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Ranking the Titans Wide Receivers

Steve Shoup

In the coming weeks I will do a series of posts on the Tennessee Titans and how their players stack up at each position. These Tiers are an indication of what talent level can reasonably be expected of each player for the 2013 season. Future potential and contract status are not really taken into consideration, as this is more an indication of a players talent level and expected production.

Tier 1:

Description: Top level starter, at elite or near elite level, absolute lock to both make the team and start. Won’t face any competition for his job.


Tier 2:

Description: Quality starter who may have some minor struggles in a given year, but overall is a good football player. Typically just outside the elite/near elite level. Should both easily make the team and start. Will be one of the key players on the team.

Kenny Britt:

-When healthy and staying out of trouble, Britt is one of the most talented receivers in this league. He is a nightmare to cover one-on-one, and can beat defense both with his size and speed. Unfortunately, Britt doesn’t have a long track record of being healthy or out of trouble. Hopefully this is the year that changes and he will finally catch 45 passes in a year. Even in the Titans run first offense, Britt should get over 1,000 yards if he’s healthy. Britt’s presence on the field should make every other receiver better as they won’t get near the attention from the opposing defenses. Next to Jake Locker‘s development, there is nothing that is more important to a good year for the Titans than 16 games of Kenny Britt.

Kendall Wright:

-Wright had an up-and-down rookie year, and is at the low end of Tier 2, but he should be expected to breakout this year. He showed flashes last year, and with an improved offensive line and hopefully Jake Locker producing better, Wright will be the beneficiary. He’s got really good speed and can be a consistent deep threat on this team.

Tier 3:

Description: Passable starter, can play the position and be okay, but won’t consistently play at a high level. Will be streaky throughout the season and over the course of many seasons. Depending on position would be better served as a good role player, or would be the best reserve player at a position. Should make the team, though not a lock and should face competition for a starting job.

 Nate Washington:

-After coming off a 1,000 yard year in 2011, Washington was expected to put up big numbers last year. Unfortunately his production faltered, and while typically much of the blame could be on the shoulders of the quarterbacks, Washington has drawn the ire of Titans management. Washington’s consistency was down last year, and given the questions about his work ethic it is easy to see what the problem probably is. Washington still remains an effective deep threat weapons and can stretch the field on a consistent basis. That might not be enough for the Titans as they are rumored to be looking to trade Washington sometime this offseason/training camp.

Justin Hunter:

-Hunter had one of the best size/speed combo’s in the draft, but he has some question marks around him as well. He led the NCAA in drops last year, and despite his impressive measurables, he really didn’t seem to dominate against quality competition. Hunter also was coming off an ACL injury in 2011, and it is unclear how much that might have impacted him last year. From a potential standpoint, Hunter has the ability to develop into one of the best receivers from this draft. Unfortunately he’s not likely to produce much as a rookie, and will likely be a little limited.

Tier 4:

Description: Replacement level starter. This is a guy who could start in a pinch or as a long-term injury replacement but will max out as an average starter, and will probably be below average. He’s a guy who could be okay as a short term filler, but over an extended period will struggle. Depending on position could be a solid player, or would be a good back-up. Has a decent chance to make the team, and could get a look at a starting job, but nothing is set in stone for him.

Kevin Walter: 

-Since 2007 Walter has been a starter with the Houston Texans, catching between 40-65 balls and roughly 500-900 receiving yards. Though he was the starter he was really miscast in that role as he’s more of a 3rd/4th receiver. He’s a solid possession guy who is capable of playing inside or outside. His greatest strength is his route-running and he could add a veteran presence, which is key if Washington is traded/cut. The Titans shouldn’t expect much from Walter, but he does give them good depth which is key, given some of the questions surrounding their top guys.

Damian Williams:

-Williams isn’t a starting level guy, but he’s proven to be a more than capable back-up. Since being drafted in the 3rd round out of USC in 2010, Williams has caught 91 passes for 1,135 yards. He hasn’t fully lived up to his billing, but he’s been a solid injury replacement guy to have around. If the team makes a move with Nate Washington, Williams could see his role increase.

Tier 5:

Description: Solid back-up caliber player. Shouldn’t really ever start, and would be below average in that capacity, but can be a short term injury replacement. Shouldn’t even be much of a role player depending on the position, their best value is in their reliability as a replacement. Depending on the position, should be capable of backing up multiple positions or roles to increase their value. Has a chance to make the team, but really shouldn’t be considered a starting option at all.

Marc Mariani: 

-Mariani was an undrafted rookie free agent out of Montana in 2010. He burst onto the  scene as a dynamic return man recording both a kickoff and punt return TD. In 2011 his return numbers weren’t as good but he was till pretty effective. Last year Mariani suffered a fractured leg in preseason and was out all year. RB Darius Reynaud proved very effective as a return man, so Mariani will likely be fighting him for a roster spot. Thus far Mariani hasn’t shown much as a receiver and should really be considered just a special teamer at this point.


Tier 6:

Description: Replacement level player. Not considered at all for a starting role, and isn’t even considered a viable back-up. Really only has a shot to make the team if injuries thin out the competition. Overall has a poor chance to make a roster, and is a player who will likely be replaced during the season.

Dontel Watkins:

-Non-factor, practice squad guy

Michael Preston:

-Non-factor, practice squad guy

Roberto Wallce:

-Non-factor, practice squad guy

Rashad Ross:

-Non-factor, practice squad guy

Diondre Borel:

-Non-factor, practice squad guy

Travis Harvey:

-Non-factor, practice squad guy

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