Although we can only speculate as to the reasoning behind these workouts, it’s probably not a coincidence that all three of these players have experience returning kicks and/or punts on special teams. The Titans lost kick returner Cameron Batson to a torn ACL in Week 6, and slot receiver/returner Chester Rogers has been hampered by injury in recent weeks.
Starting with the most notable name on this list, Pharoh Cooper was named to the 2017 Pro Bowl as a return specialist. Originally drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft, Cooper has since then played for several NFL teams while continuing to maintain a role on special teams. All in all, Cooper has totaled more than 3,200 return yards in his NFL career. He would be more than capable of handling return duties in Tennessee.
Hilliard is a 26-year-old running back/return specialist who originally broke into the league as an undrafted free agent as a member of the Cleveland Browns. Hilliard most recently played in the league for the Houston Texans in 2020. The former Tulane standout had his best season in 2019, when he returned 15 punts for 107 yards and 17 kicks for 421 yards, good for a healthy average of 24.8 per return.
And last but not least, Brandon Powell may be remembered for his time at Florida. He recorded a team-high 42 receptions for 406 yards and three touchdowns. He landed on the NFL’s radar, ultimately signing with the Detroit Lions as an undrafted free agent at the conclusion of the 2018 NFL Draft. He’s since then spent time with the Falcons, Bills and Dolphins. Powell returned a total of 34 kicks and punts for the Falcons in 2020, gaining 495 yards in the process.
As always, stay tuned to MCM for updates.