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Hargrove: WR Britt could be Titans’ missing piece
May 6, 2009
A week ago, I spent some time reflecting on the NFL Draft, and I realized that I knew next to nothing about Titans first-round pick Kenny Britt. This realization enticed me to do a little research on the Titans future “go-to” guy. In doing so, I found I was not alone; an astonishing number of people were left in the dark.
The only real piece of information pro football extremists shared was the fact that Britt was listed among the top five receivers in most of the mock drafts. While looking at the collegiate statistics of the five wide-outs taken before Britt in the draft, I was thrilled to see that, on paper, Britt was just as good, if not better than his counterparts.
Let’s take a look at the six receivers taken in the first round of the draft:
-Darrius Heyward-Bey (6-2, 210 pounds, Maryland) — Taken seventh overall by the Oakland Raiders; At the NFL Combine, Heyward-Bey ran a 4.30 in the 40, had 16 reps on the bench, 38.5 inches on the vertical jump, 126 inches on the broad jump, and ran a 4.18 in the 20 yard shuttle. During his three years at Maryland, Heyward-Bey amassed 2,089 receiving yards, had 13 touchdowns and four 100-yard receiving games. It is believed he was picked first by the Raiders because of his blazing speed. (He had the best 40 time at the Combine.)
–Michael Crabtree (6-2, 215, Texas Tech) — Taken 10th overall by the San Francisco 49ers; Due to offseason foot surgery, Crabtree did not compete in the Combine, but in college, Crabtree broke both school and NCAA records, one of them previously held by Arizona Cardinals wide-out Larry Fitzgerald. In 2008 Crabtree recorded 97 receptions for 1,165 yards, and 19 TDs while injured.
–Jeremy Maclin (6-0, 198 pounds, Missouri) — Taken 19th overall by the Philadelphia Eagles; At the Combine Maclin ran a 4.48 in the 40. A versatile receiver in the slot, at the flank, and split end, Maclin broke NCAA records, school records, and became known as a “third down specialist.” Maclin had 1,346 yards as a kick returner in 2007, and in 2008 he recorded 102 receptions for 1,260 yards and 13 TDs.
–Percy Harvin (5-11, 192, Florida) — Taken 22nd overall by the Minnesota Vikings; At the Combine Harvin ran a 4.41 in the 40 and had 19 reps on the bench. He is known as a dual threat, both rushing and receiving. In his three year career with Florida, Harvin recorded 1,192 receiving yards and 1,852 rushing yards. In just 36 games he had a whopping 32 TDs, but there were questions about his on and off the field issues. (Injuries and attitude.)
–Hakeem Nicks (6-1, 212, North Carolina) — Taken 29th overall by the New York Giants; At the Combine Nicks ran a 4.63 in the 40, and had 36 inches on the vertical jump. He broke school and Atlantic Coast Conference records. In his career with the Tar Heels, Nicks recorded 181 receptions for 2,840 yards and 21 TDs. He also had ten 100 yard receiving games.
–Kenny Britt (6-3, 218, Rutgers) — Taken 30th overall by the Tennessee Titans; At the Combine Britt ran a 4.56 in the 40, had 23 reps on the bench, 37 inches on the vertical jump, 124 inches on the broad jump, and ran a 4.47 in the 20 yard shuttle. While it’s clear Britt is not the fastest of the bunch, he is visibly bigger and statistically stronger. He is the Big East’s all-time leading receiver with 3,043 yards in just 34 games. Britt also had a phenomenal fourteen 100 yard receiving games, tying Arizona Cardinal, Larry Fitzgerald’s previous record. In 2008 Britt recorded 87 catches for 1,371 yards and seven TDs. Nick named “Big Body,” Britt is known for his propensity to win jump ball contests.
If you look closely at the statistics, you’ll see that he outshines the other receivers in a variety of ways. For example, Britt racked up more receiving yards than the five aforementioned receivers taken before him in the draft. But- you don’t have to take my word for it. Just surf on out to NFL.com for the same statistics.
In first round pick Kenny Britt, the Titans just may have found their ticket back to the Super Bowl.