TRAINING CAMP PREVIEW: RECEIVERS
In camp (11): Corey Davis, A.J. Brown, Adam Humphries, Kalif Raymond, Cameron Batson, Rashard Davis, Cody Hollister, Mason Kinsey, Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, Kristian Wilkerson, Kyle Williams.
Offseason developments: At the NFL Honors, Brown finished third in the voting for offensive rookie of the year. The Titans decided not to pick up the fifth-year option on Davis, who is now headed into the final year of his rookie deal. Both players, along with Humphries and others, spent time with quarterback Logan Woodside in Nashville, and quarterback Ryan Tannehill later joined in off-campus throwing sessions as well. Titans coach Mike Vrabel gave Rashard Davis a nice shout-out for his exemplary work in the virtual offseason program. The Titans said goodbye to receiver Tajae Sharpe, who signed with the Vikings, and former Titans receiver Darius Jennings signed with the Chargers. Cameron Batson re-signed with the team on a one-year deal. The Titans added Kinsey (Berry College), Westbrook-Ikhine (Indiana), Wilkerson (SE Missouri State) and Williams (Arizona State) as undrafted free agents. Corey Davis started camp on the team's Physically Unable to Perform list.
In the spotlight: A.J. Brown. What does Brown do for you? Well, in 2019, the answer was "a lot" for the Titans. Brown led all rookies with 1,051 receiving yards last season, and he also had eight touchdown receptions among his 52 catches. He added 60 rushing yards with another score. Brown became the first rookie since Hall of Famer Randy Moss (1998) to have a minimum of 50 catches, 1,000 receiving yards and five touchdowns while averaging 17-plus yards per catch, plus four touchdown catches of 50-plus yards, and he was the only NFL rookie since 1970 with 1,000-plus receiving yards and an average of 20-plus yards per reception. He led the NFL with 605 receiving yards over his final six games of the regular season. Brown's five 100-yard games led all rookie receivers in 2019 and were the most by any NFL rookie since Amari Cooper (five) in 2015. He became the fourth rookie since 1970 with at least four touchdown receptions of 50-plus yards. Not bad for a rookie, huh? Now, his challenge is to keep it going in Year 2.
Battle to watch: Kalif Raymond vs. Cameron Batson. Simply put, Raymond made plays for the Titans when given the chance in 2019. Raymond's 45-yard touchdown catch in the team's playoff win at Baltimore – on a Tannehill bomb – was one of the biggest plays of the season. His 40-yard touchdown catch from Tannehill in a late season win at Indianapolis was a game-changer as well. In addition to his 18.9-yard average per catch, Raymond was also the team's primary punt returner/kickoff returner. Batson, however, has some nice skills himself. A year ago, he was on track to make the team before an injury put him on Injured Reserve. A returner himself, Batson has a chance to make another run this year in camp. The biggest question to me is: Is it one or the other in this Raymond/Batson battle, or could both stick?
Keep an eye on: Adam Humphries, and the undrafted receivers. Look at the receiver position, and you can quickly get to three on the 55-man roster – Brown, the underrated and underappreciated Davis, and Humphries. Personally, I think the 4th will be either Raymond or Batson. Then comes a battle for No.5, with the possibility the Titans could also nab a veteran at some point. Humphries was a standout in last year's camp, and I suspect he'll look good again and make a more consistent impact in 2020 after battling an ankle injury in 2019. The battle for a potential sleeper spot should be fun to watch. Kinsey was tough to cover at the East-West practices, and he'll be an underdog to watch. Westbrook is smart, and capable of playing all three spots. Wilkerson is a good route runner, and Williams was very productive in college. In an offseason that made things even tougher on undrafted free agents, there will be no time to waste.
Next up: Defensive line.
A look back at wide receiver A.J. Brown's rookie season that included 52 receptions for 1,051 yards and 8 touchdowns in 2019. (Photos: Donald Page)
Titans Online looks back at wide receiver Corey Davis' 2019 season (Photos: Donald Page)