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.
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:
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.
Derrick Williams -- A multidimensional type who seems like a better football player than athlete. "He has no problem taking plays from the chalkboard to the field. He needs minimal reps to learn and is a pretty decent student who will not have problems playing in a complicated scheme... he runs crisp routes, whether lining up wide or in the slot."
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 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."
"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?