Titans Wide Receivers
The Titans for many years were not talked about amongst NFL fans. One group is still flying under the radar even now that the Titans are starting to get noticed more. The exception being Corey Davis, the Titans 2017 first-round draft pick going fifth overall. There has never truly been a number one wide receiver on the Titans roster. Not one that was considered elite and recognized league-wide. Over the years the Titans drafted or picked up in free agency numerous wide receivers that they hoped would be a clear number one. Unfortunately, those draft picks or free agents either turned out to be bust’s and didn’t live up to the hype behind them. Enough about the past, let’s look at the current Titans wide receivers.
Emerging Star Davis
Titans have once again invested in a drafted wide receiver to hopefully settle into the role of the primary receiver for years to come. His name is Corey Davis! Standing at six foot three and weighing 210 pounds running on average a 4.4 second forty time out of Western Michigan. Corey Davis is a freak athlete with nice size that has all the potential to very well become the primary receiver for Mariota for years to come. Every NFL team knows about players not living up to potential though, Titans in recent years cut Dorial Green Beckham and Kendall Wright for that reason.
Davis was injured for most of last season and was not able to get into a real rhythm until the playoffs. He is healthy this offseason and taking reps with Mariota to create the timing and bond they lacked last year due to injuries. If Davis can start this season and build from where he left off in the divisional round against the Patriots, then there is no doubt that Davis is the Titans number one target from the wide receiver position.
Silent Assassin Matthews
Rishard Matthews came to the Titans in 2016 from the Miami Dolphins. The standing veteran wide receiver of the Titans right now is entering his third season with the Titans and seventh season in the NFL. Matthews has been the silent killer for the Titans the past two season. He has gone under the radar and performed quite well as the team’s interim number one target at wide receiver. Matthews is a solid receiver and his relationship with Mariota grew quickly during the 2016 season. That carried over into 2017. He will play a pivotal role in the upcoming season.
Matthews will continue to be Mariota’s number one target. At least until Corey Davis is up to speed and has that strong bond with Mariota. Matthews is not a true number wide receiver in the NFL. He is a solid number two wide receiver and a guy you can depend on in many situations. Matthews has been the most scrutinized wide receiver on the Titans, partly due to his support and relationship with his college quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Rishard has made his twitter accounts private during this offseason. Not sure if he disconnected to enjoy the offseason or if he wants to try and prevent his opinions from being spread across social media. At the end of the day, he is a great guy and a great football player who deserves the respect on the field and privacy off the field.
The slot position may not be exactly secure for second-year receiver Taywan Taylor. He showed some life last year but was limited to Terry Robiskie’s offense. Taylor only put up 231 yards and one touchdown in a season where he played every game. He is five foot eleven and 200 pounds running a 4.5 second 40 time. Taylor is a shifty runner and can make people miss. He has a lot of question marks around him. Mainly because he didn’t get many touches this past season. Taylor will have to prove he deserves to be on the field this season. If he doesn’t he will stay in the position he played last year. Taylor will be the relief for other wide receivers. Lefleur might give him a special play package though.
Tajae Sharpe could be the X factor wide receiver this year. He was starting to be productive in the 2016 season as a rookie. Injuries forced him to sit out the entire 2017 season. That could have helped or hurt him. He is going to be the freshest of the wide receivers. Plus he didnt go through Robiskies confusing offense last season. Sharpe may have fewer bad habits going into Lefleurs offense this season. He definitely has less wear and tear on his body as well after sitting out a season.
Durability will also be a question for him going into this season due to those injuries. Titans fans never got to see his full potential his rookie year and everyone had high hopes for him his second year. He may end up taking the starting slot position from Taywan Taylor and having Taylor fill in for him at times. Sharpe stands at six foot two and 200 pounds running a 4.5 second 40 time. Watch out for Tajae Sharpe and what he will do in this 2018 season. Teams do not have game film on him from last year and he is a mystery not only to the rest of the NFL but also to the Titans on what to expect from him.
Michael Campanaro signed to hopefully take over punt and kick returns for Adoree Jackson. If Campanaro can fill that position successfully he can save miles on Adoree Jackson legs. So Jackson, as a result, can focus on defense and the occasional offensive play here and there. People underestimate the importance of special teams and Campanaro is primed to take over those duties. He shouldn’t see much of the field on offense if he does he will be a ploy to throw teams off and might sneak a TD or two because of that this season.
Unrestricted Free Agents
Two wide receivers signed as unrestricted free agents and should be watched. Jordan Veasy out of Cal and Deontay Burnett from USC.
Burnett people might recognize more because he was one of Sam Darnold’s favorite targets during college. Many question his durability because of his build, six foot even and 170 pounds. He did put up over 1000 yards receiving and nine touchdowns in the 2017 season though. The USC player and was very productive and exciting to watch. Burnett could share time in the slot with Sharpe and Taylor to compete as the starter if he makes the team.
Jordan Veasy stands at six foot two and 215 pounds. Veasy is a bigger stronger target with great awareness. Not much of a speed guy, Veasy has tremendous concentration and focus. He is phenomenal at making jump ball catches and tight rope catches on the sideline. He can be a successful red zone target and possession receiver for Mariota.