Dorial Green-Beckham is in his second professional camp after being selected No. 40 overall in last year’s NFL draft. At 6-foot-5, 237 pounds, his sub-4.4 speed and impressive hops make him arguably the most athletic player on the Tennessee Titans.
So why is he buried on the depth chart behind a bunch of no-name players and a washed up Texans star?
Andre Johnson, 35, joined the Titans off the street July 29. Tajae Sharp is a fifth-round rookie from UMass. Rishard Matthews caught 43 passes in Miami last year and is learning Mike Mularkey’s offense for the first time. The list goes on.
Green-Beckham is currently behind six wideouts in the pecking order, and there are four others either on his level or behind him.
The former Missouri star (87 catches for 1,278 yards and 17 touchdowns before being dismissed for a myriad of off-field problems) struggled off the bat in Nashville last summer, forced to play on a mostly talentless team while he failed to memorize some basic formations and routes.
His 32/549/4 line as a rookie was a testament to his sheer athletic ability. But he hasn’t been making strides in 2016.
From ESPN.com‘s Paul Kuharsky:
DGB has to start keeping pace. I can’t imagine a guy with his size and athleticism heading into his second season doesn’t make the team.
However, I can imagine he doesn’t get a lot of snaps until he earns a great deal more confidence from his coaches, and quarterback.
From Tennesssean.com‘s Adam Vingan:
Green-Beckham is gifted, but unteachable ability can only propel a player so far. Being a successful NFL player requires a certain amount of preparation, which he isn’t doing enough of.
“That’s spending extra time,” Mularkey said when asked how to erase inconsistency. “That’s doing things when nobody’s watching. That’s in the classroom. I think it’s just putting the work in without being directed by anybody, doing it yourself. … He does do it. I’d do it more.”
From ColumbiaDailyHerald.com‘s Terry McCormick:
Coach Mike Mularkey continued to lament the inconsistency of Green-Beckham.
“It’s consistent still. It’s a good day, bad day, good, bad. That’s the way it’s been since the very first day. No one wants to please and do good for this team more than he does. He’s just got to find a way to come out every day and make the plays that are called his way. It just hasn’t been that way,” Mularkey said.
These are all from this week. There were plenty of concerns early in camp, too, as Green-Beckham appeared to struggle with the basics.
In late July, Tennessean.com‘s John Glennon reported that Green-Beckham dropped “a handful of passes” in one practice, adding:
He had a tough time with consecutive passes thrown to him in a 7-on-7 drill. He turned around a fraction late during a skinny post, and Marcus Mariota’s pass bounced off his fingertips.
A couple plays later, Matt Cassel whistled a slant in Green-Beckham’s direction. The ball might have been tipped, but still bounced off of Green-Beckham’s chest.
Green-Beckham has too much potential to get cut this August, but if he can’t turn things around during the season (a tough task among Tennessee’s crowded corps), he might be looking at the chopping block in a year.