The Titans Can Have a Dominant Receiving Corps

Jan 1, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Titans players take the field before the NFL game against the Houston Texans at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Nelles/The Tennessean via USA TODAY Sports
Jan 1, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Titans players take the field before the NFL game against the Houston Texans at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Nelles/The Tennessean via USA TODAY Sports /

The Titans have coveted talented receivers for a very long time and now, they finally have a way to make it happen this offseason…

Yes, you read the headline correctly. The team that has been looking for one star wideout for Marcus Mariota can potentially find multiple stars.

The Titans are a team on the rise. Marcus Mariota is their franchise quarterback. Hauling in DeMarco Murray and drafting former Heisman winner Derrick Henry set up the backfield for the future. Delanie Walker has turned into one of the best tight ends in the league. The offensive line is sufficient and the defense is just about average.

But Kenny Britt appears to have found a home in Los Angeles after off-field troubles ended his tenure in Tennessee. Kendall Wright can’t avoid the injury bug and Dorial Green-Beckham was shipped to Philadelphia. Just how the heck can the Titans fix up the receiving corps, let alone make it elite?

Alshon Jeffery

The Titans have $64 million at their disposal. Alshon Jeffery is in search of a lucrative contract to put him amongst the highest paid pass catchers in the game. Jeffery can get the money he wants and Tennessee can get a receiver who, when healthy, is about as good as it gets in the NFL. It’s a match made in heaven.

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Brandin Cooks

The Saints and their number one receiver have not been on great terms as of late. Cooks has repeatedly voiced his frustration with his lack of targets and rumors of his departure are circulating. The Saints are reportedly asking for a first round pick, and would you look at that, the Titans have two.

The Titans own the fifth and the 18th pick in the first round of the upcoming draft. Cooks could easily be on a flight to Tennessee if the Titans are willing to send the eighteenth pick to New Orleans.

Cooks is on a team friendly salary, as he will be making $2 million next season. The downside he is entering the final year of a four year contract. Parting with a pick for what could only be a year of Cooks’ services is risky. However, Cooks is talented enough to part with a pick. The front office can worry about extending him later on.

Although the Eagles are also interested in Cooks, they have the fourteenth pick and cannot risk Cooks walking after a year. They’d be better served taking Mike Williams, Corey Davis or John Ross with that pick. Five is too early for the Titans to take one of those guys and they may not be there at eighteen even if the Titans don’t trade the pick for Cooks.

That Might Not Be All

The Titans would only have to trade away their second of two first-round picks for Cooks. That means they could use the fifth pick on another receiver if they so choose. They’d be able to take Mike Williams if they fancied him more than a defender. However, they’d likely trade down from number five, which they are reportedly open to doing.

If they trade down, they could end up grabbing one or multiple second rounders, as well as a first rounder. There are plenty of receivers in the second round that are capable of turning into stars someday. However, having a 900+ yard receiver in Rishard Matthews would be more than capable of being a third receiver. Taking another pass catcher may not be necessary.

Bottom Line

If Cooks decides to stick around in Tennessee past 2017, they’d have arguably the best three-receiver set in all of football. To go from having arguably the worst set of receivers in the NFL to the best in one offseason is totally unprecedented. However, with this scenario, it isn’t out of the question.

Besides, The Titans would still have more than $40 million available after signing Jeffery, Cooks and signing their draft picks. Defense can be dealt with in free agency. The likes of A.J. Bouye, Calais Campbell, Tony Jefferson, Dont’a Hightower and more are all on the market.

Realistically, the Titans could trade down from number five overall to acquire a later first and a second round pick. The defense could use a boost, and a pick later in the first round can still do that.

Maybe the second rounder could be used on a receiver like Dede Westbrook or JuJu Smith-Schuster. While those guys aren’t in the top tier, they still have potential to one day reach stardom. They’ll certainly benefit from a year, if not more, behind two stars as a third receiver.

The Titans finished second in the AFC South at 9-7 a year ago. Their starting receivers were Rishard Matthews and Tajae Sharpe. Imagine what they could do with Delanie Walker, Alshon Jeffery, Brandin Cooks, Rishard Matthews and maybe a rookie all catching passes from Mariota. Nashville will have much more than music to rave about.