The Tennessee Titans wide receiving corps enter 2020 with as much buzz as the position group has garnered in nearly two decades. It is difficult to not get excited when you talk about this bunch, especially after such a successful season last year.
A.J. Brown was selected in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft and immediately burst onto the scene becoming just the sixth Titans wide receiver to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark in a single season. His rookie campaign appears to be just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what this young phenom will do in his career.
“He looks like a homerun,” said Titans’ analyst and Nashville sports talk show host Paul Kuharsky during his appearance on A to Z Sports Nashville’s Titan Up Podcast. “I’d be surprised if he didn’t turn out to be what he was last year.”
— Titan Up Podcast (@TitanUpPod) June 16, 2020
Brown has the potential to be among the NFL’s top tier of pass catchers. The Titans are not a franchise that is accustomed to possessing Pro-Bowl caliber talent on the outside. Brown is drawing early comparisons to the last truly great receiver drafted by the Titans, Derrick Mason. Yet, the road back to wide receiver prominence has been a long and bumpy one. To put this drought into perspective, there have been 26 different receivers that the Titans drafted in between the sections of Mason and Brown.
However, Tennessee’s receiving unit is far from being a one-man band. Corey Davis is entering his fourth season with the team after being selected with the fifth overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. Davis is a productive No. 2 for the Titans, but it is where Davis was taken in the draft that leaves a dark cloud over the 25-year-old’s name.
“I think Corey Davis is a fine receiver,” stated Kuharsky of 104.5 The Zone’s Midday 180 show. He’s always going to be haunted by being the fifth pick in the draft. I think he’s probably a 12-year receiver in the league who can be a very good 2 here and is probably going to be a quality 2 somewhere else after this year, provided he stays healthy.”
Corey Davis thread (using leftover clips from my article): pic.twitter.com/kwK5hyEqao
— Titans Tape (@TitansTape) August 28, 2020
If Davis is able to find success and stay on the field this season, he has the ability to take the Titans’ offense over the top. A productive season for Davis could look something like 750 yards and 6 touchdowns. If Ryan Tannehill is able to get that type of output from Davis, the Titans offense will give the league’s defensive coordinators nightmares.
Adam Humphries is the team’s third receiver. Although his contract says otherwise after Humphries inked a 4-year $36 million deal last offseason, the shift slot receiver struggled to stay on the field last season. An ankle injury limited him to just 12 games in 2019, but if Humphries can remain healthy, he will be a big asset to Tannehill. Humphries has a reputation for being a chain mover and a safety blanket after his time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. A healthy Humphries gives Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith one more weapon in this increasingly dangerous offense.
Everyone’s favorite player during Titans training camp this offseason has been Kalif Raymond. Despite only reeling in nine passes for 170 yards last season, Raymond made his big splash with a 45-yard touchdown pass in the AFC Divisional Round against the Baltimore Ravens. The speedy Raymond looks to take on a more impactful role in the Titans offense after the departure of Tajae Sharpe.
Kalif Raymond with the great Corner-Post route pic.twitter.com/IOdz8VH98X
— Receiver School (@ReceiverSchool) January 12, 2020
There is no question that the talent the Titans employ in the wide receiver room is leaps and bounds beyond what they have had in years past. In fact, Kuharsky believes it is the best they’ve had in nearly 20 years, saying “It should be the best trio since 2003 when they had Mason, McCareins, and Bennett.” Titans historians will be quick to acknowledge that 2003 was the year Steve McNair won CO-MVP.
Featured image courtesy of Stan Szeto – USA TODAY Sports