Wide receiver was largely viewed as the Titans top position of need headed into the 2021 NFL Draft — and tight end wasn’t too far behind after losing Jonnu Smith in free agency — but as we get ready to enter the third and final day, Tennessee has yet to take a pass catcher. Fifteen wide receivers and five tight ends were selected, but none will wear two-tone blue this fall. So where does that leave Jon Robinson’s options? Let’s take a look at some of the players who remain available to join A.J. Brown, Anthony Firkser, and Josh Reynolds as targets for Ryan Tannehill in 2021.
Amon-Ra St. Brown | WR | USC
St. Brown was a highly productive receiver for the Trojans from the moment he stepped foot on campus as a true freshman, compiling 2,270 yards and 16 touchdowns in 30 collegiate games. At 5-11½ and 197 pounds and average to below average speed, the physical skill set leaves something to be desired, but Amon-Ra wins with physicality and route-running. He played both inside and out for USC and could likely do the same at the NFL level, though he feels like a player with a very defined ceiling due to his limitations as an athlete.
Tylan Wallace | WR | Oklahoma State
After erupting for 1,491 yards and 12 touchdowns as a sophomore it appeared Wallace could be on his way to becoming a first round pick, but an ACL injury shortened his 2019 season and his numbers dipped slightly after his return (though he still averaged close to 100 yards per game in both 2019 and 2020). Wallace stands 5-11 and 194 pounds with just average athleticism, but he consistently wins at the catch point and offers nuanced route running that helps him separate despite his average size/speed. He has outstanding body control and his 16.8 yards per reception is reflective of his consistent ability to succeed in the vertical passing game. Wallace is also tough as nails and offers plus ability after the catch.
This is the biggest potential difference maker left on the board to me and the guy that I’d like to see the Titans target if they can use some of the extra picks they grabbed to move up towards the top of Round 4.
Cade Johnson | WR | South Dakota State
A hyper-productive small school receiver, Johnson dominated at SDSU, posting back-to-back 1,200-yard seasons along with 25 touchdowns in 2018 and 2019 combined. At 5-11 and 184 pounds with average athleticism he profiles as a slot-only type at the NFL level. Johnson is an excellent route-runner with great feel for the game and reminds me a lot of Adam Humphries. He also offers punt and kick return capability.
Shi Smith | WR | South Carolina
Another smaller player at 5-9½ and 186 pounds, Smith is a little better athlete than St. Brown or Johnson. He didn’t produce big numbers, but playing in the SEC with sub-par quarterback play is a part of that equation. Smith is a smooth accelerator who was clearly the best player on the field for the Gamecocks on offense the last couple years. Injuries are a bit of a concern as he missed at least one game in all four seasons in Columbia, but no major issues that should linger into his career. He’s likely a slot only at the NFL level, though he did play outside at times for South Carolina.
Cornell Powell | WR | Clemson
Powell is a very interesting prospect. He was a top-50 recruit coming out of high school, but got caught in the endless logjam of superstar receivers at Clemson, sitting behind stars like Mike Williams, Tee Higgins, Justyn Ross, Hunter Renfrow, Deon Cain, and draft classmate Amari Rodgers at various times in addition to a few others. At 6-0 and 204 pounds, Powell is a rocked up physical specimen that put together a strong season — 882 yards and 7 touchdowns — in his only season as a starter in 2020. He’s a relatively average athlete, but shows excellent ball skills and body control. He’s probably more of a Z at the NFL level.
Tamorrion Terry | WR | Florida State
Finally a bigger target! Terry is 6-3 and weighs 207 pounds and offers 4.45 speed to go with that big body. He produced at a high level at Florida State, particularly in his 1,188-yard 2019 campaign that saw him average nearly 20 yards per reception. However, his production fell back to earth in 2020 before a knee injury that required surgery ended his season. Terry is far more boom or bust than most of the players on this list. While the physical skill set is intriguing, he’s not as polished and drops are a serious issue.
Josh Imatorbhebhe | WR | Illinois
The ultimate boom-or bust guy on this list, Imatorbhebhe is one of the freakiest athletes in this class. At 6-1 and 218 pounds, the former 5-star recruit set an NFL record with his 46½-inch vertical jump during the lead up to the draft. While the production was never great in college, he did improve during his final year at Illinois. However, this is a total bet on traits and development and the team selecting him should not expect immediate results. Imatorbhebhe has a fascinating back story that you can read about here.
Ihmir Smith-Marsette | WR | Iowa
A player that has some real fans in some circles of draft Twitter, but never really caught on as a mainstream favorite, ISM is 6-1, 181 pounds and has some real juice on tape. He didn’t put up big numbers at the college level — again, partially a product of the offense and quarterback he played with — but there are some who believe he’ll be much better at the NFL level. He also brings some return value, but there are some character flags here that would need to be checked out.
Jaelon Darden | WR | North Texas
Returning to the little guys, Darden is tiny at 5-7½ and 174 pounds, but ran in the mid-4.4s with a blazing 6.67-second three cone time. He’s extremely explosive on tape, showing the game-breaking type speed that helped him produce 132.2 yards per game and 19 touchdowns during his final year at North Texas. He’s almost certainly a slot/gadget type at the next level, but if you’re looking for an explosive playmaker on day three, he’s one of the best bets.
Seth Williams | WR | Auburn
At 6-3, 211 pounds Williams has the prototype NFL wide receiver body with long 33½-inch arms and nearly 10-inch hands. He ran 4.49 at his pro day which is more than good enough for a player of his size. The Auburn product shows tremendous body control and ability to win contested catches on film, especially in the red zone, but his focus and effort seemed to come and go throughout games. If he finds the right spot, he could absolutely become a WR2 at the NFL level.
Simi Fehoko | WR | Stanford
At 6-4, 222 pounds and running in the 4.4s, Fehoko is another player that fits in the Seth Williams mold of prototypical size/speed guys with limited college production, though he did approach nearly 100 yards per game in a COVID-shortened 2020 season. Drops were an issue with him and despite his speed, he wasn’t a great separator on tape.
Brevin Jordan | TE | Miami
I’m only going to include one tight end because I think he’s the last one that’s worth drafting in this class. Jordan stands 6-3 and 247 pounds which is the exact same height and weight that Jonnu Smith was coming out. The similarities don’t stop there though. Like Smith, Jordan also does damage after the catch and is an effort blocker even if he’s not mauling anyone. It’s a little surprising that he is still on the board this late and very surprising that Tre McKitty went off the board ahead of him. If they could find a way to add Jordan and Wallace on day three that would ease a lot of concerns.