The 2009 NFL Draft: Route-runners the Titans should consider


Titans offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger is a perfectionist who doesn’t believe in putting a player on the field if he doesn’t know the plays. A receiver in Dinger’s offense had better be in the right spot at the right time on his routes or he’ll spend a lot of time on the bench.
That’s why I’m looking at some WR draft prospects who have scouting reports saying they’re good route-runners. If they’re not, it doesn’t make much sense to draft them.
Running routes, like many parts of the NFL game, consists of both a mental and physical aspect. I’m looking at the mental portion here, rather than the physical skills of quickness, balance and ability used when running those routes.
Following are some guys I believe the Titans should consider because of their ability to learn the playbook and run the routes precisely, to be in the right spot at the right time.

Round One:
Percy Harvin — Great playmaking ability, both as a receiver and running back. He “learns and retains plays with minimal reps. He has no problems taking the plays from the chalkboard to the field.” One scout at Harvin’s Pro Day said he runs “a lot of good, polished routes that will carry over to the NFL.” May be selected earlier than 30th in the first round.
Round One or Two:
Hakeem Nicks — Has many physical attributes and is “a precise route runner.”
Round Two: 
Brian Robiskie — Good genes. The son of Terry Robiskie, a very intelligent former NFL player and a long-time coach. Brian “knows the playbook inside and out.”
Round Two or Three:
Juaquin Iglesias — Quick, agile and elusive. “An instinctive route-runner.” Can also return kicks and punts.
Round Three:

Louis Murphy — Can play outside or in the slot but how many people noticed his Florida teammates Harvin and Tim Tebow instead? Murphy “is smart enough to digest a complicated playbook.”

Mohamed Massaquoi — I recall him dropping a lot of catchable balls as an underclassman but he had a better senior year. An intelligent, accomplished student in the classroom, he also “has no trouble digesting a complicated playbook.”
Round Four:
Jarett Dillard — Projects as a slot receiver. “Excellent route-runner.”
Round Four or Five:
Kenny McKinley — Broke some of Sterling Sharpe’s South Carolina receiving records. “His experience as a high school quarterback is obvious in his ability to run good routes.”
Round Six:
“I had an opportunity to talk to him about the last drive vs. Ohio State in this year’s Fiesta Bowl. He was able to tell me the exact defenses that Ohio State used on that drive and how he adjusted his routes. Very impressive.”
Round Six or Seven:
Deon Butler — At the East-West Shrine Game he “impressed coaches with his excellent route running.”
Titans fans, what do you think of these receivers?

6 Responses to “The 2009 NFL Draft: Route-runners the Titans should consider”

  1. FAZ Says:

    Another option is Deon Butler – PSU. Great 40 time at combine. Excellent route runner. 3yr starter. Catches ball at highest point WITH HANDS.

  2. Johnathan Says:

    If Harvin makes this list, shouldn’t Derrick Williams?

  3. Andrew Strickert Says:

    Thanks for the input, guys. I don’t know how I overlooked a couple of Nittany Lions, especially Williams. I had read his scouting reports yesterday but somehow omitted him from the article. Thanks again, I’ve edited the entry to add both of them.

  4. Morgan Says:

    Louis Murphy could be a big impact for the titans in a year or two. 6 foot 2 inches and 208 pounds this guy has the speed and the size to stretch the field. He finished the season with 700 or so yards (not exactly sure how many more or less) and 7ish touchdowns. Besides seeing him play i haven’t herd to much about him but its nice to see he has the brains to get a NFL playbook. I dont see the titans spending a round one on a wideout maybe they get a 2nd or third.

  5. Ben Says:

    I think Underwood could be a very good late round selection. Maybe not as good as what Colston has become but a very good contributer to any team he ends up on. I would definitly love to have him on the Titans especially with how good of a combine he had.

  6. Andrew Strickert Says:

    Morgan and Ben, thanks for your comments. I like Murphy and Underwood too, though I probably like Robiskie the best as far as value in the round selected. If he somehow lasts until the third round, that would be a real steal.

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