On Monday the goal for Tennessee Titans rookie Treylon Burks was to make it through the first week of training camp and consistently be available for practice. The goal for next week might be to snatch a spot with the starting offense.
The Titans spent their first week of training camp with three competitive practices and a walkthrough day. In every one of those competitive practices, Burks made a play that ended up on a highlight reel or flooding your timeline on Twitter.
Not only is Burks thriving in one-on-one situations, but he is routinely winning in the 11-on-11 portion of practice. When beat writers mention him, the fact that is getting overlooked is that nearly all of these plays are being made with Ryan Tannehill as the quarterback.
That is significant because you might remember what happened during A.J. Brown’s rookie season. At this point in camp, he was still working with the second-team offense behind Tajae Sharpe and Corey Davis, so it is noteworthy that Burks is working with Tannehill and the first-team offense during team periods.
It turns out that the reason why this is happening is pretty obvious. Over the last three practices, everything we have heard about Burks and every clip he is featured in shows him winning on every part of the field. Not only that, but he is doing it against starting defenders on a defense that is built to be one of the best in the NFL.
Where Treylon Burks is winning for the Tennessee Titans
On Saturday, Treylon Burks had gotten open deep and Ryan Tannehill nearly hit him for a massive touchdown on one of the last plays during team period.
Luckily for the defense, Jeffery Simmons was playing against Daniel Munyer and shockingly Munter wasn’t up to the task. Simmons then showed why he deserved the whole bag when realized he wasn’t going to get to Tannehill in time, so he wisely abandoned the rush and went up to swat the pass down.
Don’t worry though because Treylon Burks has been making it a habit to win on deep passes, and the Titans have shown us clips of him winning and creating explosive plays including this explosive play on Wednesday over Kristian Fulton and Amani Hooker.
Jim Wyatt’s training camp report on the second competitive practice has a paragraph basically dedicated to Treylon Burks winning over the middle:
“First-round pick Treylon Burks had another good day. He was feisty and competitive in drills, making some tough catches across the middle in 1-on-1s and the other periods. Burks ran a nice route on a sideline catch vs Caleb Farley in an early team period and he made three of catches in an early 7-on-7 period, including a 30-yard strike from Logan Woodside in the middle of the field.”
Short routes are slightly harder to find clips of or to get notes on because there just aren’t a lot of flashy plays that you can make.
However, this is a clip of one-on-ones from Terry McCormick where Roger McCreary (who had just played a deep throw to NWI perfectly) tries to get physical with Burks at the top of his route. In retrospect, that might have been a bad decision when…well you will see the results.
So there you have it, it turns out that all of the concerns about his weight or conditioning might have been warranted at the time, but the “this guy is a bust” crowd looks ridiculous right now because those things haven’t been an issue at all so far in camp.
I thought that just being in good football shape and refining his technique would have been wins for Burks, but the fact that he is dominating starting-caliber defenders in every drill has to draw the attention of the Tennessee Titans coaching staff.
While they hate to start rookies too early, it is getting harder and harder to rationalize an offense that doesn’t feature immediately Burks as a real weapon.