Will Titans get what they need at receiver?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008 at 1:34am

If the Tennessee Titans go shopping for a wide receiver as expected in the early rounds of the NFL Draft, they could find plenty of prospects to choose from. The question is, will they find what they really want?

According to TFY Draft Preview’s Tony Pauline, the 2008 draft is loaded with the type of receivers the Titans already have — big, strong, possession-type receivers — but has only a few who offer the speed element Tennessee covets.

Titans coach Jeff Fisher said earlier this offseason that the Titans would obviously prefer a receiver with speed and size, but if it came down to one or the other, that the team needed to get faster with someone who can stretch the field with breakaway potential.

“It is a deep receiver draft, but there are no outstanding prospects at the top of draft,” Pauline said. “There are plenty of talented receivers that can be had late in the first round, early in the second round and literally right on through the fourth round, where you can come away with a good No. 2 or No. 3 receiver.”

Pauline rates Michigan State’s Devin Thomas as the best receiver in this year’s draft, but said Thomas should certainly not be classified with Calvin Johnson, the best receiver in last year’s draft, who went second overall to the Detroit Lions.

There is the possibility that Thomas, who visited the Titans last week, could be there at No. 24 when Tennessee is scheduled to pick, but he said it more likely some receiver-needy team will grab him beforehand.

“He is probably the most complete receiver in this draft, and he should be there when the Titans pick based on his overall grade, but because there are so few available, some team will probably take him before that. I think he’ll definitely be gone in the top 20,” Pauline said.

So what does that leave the Titans? There are bigger receivers available, such as Limas Sweed of Texas, whom Vince Young played with in college, but he might not exactly fit what the Titans are searching for.

“The issue is there’s not a lot of speed at receiver in this draft. Most of the receivers are big strong possession guys or West Coast yards-after-catch types,” Pauline said. “The speed guys in this draft are DeSean Jackson, Donnie Avery, Dexter Jackson and Will Franklin. Because of that, a guy like Donnie Avery, who should be a late second- to early third-round pick, could go early in the second round because a team like Tampa Bay could sort of reach to make sure they get one of the few receivers in this draft that has some speed.”

Cal’s Jackson has size issues (5-9, 169), but Pauline indicated there are off-field worries as well about the Golden Bears’ punt returner and receiving star.

Other players have questions as well, such as the situation that arose last week at the pro day of Oklahoma’s Malcolm Kelly.

The players were scheduled to run on a faster Astroturf surface, according to Pauline, but at the behest of a Titans scout were asked to run on Field Turf instead, something that Kelly apparently was upset about, especially after posting times of 4.68 and 4.75.

Still, Pauline said that at the right spot, Kelly could be a decent fit in Tennessee.

“Malcolm Kelly would be a good player for them. He’s a big, strong target,” Pauline said. “He’s a natural receiver, and he can catch most of Vince Young’s errant passes.”

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By: TITAN1 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

frank brown has not had an intelligent thought in years, that should tell you a lot about him.

By: Cowboy84 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

I don't have any idea who Tony Pauline is, but if he is still talking up Malcolm Kelly, then he hasn't seen Kelly's workout times and hasn't read Kelly's quotes about why he did so poorly. He ran slow 4.68, and then blamed the surface he ran on FieldTurf instead of Astroturf. Surely Malcolm realizes that every pro team that has an artificial surface has FieldTurf or something like it, no one uses AstroTurf(green cement) anymore.Then whined about how the OU staff didn't get him physically ready enough for his pro day.“This is my life. You know what I’m saying? This ain’t no school. This ain’t no classroom. This ain’t got nothing to do with that,” Kelly said. “This has to do with me; my family. This is what I do. I play football. And I’m supposed to come out here and run as fast as I can.” If the Titans draft him I doubt it will be long before we hear how it's not his fault he's not catching more passes or it's VY's errant throws that are to blame not him, it's the offense not him.IMO, for what it's worth, the Titans should pass on this guy.

By: frank brown on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Titan1, Perhaps you meant to say that "Frank Brown" disagrees with my philosophy of life quite often.

By: gdiafante on 12/31/69 at 6:00

So because they've only been to the Super Bowl once that answers the question?Perhaps you meant to say: "I'm a troll just throwing out useless statements to see if anyone bites. I have no life otherwise".

By: TITAN1 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

I like James Hardy out of Indiana, big and strong, good hands from the reports I've heard. Lacks speed, but most big receivers do.

