There's been a lot of talk this off season about the Titans' wide receiver group and the amount of potential they have. After moving up in the draft to take University of Tennessee's Justin Hunter, the Titans look like they are stocked at a position that is traditionally lacking for the franchise.
Let's look at the Titans receivers in order of "buzz" or expectations.
1) KENNY BRITT
A healthy, stronger, faster, and more mature Kenny Britt has limitless expectations going into a contract year. Britt flashed his brilliance in the beginning of 2011 amassing 289 yards and 3 touchdowns in under 3 games before injuring his knee and being out for the season. His 2012 campaign was up and down at best as he struggled to regain his elite form. If he can keep his legs right he could easily vault himself into premier status.
2) NATE WASHINGTON
After trade rumors were floated around during the draft, Nate Washington has also been a receiver of focus. His worth to the team has been debated by fans as he also comes with a $4.2M salary this season. Head coach Mike Munchak has sang Washington's praises during the OTAs and mini camps this summer. He has been anointed the leader of the receivers by the coaching staff and led the team statistically with 746 yards in 2012.
3) JUSTIN HUNTER
Justin Hunter has already been penciled in as the #2 receiver on this team by some, and the 2014 Z receiver to replace Kenny Britt, by others. Hunter has the height and speed desired in the NFL, as well as good route running abilities. Being the more polished Tennessee receiver last year, the one thing he does lack is size. If he can put on some pounds, and prove that he can get off the line against NFL corners, Hunter's contributions could be sizable in a rookie campaign.
4) KENDALL WRIGHT
That brings us to Kendall Wright. My dark-horse. It's actually very hard to call Wright a dark-horse given his production last year, but he does seem to be the receiver with the least amount of buzz about him. Has there ever been a more unassuming rookie to lead in receptions?
The Titans were looking hard at slot receivers during free agency as the consensus was they wanted Wright to play the X. Since drafting Justin Hunter, everyone assumes Wright will spend all his time in the slot, especially with the retainage of Nate Washington.
Don't be surprised if Kendall Wright is the defensive version of Alterraun Verner, playing outside in 2 wide receiver sets, and kicking inside to play the slot when the team goes three wide. He may not be able to hold off Nate Washington for the "starter" role opposite Britt, but he will be used as more than just a slot receiver.
Wright showed some inconsistent hands during the season last year, but honestly so did every receiver on the team. The trial by fire Kendall Wright went through last year should pay dividends this fall. He shows a drive and fight unmatched by any other receiver on the Titans every time he gets the ball. He's down to 187 pounds as well, which should help with his short area quickness. I also expect him to be seen on deeper routes this coming season.
Wright should have opportunities galore this season, especially if teams are keying on Kenny Britt in prime form. With 64 receptions for 626 yards in a rookie campaign on an anemic and sputtering offense, just think what he can do if things simplify and improve for the offense.