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Houston Texans

AFC South: Four exciting breakout candidates for 2019

AFC South
Photo Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
AFC South

Photo Credit: Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Tennessee Titans

Corey Davis presents a similar story to that of the first two entries. He had a very solid sophomore season in the NFL. It just wasn’t commensurate with his immense potential. In life, expectations often define the experience. As a former 5th overall selection Davis has huge expectations.

Looking deeper into the numbers, Davis has been more a victim of his scheme and usage than anything else. He was stellar on balls over 20 yards during his final season at Western Michigan. The then-senior caught 13/24 for 515 yards and 7 touchdowns. When contrasted with his 8/13, 238-yard, 2-touchdown performance in 2018 with the Titans there is an obvious disconnect.

I don’t mean to suggest this is entirely a coaching issue. I believe the Titans’ offense was devastated by the season-ending injury to three-time Pro Bowl tight end Delanie Walker. This forced Davis into a more possession-oriented role thus curtailing his downfield impact. Issues protecting starting quarterback Marcus Mariota also likely played a significant role.

Consequently, Titans general manager Jon Robinson signed slot receiver Adam Humphries. Humphries has been of the most reliable insurance blankets in the NFL. He also traded for Ryan Tannehill to improve the backup quality behind Mariota should he miss time. The healthy return of Delanie Walker also promises to be a boon. Davis himself is certainly excited:

“Last year I was able to catch the rhythm and was able to go out there and be confident, play fast,” Davis said. “Hopefully this year it slows down a lot more. I just have to keep working.

“I am excited to get back to it, back in the groove of things. … I feel healthy, I feel good going into the season, and just have to keep it that way.”

The pieces are now in place to allow Corey Davis to realize his enormous potential. If everything comes together for the Titans in 2019, Davis’ production could explode. We will get to see exactly why they liked Davis enough to make him the 5th overall pick. His breakout is critical to the Titans’ chances in the AFC South in 2019.

Ken Grant is a writer for PFN covering the AFC South. You can follow him @KenGrantPFN on Twitter.

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