In NFL circles, there's this little theory that's centered upon the 3rd year serving as the breakout campaign for young wide receivers.
From old school talents such as Steve Largent, Harold Carmichael and Stanley Morgan to today's generations of stars such as Terrell Owens and Steve Smith, young wideouts have typically experienced their proverbial light-bulb moment during their third seasons in the league.
According to this trend, we should all be hoping for a breakthrough performance from Tennessee Titans' WR Lavelle Hawkins in 2010.
Known as the player the Titans selected with the draft pick exchanged for controversial cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones, Hawkins has been somewhat of an enigma since arriving in Nashville two years ago. Long on talent but unfortunately coming up short when it comes to on-field production, Hawkins has yet to emerge as a consistent factor in the Titans' passing game.
Every once in a while, such as last year's thrilling Titans' victory over Arizona, we'll witness a Hawk sighting. During that unforgettable contest, Hawkins stepped up with 4 grabs for 44 yards. Unfortunately, "The Hawk" was grounded for the rest of the year, as his 2009 production equalled his performance during his rookie campaign, a paltry seven receptions.
Considering the moves the Titans have made as of late at the WR position, the time is definitely now for Hawkins to step his game up. Last year's rookie standout WR Kenny Britt has emerged as perhaps the team's best WR and if he can just stay in shape, is poised to become a good receiver in this league for years to come. 2009 sixth-rounder Dominique Edison is also a young guy with some potential who displayed signs of being a player someday last preseason.
For Lavelle's sake, hopefully, the trend of the third-year serving as the charm for young wide receivers will continue.
What do you think, guys? Will "The Hawk" soar to new heights in 2010? Or is his roster spot in jeopardy? As always, feel free to post your thoughts in the comments section below.