and @FPC_Titans.