It’s clear that the Titans need receivers that don’t go by the name of Corey Davis. Along with guard play, the receiving corps was a major weakness for the team in 2018, and that was further exploited with Delanie Walker missing 15 games due to an ankle injury he suffered in Week 1.
With that in mind, it’s no surprise that it’s been suggested the team look to free agency or the draft to address that issue. In free agency, guys like Tyrell Williams, Golden Tate, and Jamison Crowder are available, and they’re all guys that can help improve the lack of quality pass catchers on the Titans.
As far as the draft goes (you may have heard that it’ll be held in Nashville...), there’s been speculation that the Titans are interested in Oklahoma WR Marquise Brown—who is also a younger cousin of Antonio Brown—and could spend the 19th overall pick on him. In 2018, Brown caught 75 passes for 1,318 yards and 10 touchdowns. His single season yardage total is the 4th highest in Oklahoma school history, and he was selected to First Team All-American and First Team All Big-12.
Brown, sometimes referred to as “Hollywood Brown,” is immensely talented and I believe he would bring a lot to a Titans receiving corps that has very little, so to showcase that claim, let’s take a look at his tape.
One thing that stands out about Brown isn’t just his route running, but how good it is against zone coverage. It seems like he has little trouble creating separation for himself regardless if he’s facing man or zone.
Brown sells that he’s running a shallow crossing route on the play above. With the linebackers fooled and the secondary not close enough to make a disruption, Brown turns on the jets and runs a go route. The pass from Kyler Murray is a little behind, affecting the amount of yards after the catch the receiver can get, but he pulls it down and converts the first down.
The patience Brown displays on his routes should attract the Titans. Let’s look at another example.
Once again Brown is facing zone, running a post route. What’s incredible about this play is that Brown’s stutter step doesn’t get him immediately past coverage, but it stalls the high safety long enough that he’s able to burn him with his speed anyway for the touchdown.
This brings me to the most tantalizing part of Hollywood Brown’s game; his speed.
Brown’s speed has been highly publicized, and it’s as good as advertised. He reminds me of DeSean Jackson in how blazing fast he is running down the field, giving him all sorts of potential as a vertical receiving threat. But Brown’s damage isn’t just prevalent downfield. He’s also a weapon in the shorter/intermediate areas of the field.
Look at the speed after the catch. Brown’s approach to the catch—in which he pushes off his left foot and accelerates past every mortal—is awesome as well. That level of speed should prove valuable if Tennessee drafts him.
In smaller doses Marquise Brown has made some impressive catches on 50/50 passes, but I think his route running against zone and his pure speed are what truly stand out about him. He’s not easy to tackle, and can slip by tackles for massive amounts of yards after the catch. His understanding of patience and control of his acceleration against man and zone coverage are also crucial to the high quality of his route running ability.
So if Brown is available when the 19th pick is on the clock, the Titans should go all in and draft this potential stud.