After an offseason of change on offense, the Tennessee Titans have new running backs, new tight ends, a new quarterback, and several new receivers.
However, it isn’t just the rookie receivers that are making noise at camp. While people are reacting to Treylon Burks and his allergies or Kyle Philips and his exceptional footwork, there are three receivers who have been quietly making progress in the background.
The first one shouldn’t come as much surprise since he has been a favorite of the coaching staff for years, and that is Nick Westbrook-Ikhine.
NWI was someone that spoke to the media before the 2022 NFL Draft, he has been mic’d up in OTAs, and he has been singled out by the coaches several times.
On Tuesday Jim Wyatt wrote about the highlights from OTAs so far, and Nick Westbrook-Ikhine got special mention:
"[Ryan Tannehill’s] best ball was a deep middle completion to receiver Nick Westbrook-Ikhine in a team period that went for plus-40 at least. I’m going to mention Westbrook-Ikhine several times in this piece and I realized later it’s because he caught at least six passes from Tannehill on the day."
He has always been the receiver that most people assumed would be the first guy off the bench in three receiver sets, and while the Titans are probably going to sign/trade/claim another receiver over the next month or so, it is good to see that NWI is still someone that they like and that he is standing out.
More starters from the Tennessee Titans’ 2021 NFL Draft class?
Two other names have started to pop up and they are players that most fans either completely forgot or counted out a few months ago.
Dez Fitzpatrick and Racey McMath are both doing enough to get mentioned, and it appears that Fitzpatrick specifically is standing out.
Not only is he out of Mike Vrabel’s doghouse, but he was working out with Ryan Tannehill in Florida this offseason. In the video below he talks about how he feels more comfortable with what a pro is asked to do after a year under his belt and he points to growing up as a key factor in that.
One final note on Racey McMath, this is an interesting quote from that same article from earlier.
"Second-year receiver Racey McMath caught a bullet from Willis in this period, but he also dropped one in his hands."
The drop isn’t great obviously, but Racey McMath is the perfect receiver for Malik Willis to build chemistry with. Willis loves to take deep shots outside the numbers and at nearly 6’3 with 4.39 speed, McMath is a height/weight/speed specimen and these two have a chance to be a highlight reel machine for the Tennessee Titans during the preseason and potentially beyond.