One could make the argument that despite signing Adam Humphries in free agency, the Titans are still entering the 2019 NFL draft with a need at receiver. It’s a three receiver league nowadays and I’m not sure the Titans have three reliable ones. Corey Davis will obviously be the team’s No. 1 WR on the outside and Humphries will occupy out of the slot on a full time basis, but who starts on the outside opposite Davis? The answer would seem to come down to a competition between Taywan Taylor and Tajae Sharpe currently, but neither player performed at a particularly high level in 2018 when given the opportunity.
Tennessee will likely add at least one receiver at some point. Let’s take a look at prospects that could fit in every round.
Round 1: N’Keal Harry, Arizona State
If the Titans decide to select a receiver early in this draft, I’m inclined to believe they’ll be looking to add a big body opposite Davis. Enter Harry, a 6-foot-2, 228 pound physical specimen. Harry is simply put a big bodied receiver with big play ability. He consistently uses his size and excellent body control to make jaw dropping plays on tape. He’s a physical route runner. His short area quickness and elusiveness in the open field led to multiple highlight worthy plays throughout his 2018 season. He possesses incredibly strong hands. He catches everything and his catch radius is massive. To summarize, Harry has the size, strength, hands, speed and length to become a bonafide No. 1 WR at the next level.
Round 2: Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, Oklahoma
Could it be? When this process started, we wouldn’t dream of Brown being available in the second round. But a foot injury that cost him a chance to perform at the NFL Scouting Combine will likely see Brown slide down the board a bit. Speed kills in today’s NFL and Brown possesses it in bunches. The Titans offense struggled to create explosive plays last season, and Brown was a big-play machine for Oklahoma. His ability to accelerate and seperate vertically is unmatched in this draft class. Despite his small frame, Brown does a great job of staying clean versus press coverage. If corners don’t get their hands on him off the snap, they’re in a lot of trouble. His slight frame is a concern going forward, but Brown is an exciting, explosive talent.
Round 3: J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, Stanford
I’ll be honest: I’m not entirely convinced that Arcega-Whiteside will be available in the third round, but it’s certainly possible with how deep this receiver class is. Arcega-Whiteside mainly operated as a deep threat throughout his time at Stanford. He had his best season in 2018, when he averaged 16.8 yards per catch while totaling 1,059 yards and 14 touchdowns. Arcega-Whiteside doesn’t possess blazing speed, but he eats up cushion thanks to his lanky frame. There were some questions about his long speed after he didn’t run the 40 at the combine, but a 4.49 at his Pro Day should do more than enough to put an end to those concerns. Arcega-Whiteside also uses his size and leaping ability to be an excellent contested catch winner. He does everything you could ask for from a receiver with his size.
Round 4: Emanuel Hall, Missouri
I’m keeping things local in Round 4. Born in Franklin, Tennessee, Hall is one of the more explosive receivers in this class. He possesses the extra gear required to separate vertically. His burst pops on tape. He has excellent ball skills and he consistently makes some tough catches on tape. His ability to make the adjustments necessary to come down with throws that suffer from less-than-desirable ball placement are impressive. Drops and double catches have been a problem, but Hall has all the tools to become a big-time deep threat at the next level. He told me that he’ll be working out for the Titans later this week, so there’s obviously some interest here. If the Titans are looking for a deep threat a little later in the draft, Hall makes a ton of sense.
Round 5: Stanley Morgan Jr., Nebraska
Morgan Jr. is a super intriguing prospect. He does some things so well on tape, but also has some areas of his game that are really lacking. He’s at best when he gets a clean release. He struggles when jammed at the line of the scrimmage. Morgan Jr. makes some excellent catches on tape thanks to his ability to extend and catch the ball way outside of his frame. His change of direction skill and ability to run after the catch makes him an intriguing option on the early part of Day 3. Sometimes, he’s thinking run after the catch before he actually catches the ball, and it’s lead to some really frustrating drops. There’s a lot to like about Morgan Jr.
Round 6: KeeSean Johnson, Fresno State
One of my favorite sleepers in this entire class, Johnson not only has a great name for the position, but he’s a pretty good receiver as well. My favorite aspect of Johnson’s game is how ready he is for the next level. He’s one of the most technically sound route runners in this class. There are no wasted movements in what Johnson does as a route runner. Fresno State asked him to run the entire route tree and he did so without struggle. He also has exceptionally strong hands; he catches everything thrown his way. He’s by no means a great athlete, but Johnson’s understanding of how to play wide receiver will lead to success at the next level.
Round 7: Jalen Hurd, Baylor
Has the wound had enough time to heal, Tennessee fans? All kidding aside, Hurd is a very intriguing prospect that has made a successful position change from running back to wide receiver. Despite still learning the finer nuances of the position, Hurd is already a fine hands catcher. He’s a big man at 6-foot-5, 226 pounds and he does a great job of making catches away from his frame. He has the size, length and natural ability to continue making strides as a receiver. He’s also quite the threat after the catch as he does a great job weaving his way through traffic. Would you like to see Hurd make a dramatic return to the state of Tennessee? Leave your opinion in the comments.