TREYLON BURKS

By: Nate Christian (@NateNFL)

Treylon has Asthma: Fact

Treylon hunts wild hogs with a knife: Fact

Treylon is slow: Fiction

Treylon is going to replace AJ Brown: Maybe…

With a salary of $3,592,398 and a rookie contract with four years left (plus a fifth year option), Burks is one of the top young receivers on Dynasty Owner. There has been a lot of controversy and rumors around his off-season conditioning and training camp performance. What has been true and what has simply been an exaggeration?

The propaganda has swung (effectively) in the direction of talking down on Burks’ ability. Some analysts have tried to exaggerate his growing pains while others have used his lack of conditioning at the start of OTAs to question his dedication. But if you listen to the Titans’ coaching staff, they all have great things to say about Burks’ growth and development so far. Burks wasn’t asked to run a variety of routes at Arkansas and is now expanding his arsenal in the NFL. Of course, he’s not going to be perfect right away, as his predecessor A.J. Brown ($1,413,092) went through similar growing pains, but both of these players are physical, win at the catch point, and offer yards after the catch ability. The Titans made a deliberate decision to replace Brown with Burks one for one, and we need to respect that decision. More often than not, NFL front offices have a decent idea of what they are doing and aren’t simply drawing names out of a hat.

As a prospect, Burks was phenomenal. He comes in at 6’ 2” and 225 lbs., a thick and athletic presence for the Titans on the outside, and ran a 4.55 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine this past spring. In his final year for Arkansas, he finished with 66 receptions, over 1,100 yards, and 12 total touchdowns, a standout performance in the SEC. His production, athleticism, and projected improvement ended up making him a first rounder and the Titans grabbed him with the 18th overall pick. For more information on Burks as a prospect, make sure to check out the prospect profile I wrote on him earlier this off-season before the draft.

Now that he’s in the NFL and getting on the practice field, we’ve had a month or two to speculate about his usage and projected performance. We’ve heard about his conditioning issues, but that seems to be behind him now. He’s running with the 1s and 2s throughout training camp, and as of the first depth chart release he is on the second team offense, but that’s nothing new for rookies in the NFL. In fact, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler wrote “has looked the part of a top pick so far.” Don’t buy into the idea that he is struggling to get on the field. There is little chance that Burks is not the main weapon for the Titans by mid-season, as I think his ability to make an impact in the NFL will ramp up after the first weeks of the season. The Titans had to be pretty confident in his talent and their ability to scheme him into production for them to trade away one of the best wideouts in the NFL.

Interestingly enough, since camp has started the excitement coming out of Titans training camp has been mostly about a different wide receiver. The Titans’ fifth round draft pick (#163 overall) Kyle Philips ($993,331) has been impressing out of the slot and is looking like a potential starter out of that role. Philips was even listed with the first team offense when the first depth chart of the pre-season came out. Philips’ success and surprising upwards movement does not hurt Burks and his chances to be successful in the NFL. Some fans have looked at Phillips’ name on the first team offense and used it as an indictment of Burks and his ability. While both of them are wide receivers, the players have quite different roles and play styles for the Titans. Nick Westbrook-Ikhine ($895,000) is Burks’ main competition for the X receiver role and has played well so far through camp.

Treylon and the Tennessee Titans take on the Baltimore Ravens tonight in the first pre-season game for both teams, and this will be a great chance to see what Burks can bring to the table on a NFL field and just how far along in his development he is. The idea of Burks catching passes from Malik Willis ($1,290,025) may sound like a dream to some Titans’ fans, and that’s what we will see this evening. Burks won’t take long to make an impact for the Titans and your chances at getting him for a discount is quickly closing. By the time Week 1 hits and he starts producing on the field when it matters, the Burks’ hype will start to build to a point that you’ll have to pay up if you want to get him on your team. Now is the best time to make a deal, much like when Ja’Marr Chase ($7,704,910) had the drops and when Justin Jefferson ($3,280,701) was the WR4 behind Bisi Johnson ($648,572). We’ve been through this before, keep your eye on the talent and the situation. Burks is set up to explode this season.

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