It’s been said a million times, but I will say it again — next season is crucial for the Tennessee Titans. Quarterback Marcus Mariota is approaching a prove-it-or-lose-it season, so the team has been scrambling to surround him with weapons.
The Titans already proved that they’re serious about improving the often stagnant offense by signing wide receiver Adam Humphries to a four year deal worth $36 million.
Titans general manager has showed in the past that he values versatile players, so could South Carolina’s Deebo Samuel be a target for the team at the NFL Draft?
Why Deebo Samuel could be the pick:
If drafted, Samuel would immediately improve the outside receiver spot across the field from former first round pick Corey Davis. The former Gamecock would be a quality addition to the team and, on paper, would compliment the rest of the offense.
If the Titans’ are ever going to receive their investment out of wide receiver Taywan Taylor, it may be wise to light a fire under him by adding someone like Samuel — who likely will not have to be a first round selection. The Titans pick at 51st overall in the second round.
Last season, Samuel compiled 62 receptions, 882 yards, and 11 touchdowns. It is also worth mentioning that he is a very talented kick returner, returning 23 kicks for 570 yards and touchdown. Despite the Titans’ current kick returner Darius Jennings’ success last season, it never hurts to have additional quality kick returners.
For what it’s worth, Samuel has taken a visit with the Titans.
— Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) April 9, 2019
Why Samuel will not likely be the pick:
I don’t see any way that the Titans select the SEC standout in the first round. However, other teams, such as the New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills, who pick before the Titans’ second round pick, have shown interest.
The #Patriots have another group of draft prospects visiting today — a list that includes Ole Miss WR A.J. Brown, South Carolina WR Deebo Samuel and Iowa TE Noah Fant, sources say. Weapons coming for Tom Brady?
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) April 11, 2019
I don’t expect Samuel to still be available when the Titans pick again (51 overall), and I don’t expect Jon Robinson to be as trigger happy about trading up in the draft as he was last year.
Additionally, the Titans could elect to wait until the middle rounds of the draft to address the wide receiver position after significantly investing in Humphries during free agency. The team has three positions that are arguably more important than receiver (pass rusher, interior offensive line, and defensive line).
While I think Samuel would be a terrific addition to the offense, I don’t think he will be a realistic option. I would be shocked if a different team didn’t take the talented receiver at the end of the first round or the beginning of the second.
Whether the team drafts Samuel or someone else, one thing is clear: the Titans are doing their due diligence on the top wide receivers in the draft.