When it comes to evaluating the current state of the Tennessee Titans roster, there are need across the board including at wide receiver where Dorial Green-Beckham, Justin Hunter, Kendall Wright and Harry Douglas are the top players returning along with second year pro Tre McBride who spent the majoriyt of his rookie season on the practice squad.
Green-Beckham is a work in progrees, Hunter is coming off a major injury and is still an unknown heading into his fourth season while Wright was mostly a non-factor last season and Douglas is on the down side of his career.
The Titans need to add a dynamic playmaker to this group come April, and there are only a handful of those in the pre-draft evaluations, though there are some players with that potential, but the Titans have struggled lately with those players with "potential" who have not panned out on the field.
So who are the top five receivers with that ability that the Titans could look toward in the mid to late rounds come April?
1) BRAXTON MILLER, Ohio State
No one epitomizes the term "potential" in this draft class than the ultra-athletic Miller. He is dynamic with the ball in his hand and can be a weapon with his speed and playmaking ability. The fact that he was a quarterback and can throw the football adds another element to his resume. However, he only played one season as a receiver in college, and though he was very impressive in his performance during Senior Bowl practices, he is still raw.
Still the ability, athleticism and his desire and work ethic make him an intriguing guy if he is there at the top of the second round where the Titans might jump at his ability. He is the most dynamic receiver in the class, though others are better receivers at this point in their carees because of experience, still Miller would be a nice addition to the Titans, especially with new offensive coordinator Terry Robiskie, a former receivers coach and Bob Bratkowski, the current receivers coach could turn Miller into a solid and perhaps spectacular playmaker with the other talents around him.
2) MALCOLM MITCHELL, Georgia
Mitchell is a smart young man, having written a childrens book during his time in Athens, so his ability to learn the playbook is not a question mark. He has good size (6'1" 195) and is a polished rout runner with speed to take it deep and beat coverage while still being able to make plays across the middle and on the outside because he has great hands.
He was pulled between offense and defense, playing both early in his Bulldog career before settling at receiver where he then suffered a severe knee injury. He is also 23 years old meaning that he is a mature player who has dealt with adversity and by all reports is a solid citizen and good locker room guy.
Micthcell carries a fourth round grade, which at this point is accurate, but I love his potential and feel he would be a good fit in the third-fourth round if the Titans have not addressed their need earlier.
3) BRAYLON ADDISON, Oregon
A former teammate of Marcus Mariota at Oregon, Addison is the epitome of speed. He has it and then some. He was set to be the top target for Mariota two seasons ago, but a knee injury cost him the entire season. As a sophmore Addison produced 890 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. After returning from the injury, and in his final season in Eugene, Addison led Oregon's receivers with 63 receptions for 804 yards and 10 touchdowns.
He is not the prototypical receiver (5' 10" 190) but he is compactly-built with terrific agility and his zero-to-60 spped allows him to outrun pursuit angles and turn short passes into big gains, Addison is a big play waiting to happen and compares favorably to Bradin Cooks.
4) STERLING SHAPPARD, Oklahoma
Sheppard is a slot type receiver (5' 10" 193) with a second-third round grade. He is a smart player who finished his college career with 223 receptions for 3,482 yards and 26 touchdowns and was a semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Award as a senior. He participated in the Senior Bowl and earned the award for practice player of the week among his position group.
A very quick receiver with great feet, he is so quick that he can get of coverage at the line, though he struggles against tough press coverage, but in the right spot he has the straight-line speed to beat defenders over the top along with the quickness and balance to change directions in stride without losing speed in the process.
He is tough and physical for a player of his size, and plays with a chip on his shoulder and a tough attitude. He wants to play, loves the game and believes he belongs and can play in the NFL.
5) KENNY LAWLER, California
Lawler is a dynamic type player who prototypical height and has shown the ability to make the spectacular catch in traffic. He was a first-team All-Pac-12 selection this season and had 52 catches for 658 yards and 13 touchdowns in his final season in Berkley.Fo his career with the Golden Bears, Lawler had 143 catches for 1,706 yards and 27 TDs.
Lawler is a long strider with good top end speed and is not afraid of of contact. He is not the most pokished route runner but is a hard worker with long arms, that he uses to create separation from defenders, and while he is not the most elusive in the open field he has enough ability to make people miss in the open field.
He would be a solid addition in the mid to late rounds.
NOTE: LaQuon Tredwell, Corey Coleman, Michael Thomas and Josh Doctson are all first round projections that could certainly intrigue the Titans, though none will likely find their way onto the Titans roster.