In preparation for the 2021 NFL Draft, All Titans will take a position-by-position look at prospects who could be of interest to the Tennessee Titans (and available at pick No. 22 or later) and why.
Today: Wide receivers
Overview: The Titans have a true No. 1 wide receiver in A.J. Brown, a Pro Bowler who surpassed 1,000 yards in each of his first two NFL seasons. But there is little in the way of proven performers behind him.
Tennessee cut Adam Humphries in March, and Corey Davis, fresh off a career season, signed with the New York Jets in free agency. The Titans added Josh Reynolds, a wide receiver who is eager for a larger role after four years in the background of a talented Los Angeles Rams offense. While he could prove to be a nice option behind Brown, the Titans could make a significant upgrade by taking advantage of an extremely deep pool of talent at the wide receiver position.
Degree of need: High
DAY ONE POSSIBILITIES
DeVonta Smith, Alabama (6-1, 175): The Titans would likely need to do some wheeling and dealing to end up with Smith, who became the fourth wide receiver in college football history to win the Heisman Trophy this past January. But it’s possible that his height and weight drop him within range of where general manager Jon Robinson can make a move. If the Titans somehow end up with Smith, they will have an impressive wide receiver duo that will surely have fans (and quarterback Ryan Tannehill) dreaming.
Rashod Bateman, Minnesota (6-3, 190): Bateman is the most realistic option for the Titans at No. 22, as most projections have him going late in the first round or even on day two. His speed was a question ahead of his pro day, but he put that to rest with a 4.39 40-yard dash. His greatest strength seems to be his route running, which many experts have defined as precise. He’s a versatile threat who can play on the outside or in slot where, according to Pro Football Focus, he played most this past season.
Elijah Moore, Mississippi (5-10, 178): Moore is a slot wide receiver with impressive post-catch speed who was used in a few different ways in college, including in the backfield. The Titans do not have that type of versatility at the wide receiver position right now, and that’s what Moore could offer -- a guy who they can get the ball in more ways than one. Plus, his selection already has been endorsed by Brown.
Kadarius Toney, Florida (6-0, 193): Toney is another versatile weapon that would give the Titans’ offense another dynamic and could play a role on special teams as a kick returner. He racked up 2,641 all-purpose yards over four seasons at Florida. As a receiver, he caught 120 passes for 1,590 yards and 12 touchdowns. He rushed for 580 yards and two touchdowns. He’d be a steal of a day two pick.
Rondale Moore, Purdue (5-9, 190): Moore has explosive play-making ability. Look no further than his freshman season (2018), specifically his 12-catch, 170-yard, two-touchdown performance against Ohio State. But he has some injury concerns and he is decidedly undersized. He played in just seven games over his sophomore and junior seasons due to a handful of injuries. He seems to be a high-risk, high reward type of prospect.
D’Wayne Eskridge, Western Michigan (5-9, 190): Eskridge is an intriguing prospect for many reasons. Much like the others, he can be used in many different ways and, according to The Draft Network, he is a skilled blocker. That trait is automatically valuable given that the Titans have a run-heavy offense behind Derrick Henry. But most impressively, he played both defensive back and wide receiver as a senior, and his production never really took a hit. With his defensive background, Eskridge could be a contributor on special teams as well.
Whop Philyor, Indiana (5-foot-11, 180): Philyor is a day three option who could make an immediate impact. He had an impressive four-year career at Indiana with much of his production coming in his junior and senior seasons. Former NFL coach Jim Mora recently told Hoosiers Now that while there are concerns about his height, weight and route running, “I think when he gets to camp and people start to work with him, and they start to understand how dang tough and gritty he is, and how willing he is to work hard to be an NFL player, that he's gonna be one of those guys where they go, 'Dang, we got this guy in the fifth round. This is unbelievable.”
Cornell Powell, Clemson (6-foot-0, 210): Powell came on late over his four seasons at Clemson after being buried on the depth chart early. As a senior, he set career highs in receptions (53), receiving yards (882) and receiving touchdowns (seven), which also tied for the team lead. He’s a prospect that will look to carry that momentum into training camp, and he’s seen as a potential late-round gem.