Dorial Green-Beckham has a ton to prove in the NFL, but the Tennessee Titans take a chance on the high-risk, high-reward receiver.
Several high-profile players entered this year's draft haunted by character concerns. Perhaps none of them offered as much upside as wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham, the 40th-overall pick by the Tennessee Titans. Green-Beckham was booted from the Missouri program after an off-field incident, then transferred to Oklahoma and sat out the 2014 season per NCAA rules. The Titans opened Round 2 by trading down from No. 33—they swapped spots with the Giants, adding a fourth- and seventh-round pick in the process.
Green-Beckham has a ton to prove, especially as he lands with an organization that saw 2009 first-round pick Kenny Britt bust in part due to legal issues. Should this gamble pay off, the Titans will have found a true lead receiver for new QB Marcus Mariota.
Strengths: Has every base trait you'd want in a top-level receiver. Comes off the snap with smooth acceleration and sets into an extra gear quickly. Physical enough to make catches despite cornerbacks hanging all over him. Aggressive and willing blocker who will track the field to take a defender out. Uses his hands very well to get out and away from tight coverages—can box his own way out of trouble. Sticks his foot in the ground with authority to start routes cleanly and quickly. Consistent yards-after-catch receiver who uses agility as much as speed and power to extend plays. Rare height-weight-speed athlete.
Weaknesses: Off-field issues require serious cross-checking, and robbed him of a lot of football—legitimate questions about how long it will take him to adjust to the NFL in a lot of ways. Not a repeatable physical player outside of the splash plays; he must develop a play-after-play mentality. Route understanding is remedial at best, and he doesn't run the routes he knows with consistency. Won't be able to win against NFL-level coverage without a lot of spatial work.
Player Comparison: Plaxico Burress