Entries in Corey Davis (3)

Wednesday
Mar212018

S13.327 - Offensive Line

Wednesday
Feb212018

How Did The Titans’ 2017 Rookie Receivers Stack Up?

 

Let’s be honest, if you are a Titans’ fan, you can’t help but be a little disappointed with the performance of the wide receivers. This was especially true of the much-hyped rookie receivers. Corey Davis was the first receiver taken in the 2017 NFL Draft and Taywan Taylor was the 8th receiver taken. However, Davis came into training camp with an injury, and Taylor was not fully utilized in the system.

 

I have to admit that on my list of top 5 WRs I wanted the Titans to draft, Davis was my choice of who I thought the Titans would choose. He has a very high up-side, but this numbers seemed lacking at first glance (includes playoffs):

 

 

Corey Davis

GP

GS

Rec

Yds

Avg

TD

Fum

13

11

43

473

11.0

2

1

 

Now for 3rd round pick Taylor, he started out looking like quite the find, but somewhere along the line he wasn’t part of the plan for the offense anymore. Here are his numbers for the season (including playoffs):

 

 

Taywan Taylor

GP

GS

Rec

Yds

Avg

TD

Fum

18

4

18

240

13.3

1

0

 

The 2017 NFL Draft was touted as having a plethora of hot WR prospects, but with the lack of production from the Titans young receivers, it made me wonder what production that other teams was able to get out of their rookies. So that led me on a quest to pit all the rookie receivers against each other. To be as fair as possible I decided to collect the numbers on “per games played” averages. Although some of these players weren’t able to get into many games, their numbers might match others with much more gametime. Below are the top 5 rookie receivers in each measurable (all stats are per game played including postseason):

 

Receptions/Games Played

 

Name

Team

Round Drafted

Rec/GP

Cooper Kupp

Rams

3

4.4

JuJu Smith-Schuster

Steelers

2

4.1

Corey Davis

Titans

1

3.3

Trent Taylor

49ers

5

2.9

Kenny Golladay

Lions

3

2.5

 

Yards/Games Played

 

Name

Team

Round Drafted

Yds/GP

JuJu Smith-Schuster

Steelers

2

61.5

Cooper Kupp

Rams

3

58.6

Kenny Golladay

Lions

3

43.4

DeDe Westbrook

Jaguars

4

42.4

Corey Davis

Titans

1

36.4

 

TDs/Games Played

 

Name

Team

Round Drafted

TDs/GP

JuJu Smith-Schuster

Steelers

2

0.5

Cooper Kupp

Rams

3

0.4

Kenny Golladay

Lions

3

0.3

Corey Davis

Titans

1

0.2

8 Players tied at 0.1TDs/GP including Taywan Taylor

 

Fumbles/Games Played

 

*25 players are tied at 0 fumbles

 

20+ Yard Catches/Games Played

 

Name

Team

Round Drafted

20+/GP

JuJu Smith-Schuster

Steelers

2

0.8

Cooper Kupp

Rams

3

0.8

DeDe Westbrook

Jaguars

4

0.8

Kenny Golladay

Lions

3

0.7

Corey Davis (tie)

Titans

1

0.3

Chris Godwin (tie)

Buccaneers

3

0.3

 

40+ Yard Catches/Games Played

 

Name

Team

Round Drafted

40+/GP

Kenny Golladay

Lions

3

0.5

JuJu Smith-Schuster

Steelers

2

0.4

5 players tied at 0.1 40+/GP

 

1st Down Receptions/Games Played

 

Name

Team

Round Drafted

1st/GP

Cooper Kupp

Rams

3

2.8

JuJu Smith-Schuster

Steelers

2

2.6

DeDe Westbrook

Jaguars

4

2.0

Trent Taylor

49ers

5

1.8

Corey Davis (tie)

Titans

1

1.6

Chris Godwin (tie)

Buccaneers

3

1.6

 

As these stats indicate, Corey Davis was near the top in almost every category. Although he was the first receiver drafted and should have dominated the numbers, he still put forth a good effort in an offense that wasn’t friendly to the passing game. Something else that is very clear in these numbers, the other first round receivers were nowhere to be found. Mike Williams had miniscule numbers, and John Ross didn’t have any receiving numbers at all. So, for what it’s worth, Davis won the battle for the 1st round.

 

The obvious winners in this rookie class were Cooper Kupp and JuJu Smith-Schuster. Both put up numbers that proved they were a significant part of their respective teams offensive plan. However, with the late surge put on by Davis, it is obvious that he will be a force next season.

 

The obvious losers were the Bengals and Chargers. Both teams picked players that were expected to contribute in a major way right from the start, but neither team got much from their pick.

 

I believe the real proof of what the Titans have at WR with these two picks will be in the 2018 season. Corey Davis went from missing the entire preseason, but coming into the first game against the Raiders with 6 catches for 69 yards. However, after that he went out in the Jacksonville game and didn’t return until 7 weeks later. His return sputtered along until the last playoff game where he finally found the end zone for the first (and second) time. The only issue (other than his health) that the team and fanbase want answered is whether he can be a real deep threat. As of yet he hasn’t shown the speed we hoped for.

