The Tennessee Titans signed wide receiver Michael Campanaro to a one year contract in April, but that doesn’t mean the former Baltimore Raven will be on the active roster this fall.
Campanaro, who was selected in the the seventh round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Ravens, has played four seasons in the NFL. His most productive year came in 2017 when he caught 19 passes for 173 yards and one touchdown in 13 games.
Yeah, not exactly eye popping numbers.
There are some folks who believe Campanaro is a good fit for the Titans simply because of Mike Vrabel’s past with the New England Patriots. Campanaro certainly seems like someone that would play for New England — small, shifty and can catch well.
But I think we might be making too much of the Patriot connection with Vrabel.
The Titans won’t be running the Patriots offense. This is Matt LaFleur’s offense and it will strongly resemble what the Los Angeles Rams did last season.
Los Angeles’ only wide receiver under six-feet last season was Tavon Austin. And let’s be honest, Campanaro isn’t Austin.
Besides, I expect running back Dion Lewis to semi fill the Austin role on the Titans’ offense in 2018 (Austin had more rushing attempts than receptions).
With the top four wide receiver spots set in Tennessee next year, and with Lewis/Derrick Henry/Delanie Walker in the offensive mix, it doesn’t leave a lot of room for a player like Campanaro to have a big role. While the Titans will obviously carry more than four wide receivers, it seems more likely that they’d give someone like undrafted rookie Deontay Burnett a shot over Campanaro.
Though it’s worth noting that Titans Online writer Jim Wyatt recently praised Campanaro, saying “I’ve noticed Campanaro a lot. The former Ravens receiver has adjusted well to his new team, and is worth keeping an eye on”.
It’s definitely a good sign for Campanaro that he’s receiving praise, but that’s not an uncommon thing to hear in May. I’ve seen plenty of players hailed as the next big thing, only to be released weeks, or even days, later.
I think Campanaro is a nice player to have stashed on the practice squad. But I’d prefer to see Burnett on the 53 man roster out of camp this fall, just to see what the talented rookie can do.
Remember, Burnett caught 86 passes for 1,114 yards and nine touchdowns last year at USC.
With numbers like that, he might really be the next big thing.
Featured image via Baltimore Ravens