The Titans are in dire need of a go-to receiver in the red zone. Former fifth overall pick Corey Davis looks like he could develop into a number one receiver, but there isn’t much depth behind him. Taywan Taylor and Tajae Sharpe have not developed as mid-round picks into starting-caliber receivers. Marcus Mariota has never had elite weapons and heading into a contract year, the Titans need to find out whether he is worth an extension. The only way do to do that is to surround him with talent and see what he does with it. Tennessee needs to add someone to play opposite Davis this offseason and a great option is Stanford wide receiver JJ Arcega-Whiteside.
Red Zone Threat
Arcega-Whiteside had 28 touchdowns in college with half of those coming in his final year. Those 14 scores were good enough for first in receiving touchdowns in the PAC-12. Mariota has just 14 passing touchdowns in the red zone over the past two seasons. Corey Davis isn’t a guy who has shown he can go up and get a jump ball consistently. However, Arcega-Whiteside could be. Tennessee has a lot of young receivers, but most rely on their speed and route-running to make plays.
The Titans need someone with size that can allow Mariota to lob it up in the corner of the end zone and trust that they’ll come down with it. Arcega-Whiteside did that repeatedly throughout his career while taking contact from defensive backs. Mariota may not turn it over in the red zone, but he hasn’t been able to put it in the end zone that often either. A big 6’3″ weapon would improve the Titans’ red zone efficiency and he can help with Tennessee’s issues with big plays.
General manager Jon Robinson has shown that he values production in college at the wide receiver position. Davis and Taylor were two of the most productive wide receivers in college football during their times there, despite not playing at elite schools. So, DK Metcalf, who never broke 700 yards or 7 touchdowns in college, but had a great combine may look good to others. However, Arcega-Whiteside had over 1000 yards and 14 touchdowns in his final year, both ranking top three in the PAC-12. He has shown his ability to make plays in big game situations and he should be a tantalizing prospect for the Titans.
Mariota needs a guy he can trust on big plays. Davis has shown he is a consistent receiver who can be a number one, but the Titans need a number two who can go up and grab the football. If Arcega-Whiteside is sitting on the board in the second-round, I expect the Titans to give him a look. Outside of pass-rusher, wide receiver is probably the Titans’ largest need. They will definitely be looking to find playmakers and I believe that Arcega-Whiteside is going to fall to the Titans in a deep wide receiver class. Tennessee should not pass up on him if he does.