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The Tennessee Titans came out of the draft with one wide receiver (seventh round), which many felt was still a hole on the roster. Just a year removed from trading A.J. Brown and taking Treylon Burks, Tennessee doesn’t seem like they are in a rush to sign a pass catcher just yet.
Here are a couple of reasons why that could be.
Post Draft Free Agent Market
The second phase of free agency has now begun as teams have now started to plug in draftees to form their depth charts. Tennessee is one of those teams that has a need at a premium position and could stand to add a couple more bodies to the roster.
Head coach Mike Vrabel talked about the second phase of player acquisition after Day 2 of the draft. “There will be players that are on other teams that will become available Monday. Take a look. It will be a real large waiver wire,” said Vrabel.
As of May 1st, there has been no additions to the Titans roster but that doesn’t mean moves aren’t in progress. Some of the names that are without a roster include Jarvis Landry, Julio Jones, Kenny Golladay, Demarcus Robinson and Byron Pringle.
These guys could all come in and add a veteran presence in a receiver room that needs it. Jones could seek to return to Tennessee after a less than graceful showing his first go-round. Kenny Golladay and Jarvis Landry could use a change of scenery, and Tennessee could be the place they come to revamp their image as well.
Prodigal Son Returns?
Outside of the possible names in free agency, there are plenty of players that are on the hot seat after the draft. One such name is former Titans wideout Corey Davis.
Davis left Tennessee in 2020 after a career-year that saw him reel in 65 receptions for 984 yards and five touchdowns. He hasn’t quite lived up to the $10 million dollar price tag he garnered from the New York Jets and is now the odd man out after the Jets’ many off-season moves.
If Davis is released as projected, a reunion with the Titans could be in play. There is a new front office and a need for a productive receiver. Davis had his best years in Tennessee and it wouldn’t hurt to try to recapture some of that magic by returning to the team that drafted him.
Prime Choice UDFA
The NFL Draft extends past the three days that are broadcasted across networks. There is a whole crop of undrafted free agents (UDFA) that find teams after the last pick of Day 3. Some of the most notable names that came from the UDFA market are Wes Welker, Jason Peters, Priest Holmes, James Harrison and John Randle.
The Titans are hoping that their UDFA crop yields dividends this year, and one name that stands out for them is former Georgia Bulldog Kearis Jackson.
Jackson was a wide receiver on both National Championship teams and has very good upside. Though he wasn’t wildly productive at UGA, he showed good burst, hands and route running prowess. At 6’0”, 200 pounds, he has good size and shows the willingness to block in the run game. Jackson could see himself thrust into playing time with a wide open No. 2 receiver spot available.
Treylon Burks Arrival
The Titans traded away A.J. Brown last year but replaced him with rookie Treylon Burks. Though Burks didn’t blow the stat sheet up, he did make some great plays down the stretch last year that showed the immense potential he possesses. The big-bodied Burks is now entering his second season as the de facto No. 1 wide receiver and he could solidify his claim to that spot this year.
Burks showed last year that he should be a force in year two. Here are some of Burks’ advanced stats from 2022:
Average Depth of Target: 12.4 yards
Average Yards After Catch: 5.4 yards
Target Quality Rating: 6.70
Target Separation vs. Man: 1.76 yards
Route Win Rate: 45.5%
Burks’ averaged better depth of target than Jaylen Waddle, Tee Higgins and D.K. Metcalf. He was also top ten (nine) in target quality rating. Couple those stats with almost six yards after the catch and two yards of separation vs. man coverage, you get a receiver primed for a breakout year.
The Tennessee Titans front office and coaching staff are doing their due diligence as it pertains to the wide receiver position. The key is to trust their process. Ran Carthon may already have the remedy to the Titans problems in-house or working on bringing that remedy in. We won’t know what the roster and depth chart will shape up to look like until September but for now, we will have to wait and watch.