Tennessee Titans fans are going to be shocked by Dez Fitzpatrick
For some of you, it isn’t sinking in, so maybe it needs to be said differently. Maybe, as a Tennessee Titans fan, you’ve been let down by draft picks over and over again, and it’s hard for you to just throw all the chips in on a fourth-round wide receiver from the Louisville Cardinals program (Dez Fitzpatrick), especially when so many of you thought his teammate, Tutu Atwell, was better.
There’s also the Julio Jones factor. He’s so doggone good that any mention of him makes the mouth water. We’ve heard the term ‘triplets’ used before in relation to NFL offenses whether that’s been in Dallas with the Cowboys (Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, and Michael Irvin) or in Indianapolis with the Colts (Peyton Manning, Marvin Harrison, and Edgerrin James).
The Titans have a set of quadruplets now (Ryan Tannehill, Derrick Henry, Julio Jones, and A.J. Brown), so if you haven’t just jumped onto a moving train with the name Dez Fitzpatrick plastered on the side yet, you get a pass, but your time is up now. It’s time to jump on this bandwagon folks.
Tennessee Titans fans should expect magic from Dez Fitzpatrick in year one.
The first thing you notice about Dez Fitzpatrick is the measurables. He’s six-foot-two and tips the scales at 210 pounds. If you need a recognizable comparison, he’s 16 pounds lighter than A.J. Brown (and about 37 pounds lighter than Henry), but he’s also an inch taller than Brown and one inch shorter than Henry.
His final season in Lousiville at the collegiate level led to a Second-Team All-ACC nod, as was the case for his teammate Tutu Atwell. 45 games with the Cardinals produced 154 receptions for 2,589 yards and 21 trips to the end zone, and here’s what you need to understand folks. There may not be mathematical proof for that at this point, but those numbers will translate.
CBS Sports’ Chris Trapasso puts things this way. He sees Fitzpatrick as one of those NFL rookies that could earn a key role in the Tennessee Titans offense. Take a look at some of what he had to say:
"One of my favorite stats this offseason is the Lions have to replace 360 targets from their 2020 roster. The most in the NFL. (Do) you know which team is third in “lost targets?” The Titans at 224. Fitzpatrick had a uniquely productive career with the Cardinals, he was a critical part of the passing offense from his freshman season onward. He’s over 6-1 and 200 pounds with deceptive 4.48 speed and experience winning from the perimeter with sharp cuts in his routes. Yes, it’ll mostly be the Derrick Henry, A.J. Brown, and Julio Jones showcase in Nashville this season. But Fitzpatrick will emerge as a key secondary target for Ryan Tannehill."
Here’s one more nugget if you’re still doubtful. The presence of Julio Jones, A.J. Brown, and Josh Reynolds probably means that Fitzpatrick will, more often than not, see the opposing team’s third or fourth-best cover guy routinely. Football is about matchups, and that’s a bad one for any opposing defense.
Are you looking for a bold prediction? Here’s one. Fitzpatrick earned All-ACC honors after his senior season. Don’t be surprised if he fights his way to 500 or more receiving yards and about four to five touchdowns in this Tennessee Titans offense as a rookie. He’s that good. If you haven’t figured that out yet, shame on you.