In the first round of the NFL Draft, the Titans made a bombshell trade by dealing WR AJ Brown to the Philadelphia Eagles. In part of the return, the Titans received a first-round pick from the Eagles which turned into WR Treylon Burks.
Ironically Burks received a lot of comparisons to AJ Brown coming out of college. Burks now has some big shoes to fill as Brown was the Titans’ best offensive weapon after Derrick Henry. Now Titans fans are wondering what they should consider a good rookie year from Treylon Burks.
If you look at Brown’s rookie year, he amassed 52 catches for 1051 yards and 8 TDs. This is a good measuring stick for WR1 rookie expectations. WR used to be one of the toughest positions for players to adapt to the NFL from college. That is no longer the case, and that’s why Titans fans will be placing very high expectations on Burks.
AJ Brown wasn’t always available due to injuries. But one thing you could count on was when it mattered, he was going to deliver time after time no matter what he was battling through. That will be one major way fans grade Burks: is how does he perform in big games and late in those big games as AJ often did.
The addition of Robert Woods should help Burks and everyone else in the receiver room. That said, Burks needs to be a legitimate threat, or the Titans’ offense may take a step back.
If Burks has over 800 yards and 8 TDs, Titans fans should consider that a great year. In a run-first offense, it’s hard to expect better numbers than that from a rookie. Who may or may not emerge as a number one threat. He can, however, still have a big impact on the offense even without the big numbers. The Titans always have good blocking receivers, which doesn’t show up in the box score but is very important to what this team tries to do. Blocking is something that should become a strength of Burks’, given his size and strength.
Burks provides a lot of the same skills that Brown did, with great speed to go along with his size. If Burks showcases that, it’ll make Titans fans begin to forget about AJ Brown. This is a guy who torched Nick Saban’s defense with 8 catches for 179 yards and two touchdowns. Not many guys do that to a Saban-led defense, which clearly shows the potential Burks has.
An aspect of the game that Burks can utilize more than Titans receivers of the past is in the screen game and with jet sweeps. While Brown and Corey Davis had speed, they weren’t used in the screen game or running game much. In fact, the last player that was used like that was Tight End Jonnu Smith, who signed with the patriots prior to last season. The Titans missed that dynamic in the passing game last year and Burks can bring that back.
There will undoubtedly be ups and downs with Burks, but he has the potential to be a great piece for the Titans’ offense for years to come. After making the risky decision of trading a known commodity like AJ Brown, Burks will be someone that impacts the legacy of General Manager Jon Robinson and Head Coach Mike Vrabel for years to come. Titans fans should be excited to see what Burks can do, and he may be the exact replacement for AJ Brown that they need.