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2017 NFL Draft: Using Production to Find a Wide Receiver Fit for the Titans

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What do the numbers tell us?

NCAA Football: MAC Championship-Western Michigan at Ohio Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

As we try to figure out who the Titans are going to be picking in April, it’s important to try and pick up on trends of the team and GM. We only have one Robinson draft class to base our assumptions on, but he’s made it pretty clear what he values. Robinson wants guys with lots of starting experience who have produced. That much we know.

Paul Kuharsky took it a step further. He came up with an average starts/games played for the 2016 draft class. The number came out to 32 starts and 43 games played. That’s a pretty clear indication of what this team is looking for.

Kuharsky notes that there were some outliers. Kevin Dodd, Derrick Henry and Aaron Wallace only started for one season, but each played in at least 39 career games. You can’t just take guys that have started three seasons worth of games because there just aren’t that many draftable prospects that meet that criteria.

With this in mind, Ty Wurth (you should be following him on Twitter @WurthDraft) compiled a list for me of receiver prospects that hit a 32 career games played threshold. It’s really tough to find “starts” stats for receivers, considering the amount of college offenses that run three and four receiver base sets nowadays, so we decided to use 32 games played as our threshold instead. Wurth also listed their production numbers. To be thorough, here’s a list of all the receivers that hit that mark.

*Note: We didn’t look at every receiver in the class. Just some of main names (36 total), so there maybe a couple of omissions when we look back in April.

Wide receivers (Career games played) and Production

Corey Davis (50) - 331/5278/52

Mike Williams (38) - 177/2727/21

Carlos Henderson (36) - 147/2878/28

Taywan Taylor (50) - 253/4234/41

John Ross (40) - 114/1729/22

ArDarius Stewart (33) - 129/1713/12

Josh Reynolds (38) - 164/2788/30

Damore'ea Stringfellow (32) - 102/1478/12

Amara Darboh (37) - 151/2062/14

KD Cannon (38) - 195/3113/27

Chris Godwin (39) - 154/2421/18

Curtis Samuel (40) - 107/1249/9

Ryan Switzer (53) - 243/2903/19

JuJu Smith-Schuster (40) - 213/3092/25

Evan Engram (41) - 162/2320/15

Zay Jones (49) - 399/4279/23

Cooper Kupp (52) - 428/6470/73

Isaiah Ford (39) - 210/2967/24

Shelton Gibson (32) - 84/1898/17

Stacy Coley (48) - 166/2218/20

Josh Malone (32) - 104/1608/14

Jalen Robinette (44) - 120/2697/18

Darreus Rogers (44) - 127/1487/11

Travin Dural (38) - 100/1716/13

DeAngelo Yancey (39) - 141/2344/20

Trent Taylor (50) - 327/4179/32

Mack Hollins (41) - 81/1667/20

Quincy Adeboyejo (38) - 106/1454/11

Artavis Scott (42) - 245/2480/19

Jamari Staples (34) - 113/1901/10

Drew Morgan (33) - 138/1763/14

Robert Davis (49) - 222/3391/17

Jehu Chesson (45) - 114/1639/12

Travis Rudolph (36) - 153/2311/18

Nicholas Norris (50) - 194/3091/26

Gehrig Dieter (35) - 144/1707/15

Here are a few that fell just short of our baseline number of 32, but may still be in consideration.

Amba Etta-Tawo (26) - 124/1920/15

Kenny Golladay (26) - 160/2285/18

Speedy Noil (30) - 88/1134/9

Dede Westbrook (26) - 126/2267/21

Noah Brown (14) - 33/411/7

Jerome Lane (24) - 101/1800/14

Malachi Dupre (31) - 98/1609/14

Chad Hansen (17) - 111/1498/12

From here, we can narrow down our search by eliminating guys that don’t have great production. Tajae Sharpe was the ultimate production selection last year — and it’s all we have to go on for Robinson when it comes to receivers. We should learn more this season, but based on what we know now, I’d say these guys below are the most likely Titans come April.

They fit everything that (we think) the Titans value in football players. All of these guys have started well over 32 games and put up big time production in the process. You can likely find a Titans draft pick (or two) out of these 12 players. This isn’t to say they won’t pick a player not of this list, but these are the most likely selections in my mind.

Cooper Kupp (52) - 428/6470/73

Corey Davis (50) - 331/5278/52

Zay Jones (49) - 399/4279/23

Taywan Taylor (50) - 253/4234/41

Trent Taylor (50) - 327/4179/32 (Slot WR only)

KD Cannon (38) - 195/3113/27

JuJu Smith-Schuster (40) - 213/3092/25

Isaiah Ford (39) - 210/2967/24

Ryan Switzer (53) - 243/2903/19 (Slot WR only)

Carlos Henderson (36) - 147/2878/28

Josh Reynolds (38) - 164/2788/30

Mike Williams (38) - 177/2727/21 (Missed 2015 season with a neck injury)