 

As far as Taywan Taylor, he may have shown us that he is potentially the real deep threat. He reminds me somewhat of Kendall Wright. When the ball is in his hand, he is a very dynamic player. He wants the ball, but might thrive more in the running game with sweeps and trick plays than in the passing game. Right now I see him as a true 4th receiver and the only way he could move up is if the Titans released players ahead of him.

 

To sum up the 2017 draft of receivers, the Titans didn’t hit a homerun yet. Other than early injuries, we don’t know why the previous offensive staff didn’t use the very weapons that were given to them. Now we have to wait to see how Head Coach Mike Vrabel and Offensive Coordinator Matt LaFleur look upon these weapons. Do they see them as inadequate and will ask for replacements, or will they realize that these players have been truly underused/misused?

 

By Michael Hopkins 

Tuesday
Sep122017

Mid-Week Take: Titans vs. Raiders

I've now had a few days to process the 2017 season opener, read fan thoughts and complaints, and heard all the "talking heads" theorize over what happened. Now, I guess it's my turn to chime in and give my analysis.

The Titans' fan base came into this game with the hopes of improvement and dreams of a playoff run, and many of what I heard from the hopefuls was that these were the same old Titans. However, this is not what I saw in the game. Yes, there were mistakes by players and the coaching staff, but if we look past the over inflated expectations and get real with ourselves, we will see that there are plenty of positive take-aways from this game (and therefore hope still exists for this season).

Season Opening Onside Kick

I'm not totally against this choice by the coaching staff. Historically, the Titans don't play well from behind, and against a high powered offense like the Raiders it would be better to have the first crack at taking the lead. Unfortunately, the special teams unit misfired on many levels in this play alone. Succop didn't get the ball to bounce in any meaningful way. The lead gunner didn't "blow up" the rookie returner like most onside kicks are designed. Finally, the coaching staff didn't educate the special teams unit thoroughly enough on the execution of this play. I don't care how many times you say "lack of execution" on the part of the players, it boils down to the coaching staff and preparation.

Titans Response/Opening Drive

The Titans' offense responded on a 12 play, 75 yard TD drive. They converted 3 - 3rd and longs, with passes of 19 yards (Matthews), 9 yards (Matthews), and 23 yards (Davis). Murray had 5 carries for 14 yards. Not impressive, but it was enough to keep the Raiders' defense respecting the Titans' run game. Finally, we saw that Mariota still has his legs and raced around the left side, with a sweet block by Delanie Walker, for 10 yards and the touchdown.

Marcus Mariota

Speaking of Mariota, some people looked at his day as "okay", but with many of what people are calling misfires were simply the lack of chemistry with his receiving corps and a few incorrectly run routes. Mariota had 24 completions on 41 attempts for 256 yards. The key number that wasn't in the stat line (other than TDs) is that he didn't turn the ball over. I venture to say that he may have never had a game where he threw the ball at least 40 times without any turnovers.

Running Game

There was a considerable drop-off in the "Exotic Smashmouth". The Titans only had a total of 95 yards rushing on 21 attempts. However, there were bright spots in a 21 yard gain from Murray, the Mariota TD run, and a nice little 8 yard carry from Henry. The problem in the game is that the Titans continued to get themselves in difficult 3rd down situations where the run game became less and less of an option. There was also a few poor choices in play calls by the coaching staff (like the call on 3rd and 2 from the 7 yard line). There was plenty of blame to go around in the failure of the running game. I still believe that this is something that can be more easily worked out before the Jaguars game.

Some Positives

  • Rishard Matthews came through with some timely catches. He had 5 catches for 71 yards, several to convert 3rd downs. He looks like he has picked back up from last season.
  • Although Corey Davis never took a snap in preseason, he showed us all that he is the real deal. He had 6 catches for 69 yards. His best catch of the day was for 23 yards, high-pointing the ball along the sideline and staying in bounds.
  • Delanie Walker is still a stud. He continues to show us all that he can play this game as long as he wants to play it. With 7 catches for 76 yards (and one killer block), he lead the team in catches and yards.
  • Adoree Jackson was picked on from the first play to the last, but the rookie hung in there. He had one pass interference call go against him, but two nice breakups with one of those taking away a TD. If that weren't enough for a rookie, a kick return that looked like an Olympic event was a beautiful thing to behold and tells us all that he will definitely break one for the distance at some point this season.

 One Final Negative

The Red Zone offense had trouble scoring touchdowns. Again, this appeared to be a combination of poor play calling combined with poor execution. Three times the Titans got into the Red Zone, but came away with only 1 TD and 2 FGs. With the much reported efficiency of Mariota in the Red Zone, he needs to be given more freedom to put the team on his shoulders and make a play.

Conclusion

No loss is a good loss, but this one came very close. We all have to admit to ourselves that this game was going to be a tough one to start the season. We also need to realize that this was only one loss in a 16 game season, and our next few games could catapult us to the top of our division. So, for all you fair-weathered Titans fans, stay tuned for the fireworks instead of falling asleep before it even gets dark.