Dorial Green-Beckham Is Another Great Piece for the Titans to Build Around
With 4.49-second 40 yard dash speed at 6'5" and 237 pounds, the knock on Dorial Green-Beckham has never been his physical tools.
A college career marred with off-the-field issues, however, brought major red-flags and character questions. These concerns played a part in Green-Beckham's falling out of the first round, but the Tennessee Titans decided to take the risk on him with the 40th overall pick.
What Green-Beckham showed while he did manage to get on the field at Missouri was encouraging. In limited playing time as a true freshman, he caught 28 passes for 395 yards and 5 touchdowns. In an expanded role his sophomore year, he recorded 59 receptions for 883 yards and 12 touchdowns.
The Mizzou standout is a treat to watch on the field. He uses his huge frame well, doing a good job boxing out and shielding the ball from defenders and also at going up and attacking the ball in the air. While his route running leaves something to be desired, he shows a good burst out of his cuts, and excels at creating separation on deep routes, making him a dangerous vertical threat.
With Josh Gordon's troubles fresh in everyone's mind, struggling too much with off-the-field issues to showcase his incredible talents on the field, those concerns will hang over Green-Beckham's head until he can prove himself able to stay out of trouble for an extended period of time.
The Titans' passing game was horrendous in 2014. According to our Adjusted Net Expected Points (NEP) metric, they were the third worst passing attack in the league, putting up -0.06 points per play compared to expectation on each drop back once adjusted for schedule strength.
The Titans' brass was clearly aware of this heading into the draft, adding another impact player to pair with their new quarterback Marcus Mariota.
If DGB can stay on the field, he should quickly step into the number-one receiver role for the Titans.
Not a single wideout on the roster finished with even a top-45 Reception NEP per target among the 87 wide receivers who saw at least 50 targets in 2014. Justin Hunter's 0.65 was good for 46th, Kendall Wright's 0.56 was good for 67th, and newcomer Harry Douglas finished 54th with 0.61.
The Titans also struggled with red zone passing in 2014, finishing only 22nd in the league, scoring touchdowns on 20% of red zone drop backs. Green-Beckham provides a big improvement in this area, and whether it's Marcus Mariota or Zach Mettenberger at the helm, their touchdown totals will be better for it.
Green-Beckham's raw stats may not end up blowing anyone away in 2015. He's still got some work to do, he hasn't played football in a year, and there aren't many players in the league I'd be confident about in the Titans' offense.
However, you can expect a solid touchdown total out of him, and he's a great piece to pair with a talented young quarterback to build around.