Tennessee Titans: Anthony Firkser cracks recent ranking of NFL’s best TEs

Anthony Firsker #86 (Photo by Harry Aaron/Getty Images)
Anthony Firsker #86 (Photo by Harry Aaron/Getty Images) /

Perhaps this will be a sign of growing old gracefully, but are there any Tennessee Titans fans that remember the Unsolved Mysteries television show? It had a host who had this really creepy voice, one that probably still freaks you out today if you’ve heard it, and as the title states, its content was dedicated to eery stories that have no explanation or ending.

What does that have to do with the NFL you ask? The answer is it has absolutely nothing to do with football, but if you’re bored and looking for something to watch, that’s a nice series to dig up.

If you really want to be creative and draw a weird parallel, a little over a month ago, the Titans crafted their own unsolved mystery during the most recent draft.

What were the Tennessee Titans thinking during the draft?

How does a team with a desperate need for a tight end refuse to draft any? Remember, this is a team that lost Jonnu Smith in the offseason to a team they’ll see during the 2021 season in Week 12, the New England Patriots. If the goal is to get better during the coming campaign, they’ll need to figure out how to replace the 41 receptions, 448 receiving yards, and eight touchdowns he produced in 2020.

No tight end huh? Really? Enter Anthony Firkser. He’s a six-foot-two, 246-pound tight end that hauled in 39 receptions and scored a touchdown in 2020 but is now the perceived top man on the Titans depth chart, and despite playing second fiddle to Smith a season ago, there are quite a few NFL pundits that are expecting good things in the coming season.

Throw PFF in the discussion if you’re a Tennessee Titans fan.

Their stats engine is confusing at times. Their rankings make absolutely no sense at other times, but who are we kidding? They’re always interesting. Recently, Pro Football Focus’ Ben Linsey stacked the NFL’s 32 best tight ends. Firsker cracks the list at number 28, right behind Hayden Hurst of the Atlanta Falcons and right ahead of Jordan Akins of the Houston Texans.

Hey, it could have been better. It could have been worse. Here’s what Linsey had to say on the subject.

"Tennessee’s decision not to bring back Smith at tight end is in part a reflection on how they feel about Firkser, who gave them a reason to be confident in his receiving ability last season. Firkser didn’t drop a single target in 2020 and ended the year with a career-high 77.7 receiving grade that ranked ninth among qualifying tight ends. Now he gets the opportunity to do it again in an increased role on a Titans offense that lacks proven receiving threats behind A.J. Brown."

You can argue among yourselves about whether he’s too low or not, but oh well… What’s more important that he proves it on the field in 2021.

Have no fear if you love Tennessee Titans football.

A graduate of Harvard, Firkser went undrafted in 2017 before landing with the Jets. He eventually made his way to the Kansas City Chiefs’ practice squad that same year after being waived by New York. K.C. signed him to a reserve/future contract in January of 2018 and waived him by April. That’s when he made his way to the Tennessee Titans where he’s been ever since.

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For his career, he boasts 77 receptions, 905 receiving yards, and five trips to paydirt (if you include his four playoff games. Now, as one of the focal points of Tennessee’s offense, this will be a breakout year. No, that isn’t a misprint. As one of the young guns in what should be an improved Titans offense, expect to see a lot of good things from the big guy.