Let’s take a quick look at the Tennessee Titans‘ WR room, how we got here, and make a projection or two before the 2022 NFL Draft kicks off tomorrow.
T’was 4 p.m. ET on March 16, the breaking of NFL 22’ free agency. Titans-land was lacerated by the news of the official release of Julio Jones.
If losing the polarizing seven-time Pro Bowler didn’t do the damage, losing this year’s second-round pick (trade with ATL for Jones) adds the necessary salt to the wound. Despite the move making sense at the time, we never really got to see the offense at full strength which is a shame.
Now I am trying not to imagine Julio on a post corner, re-connecting with ‘old pal’ Matty Ice in Indianapolis. Trying not to imagine Julio winning a 50/50 ball for 50 yards over Kris Fulton and Amani Hooker to win the game for the division rival Colts.
But, don’t let it hurt too badly because that isn’t the Julio Jones that the Tennessee Titans cut. That Julio caught 31 passes for 434 yards and one touchdown in 2021.
Enter Bobby Trees, aka. Robert “bring Tanny out of the” Woods. He stands as a longtime franchise stalwart with the defending Super Bowl champ Rams. He’s now coming to fill the Titans’ WR2 void and save the day.
Yes, Woods is coming off an ACL but it was reportedly a clean tear which means the recovery should be smoother, and quicker than if it wasn’t a clear tear. At worst he should be back on the field a few weeks into the season.
Checking all the boxes, Woods is a savvy route runner, a top-notch run blocker with strong hands, and he has a team-first attitude. he is projected to be ready for the first quarter of the season at worst.
Thing is, Woods is 29 and has no real injury history prior to the ACL. The cost was a meager sixth-rounder and the move has been widely and wisely graded as an “A” for the two-toned blue. In short, Woods should be able to help the Titans more than Jones did.
The NFL is known as a cold business, and the transactions addressed here can be seen as cold business moves. With respect to the logistics, if Julio is worth a 2, then is he not worth the risk of carving out cap space for him to make another run at it?
Think about a lineup with Brown, Jones, and Woods, that would have made the hype train melt the pistons. The only explanation is that the doctors and the front office know something we don’t, but that’s another discussion.
The motto is “In Jon Robinson we trust” for a reason. The Tennessee Titans’ constant progress has been the watermark of his tenure.
After going 12-5 with a division crown, J-Rob saw his team falter against “Above Average Joe Burrow” and the Bengals to end its latest playoff run. He also saw their deadly trio of Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd shred the AFC despite injuries and flaws up and down that Bengal roster.
The Tennessee Titans GM has also witnessed an onslaught of WR additions made by the AFC’s contenders headlined by Tyreek Hill, Davante Adams, Juju Smith-Schuster, Amari Cooper, Marquez Valdez-Scantling, and the list goes on. Not to mention the Jacksonville Jaguars’ desperate shopping spree.
The takeaway for me is, that J-Rob has to see the need for adding another elite talent to that Titans’ WR room. Needless to say, ‘we’ trust in him to do so and Mike Tannenbaum has the Razorback Treylon Burks going to Nashville with the 26th overall pick in his latest mock draft for ESPN.
Burks is listed at 6-3, 225 lbs and is said to be one of the most versatile and fluid prospects in the draft. He is great after the catch and he has a body type and a play style similar to A.J. Brown.
A trio of AJ Brown, Robert Woods, and either Treylon Burks, Jahan Dotson, or Chris Olave gives you three WR options with star power and it allows you to mimic what teams like the Bengals are doing. In this case, J-Rob dives in headfirst to snag a WR in round 1 because having two star receivers is good, but the third is the charm.