With the first wave of Titans cuts coming, I thought it was fair to look at the draft misses since 2003 at the wide receiver position. The best thing about this analysis is that there has been exactly ten picks since 2003. Five by both Floyd Reese and Mike Reinfeldt as general manager of the Titans.
The Floyd Reese Picks
Tyrone Calico - Second round draft pick in 2003. The highest draft pick at this position until 2009 with the first round pick of Kenny Britt. His whole career was with the Titans. Never lived up to the hype of his pick. His best year was 2003 with 18 receptions, 297 yards and 4 touchdowns. He will be remembered for getting busted on the side of the road getting "busy" with a young lady he met at the club. The Titans did pickup a replacement for Tyrone by picking up the eighth round pick of the Chicago Bears for 2003, Justin Gage in 2007.
2004 - No wide receiver picks with the thirteen the Titans had that year.
2005 - Three wide receiver picks.
Brandon Jones - Third round pick He spent four years with the team and never played in more than ten games in any season. Always seemed to be hurt. His best year with the Titans was his last in 2008. He had 41 receptions, 449 yards and a one touchdown. He signed a laughable contract last year with the 49ers. Again he was non productive. This year San Francisco had the last laugh and cut him during their training camp. He now is fighting to get a job with the Seattle Seahawks.
Courtney Roby - The other third round pick who spent two years with the team. Released at the end of the 2006 season. He did one year stints with both Cincinnatii and Indianapolis before landing a job as the kick returner for the World Champion New Orleans Saints. He did very little with the Titans but should be commended for not quiting and landing a job in the league. His best season was his first, 21 receptions, 289 yards and one touchdown.
Roydell Williams - The fourth round pick of that year. He has been out of the league since 2007. His best season was his last with the team. 55 receptions, 719 yards and 4 touchdowns. The last two years he has been what Blaine Bishop calls a training camp guy. Meaning he get invites to a teams training camp but is not going to make the team. He is there to spread the work load out between the players. This year he is at the Redskins camp.
Jonathan Orr - Last of the Floyd Reese picks taken in the sixth round so not really painful. He was with the team for one year and never played a game. He is out of the league. The Titans did take a flyer at defensive back by taking Courtland Finnegan in the seventh round. Hindsight is twenty-twenty with another flyer taken later in the seventh round that year by the Saints on a player named Marques Colston.
Mike Reinfeldt 2007 - 2009
Paul Williams - Third round pick of 2007. Has yet to produce anything on field. He by far has been a bust and should be hearing the phrase the coach wants to see you and bring your playbook real soon.
Joel Filani - Sixth round pick of 2007. Another sixth round bust so not a real loss. He was with the team for three season. His career stat lines reads as follows....0 receptions 0 yards and 0 touchdowns. He was a permanent fixture on the inactive list every sunday.
Lavelle Hawkins - fourth round 2008 pick. I remember when he was drafted the Titans brass said "we got the smarter one" of the two between him and Desean Jackson. Two years later it looks like the Eagles got the smart one as long as we are talking NFL football smarts. A second round pick D. Jacks two year stat line looks like this 124 receptions, 2068 yards and 11 touchdowns. Lavelle Hawkins two year stats are not so glowing. In fact, they are down right depressing. 14 receptions, 178 yards and no touchdowns. It is obvious this is a make a break camp or year for Lavelle. He either produces on the field for the team or it is time for him go somewhere else where the NFL smarts light will come on.
Kenny Britt - first round 2009 pick. It is still a little early to be too judgemental on Kenny. He has the build to be a big time receiver with a 6'3' frame. We have seen flashes of his outstanding ability in the first eighteen months he has been with the team. Unfortunately, maturity issues seem to crop up every time I think he has turned the corner. He needs to grow up both on and off the field. This year we need to see Kenny take a step to be a clear number two receiver on the field. He needs to push Justin Cage to the secondary third receiver role in the offensive scheme. If this happens this offense will be hard to stop. Until then the jury is still out on this pick.
Dominque Edison - sixth round 2009 pick. On the sixth round bust track that has happened two other times since 2003. Dominque has yet to contribute anything in any game. He is permanent name on the inactive list. I do not know if the team will keep him around for this season. In my opinion, it is time to cut bait and move on to the next guy.
It is said by NFL draft experts the toughest position(other than QB) to draft is a wide receiver. The analysis of the wide receiver picks since 2003 for the Titans proves this point. Nine zeros out of the last ten picks at this position means the team needs to do a better job evaluating. Quit looking for the late round sleeper and focus on first or second round talent at this position. An upgrade in drafting of talent will lead to an upgrade of production on the field.