Considering the player the Titans gave up to acquire the pick that became Treylon Burks, the first-round wide receiver represents not just a long-term investment but one pivotal to Tennessee’s 2022 season. So far, the Titans have not seen too much of Burks.
Tennessee, which traded A.J. Brown to Philadelphia for a package headlined by this year’s No. 18 overall pick, saw its Brown heir apparent miss OTAs time and then miss all of the team’s minicamp. Mike Vrabel did not provide a reason for Burks’ unavailability this week.
Burks was slowed during OTAs and later missed practice time due to asthma. While Titans wide receivers coach Rob Moore praised Burks’ progression in their offensive system, via The Tennessean’s Ben Arthur, his unspecified minicamp absence does provide a bit of an early concern.
Earlier this offseason, SI.com’s Albert Breer noted weight issues have followed Burks for a bit. Listed at 225 pounds, Burks, according to some teams ahead of the draft, played in the 240s at points during his Arkansas career and was over 230 during some of his pre-draft workouts. While the big-bodied target obviously played well enough to warrant a top-20 selection, nearly hitting 1,000 yards in 2020’s COVID 19-shortened season and surpassing 1,100 as a junior in 2021, the SEC standout does enter the NFL with some uncertainty.
The Jon Robinson-era Titans have not shied away from first-rounders with potential red flags. They hit on 2019 first-rounder Jeffery Simmons, who was coming off an offseason ACL tear ahead of his rookie season. Simmons has become one of the NFL’s top interior defensive linemen. But the team missed badly on 2020 first-rounder Isaiah Wilson, who was off the Titans’ roster by 2021 after a three-snap rookie season. Caleb Farley missed Tennessee’s offseason program and some of training camp last year, due to the two back surgeries he had undergone. Farley, who suffered a torn ACL during his freshman year at Virginia Tech, went down due to another ACL tear three games into his rookie season.
Tennessee cut Julio Jones after what turned out to be a misfire — one that cost the team a second-round pick. Recent trade acquisition Robert Woods, obtained for just a 2023 sixth-round pick, is coming off a torn ACL he sustained in November. The Titans do not have much in the way of notable investments at receiver behind Burks and Woods, though former UDFA Nick Westbrook-Ikhine showed some promise last season. This amplifies the importance of their Woods-Burks duo producing. Training camp will be a key step for both.