With Rishard Matthews Gone, Who Should the Titans Target at WR?

A few days ago, the leading receiver in the past two seasons for the Titans, Rishard Matthews, abruptly quit on the team and was released.

Although Matthews’ production has been subpar this season and he has struggled to get open, he was far and away the most established receiver on the roster.

Now, Jon Robinson must find a way to help replace Matthews. Ideally, Corey Davis, Tajae Sharpe and Taywan Taylor would step up, however this is an unproven bunch, rounded out by little known players such as Nick Williams and Darius Jennings (expect Jennings to handle kick return duties and possibly punt returns as well in the wake of Adoree’ Jackson’s concussion).

The group could certainly use more depth or another star. Here are 5 player the Titans should look to bring in at the wideout position.

I’m gonna leave Dez Bryant off this list because I already wrote an in depth article on him, which you should check out here.

1 – Deontay Burnett

Many Titans fans were upset that the highly productive WR out of USC, Deontay Burnett, didn’t make the 53 man roster after signing with them as an UDFA. Burnett was seen as very talented, but his slight frame, limited explosiveness and inability to play special teams resulted in the Titans offering him a practice squad spot. Burnett instead chose to sign to the Jets practice squad, and join up with his college QB, Sam Darnold.

Burnett has natural hands and can contribute as a receiver. He is familiar with the offense and could slide in as a WR4 on some packages. He’s more of a possession guy than a deep threat, which was a big part of Rishard Matthews’ game. Since he’s on the jets practice squad, the Titans may sign him to the 53 man roster if they would like to.

2 – Corey Coleman

Corey Coleman was once regarded as a potential superstar, as Baylor’s fast track offense liberated his receiving abilities in college, and he was drafted 15th overall by the Browns. His career has been very underwhelming as its well know that Coleman  has attitude problems and is not a team player. Although this characteristic doesn’t fit Jon Robinson’s standards, he may decide that since Coleman is probably the most talented WR available, it’s worth pulling the trigger. Before any team gives Coleman another chance, they need to make sure that he’s truly committed to football.

Coleman is a slot receiver with solid athleticism. He is currently on the Patriots practice squad, so like Burnett, he could be signed to the 53 man roster immediately. He has no known connections with the offensive scheme, which may be a disadvantage.

3 – Simmie Cobbs Jr.

Simmie Cobbs is a lean, mean 6’3 and 220 pound WR who loves to attack the ball in mid air and use his body to free himself from coverage. He lacks athleticism, but was very productive in college amid less than stellar QB play. He went undrafted in this past NFL draft and is a capable possession receiver and  red zone target. He is currently on the Washington Redskins’ practice squad.

Cobbs has never played for Matt LaFleur, but it’s likely that he would be able to pick up on Titans concepts quickly, due to the fact that Sean McVay, the Rams head coach and LaFleur worked for the skins, and it’s possible that there is some overlap in the schemes. Is Cobbs good enough to be on a 53 man roster? Probably not. But he’s got tools to work with and it will be interesting to see if Robinson takes a shot at a guy like this.

4 – Jeremy Maclin

Jeremy Maclin is the most proven player on this list. At 30 years old, he’s been in the league forever and is currently a free agent, nursing a hamstring injury Maclin does want to play in 2018, but awaits the right opportunity to do so. This may be the right destination for him. Maclin is a veteran receiver who will be able to come in and contribute sooner rather than later as he will be able to pick up on concepts faster than some of the younger players. He’s always been a decent wideout and may be able to fill in effectively for Matthews.

Maclin is probably the guy I would want. He’s proven himself to be a decently effective player and can do what Matthews provided without any extracurricular activity. It will be interesting to see how long it takes for the veteran to sign and begin his 2018 season.

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