Who will be the Tennessee Titans slot receiver?


Who will be the Tennessee Titans third receiver?

Right now it seems easy to figure out the top three wide receivers for the Tennessee Titans right?

Corey Davis and Taywan Taylor have been the starters on the outside for two weeks now, and Rishard Matthews will fill out the trio right?

Well, conventional wisdom says to start your three best receivers, but none of those guys are really a slot receiver.

Last year, Corey Davis did his best work deep down the field in contested situations where he could win with his hands, body control and athleticism.

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So far in the offseason, Taywan Taylor has been used exclusively on the outside as a field stretching receiver. Now, obviously he isn’t running go routes the whole game, but if this team has a “burner” type it would be Taylor despite his 40-time being worse than you would expect for someone in that role.

Finally, Rishard Matthews has been a boundary wide receiver in each of the last two years. Based on what we have seen in the offseason, I guess Matthews makes the most sense because he really hasn’t taken any snaps on the outside in this offensive scheme.

Like I said, Matthews could be the easiest transition but I just don’t know how much sense that makes.

So what are the Titans other options?

The buzziest WR of camp (that isn’t Taylor or Davis) has been Deontay Burnett who has improved every day and who was worked his way into the rotation with the first team, for at least a few reps.

I asked Travis May if he noticed who was getting the most reps in the slot and it actually wasn’t Burnett. It was Nick Williams, you guys know him right?

In case you don’t, he is a 6th year WR who came into the NFL as an UDFA from UConn. He is connected to this offensive staff through Matt LaFleur who was around him in Washington in 2013 and in Atlanta in 2015.

The other notable name taking snaps in the slot is Tajae Sharpe and he is certainly the biggest name of the group. He is the receiver most likely to stick on the team outside of the top-3, so he seems like he could be a safe fit into the slot if the Titans don’t feel like keeping Williams or Burnett on the roster.

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So when it comes down to it, it seems to be a three way battle between Burnett, Williams and Sharpe for the spot. The safe money is on Sharpe taking over and I believe that the best fit for the job is Burnett.

However if you are looking at a wildcard, Nick Williams is kind of an undersized Wes Welker type player and he is getting a lot of reps and chances to impress.

It will be interesting to see who can make the most plays when the first preseason game comes around because I have a strong suspicion that Sharpe is going to get more reps on the outside than in the slot when the 2nd team offense comes on the field which means the other two will have a shot to make a play.

If they fail to make plays consistently then it could be Sharpe’s to lose. If they do then an UDFA WR may make it onto the roster after all.