By: gdiafante on 12/31/69 at 6:00

They can draft seven WR's but if Vince can't get them the ball it won't matter. I'm hoping Dinger is really working with him during the offseason.

By: TITAN1 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

VY will be just fine, coach Fisher said Dinger has already been working with him and has greatly improved his foot work which needed help. He has a strong arm and his accuracy will come when the other stuff is fine tuned. Dinger is going to be great for him.

By: gdiafante on 12/31/69 at 6:00

I hope so, I'm still not sold on him.

By: frank brown on 12/31/69 at 6:00

gdiafante, I am a troll throwing out statements of truth that infuriate people.

By: gdiafante on 12/31/69 at 6:00

You are a troll, at least you can acknowledge that, but you do not infuriate. You're a joke and you don't even realize it. That is truly pathetic.

By: Cowboy84 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Here are Malcolm Kelly's statements about the OU staff:"Certain people have tried to hold me down, and they know who they are,” Kelly said. “I wouldn’t say the whole OU coaching staff, but certain people, I would say that.”This is not they guy for the Titans or most other NFL teams.T1- have they been working out since VY finished school? If so maybe the Titans beat writers can cover that instead of endless stories about smacman.

By: TITAN1 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

This was evidently in the time he did spend here while still attending school. But, yes they could cover something besides Jones.

By: TITAN1 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

08 schedule, home Monday night game against Indy and at Detroit on Thanksgiving Day.2008 TENNESSEE TITANS REGULAR SEASON SCHEDULEOPPONENT DATE KICKOFF+ TVJACKSONVILLE Sunday, 9/7 12:00 p.m.at Cincinnati Sunday, 9/14 12:00 p.m.HOUSTON Sunday, 9/21 12:00 p.m.MINNESOTA Sunday, 9/28 12:00 p.m.at Baltimore Sunday, 10/5 12:00 p.m.BYE WEEK Sunday, 10/12at Kansas City Sunday, 10/19 12:00 p.m.INDIANAPOLIS Monday, 10/27 7:30 p.m.GREEN BAY Sunday, 11/2 12:00 p.m.at Chicago Sunday, 11/9 12:00 p.m.at Jacksonville Sunday, 11/16 12:00 p.m. *N.Y. JETS Sunday, 11/23 12:00 p.m. *at Detroit Thursday, 11/27 11:30 a.m.CLEVELAND Sunday, 12/7 12:00 p.m. *at Houston Sunday, 12/14 12:00 p.m. *PITTSBURGH Sunday, 12/21 12:00 p.m. *at Indianapolis Sunday, 12/28 12:00 p.m. *+ All Kickoff Times Central

By: JDG on 12/31/69 at 6:00

All Frank really succeeds in doing is accentuating the negative to such a large degree as to encourage people to find the positive to counter-balance him. For example, the Tennessee Titans have been to one Super Bowl in 9 years. That compares to: New England (4), St. Louis (2), New York Giants (2), Indy, Pitt, Chicago Bears, Seattle, Baltimore, Tampa, Philly, Carolina, Oakland, and the Titans all (1), and EVERYONE else (0).

By: frank brown on 12/31/69 at 6:00

gdiafante,You are bright enough that if I were a joke you would ignore me.

By: frank brown on 12/31/69 at 6:00

JDG, you are correct in that the "Titans" have been to one Super Bowl. The franchise and the owner have been one time in 47 years. He would like to go again I am sure. I see no evidence from my perspective that he is willing to do what is necessary to go again. I think Jerry Jones is trying to go again.

By: gdiafante on 12/31/69 at 6:00

It's much more fun to engage with you.

By: frank brown on 12/31/69 at 6:00

gdiafante. "Touche"
"19937

By: Cowboy84 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Pacman is not applying for reinstatement today, he announced it on Michael Irvin's radio show this morning.it's on the Tennessean's website

By: JDG on 12/31/69 at 6:00

I disregard the Houston years, as the owner is the only thing left from those years. He may certainly want anotheer trip bsfore he passes, but not at all cost. As for Jerry Jones, he appears to be a bit of an egomaniac when it comes to his football team. That said, and it is not an indictment, but rather an observation, he has had even less success than the Titans in the last 9. If I had a choice of teams to emulate it certainly would not be the Cowboys, but the rather obvious choice of the Patriots.

By: gdiafante on 12/31/69 at 6:00

You'd rather cheat? That's interesting.

By: gdiafante on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Dallas has had problems, but only in the last nine years or so. If, as Frank posted, we use the entire SB era, there is no comparison.