WR Titus Young (Boise State) - Round 2, Pick No. 44
Lions general manager Martin Mayhew made it a point earlier this offseason to discuss how bad Detroit's third receivers were in 2010. Bryant Johnson and Derrick Williams both had opportunities to step up, but neither did. As a result, the Lions decided to use their second pick of the 2011 NFL Draft on Titus Young. Finally the Lions seem to have a speedster who can stretch the field, and finally it appears the Lions' lack of production at the third WR spot may be over.
Final word: Young is a very dangerous playmaker that will likely have an impact in the NFL. He is a versatile prospect in that he can play wide receiver and return kicks. A team looking for someone with speed and game breaking ability will likely consider Young. However, he needs to work on his route running especially those over the middle. His size makes him a likely candidate for a slot role but he has limited experience with the position. It is not out of the question that he could fill a spot on the outside. Overall, Young looks to be a solid prospect likely to come off the board on day two of the draft.
Young possesses the makeup and run-after-the-catch ability of an NFL slot receiver who could also contribute in the return game. Put a few really impressive statistical seasons on his resume. Has the quickness and speed to get open underneath but route-running is still somewhat or a work in progress. Was not being covered by elite defensive backs on a week-to-week basis. Size is an issue, as more physical defensive backs can out-muscle him, and limits his downfield big-play potential. Has some off-the-field and on-field behavioral issues that must be checked out. However, Young's production and "make you miss" talent will likely land him in the middle rounds.
Positives: Productive college receiver with a consistent game. Fluid releasing off the line and runs sharp routes, quickly getting into breaks and immediately coming back to the ball on exit. Displays terrific focus and concentration and makes the reception away from his frame. Possesses strong hands, showing the ability to snatch passes from the air. Easily adjusts the errant throw, effortlessly makes the reception downfield, and elusive running after the catch. Reads the defense and settles into the open spot on the field. Sneaky fast and finds a way to get behind opponents. Gives effort blocking downfield and gets solid results.
Negatives: More quick than fast. Erratic workout at the combine. Lacks top size and likely to struggle handling jams or battling at the next level.
What he brings: Young brings immediate big-play threat with his above-average run-after-catch ability. He is unpolished as a route-runner but does show excellent burst out of breaks to create separation, and he has reliable hands. In addition, he brings added value on special teams as a returner, where he averaged more than 10 yards per punt return in 2010.
How he fits: This is a perfect fit for the Lions' improving pass offense. Starters Calvin Johnson and Nate Burleson are solid with good production, but there is virtually no depth with the exception of versatile Stefan Logan. Young looks like the perfect guy to line up in the slot in the Lions' three-wide package, and his quickness and yards after the catch could give them added versatility.
2007: 44 catches, 639 yards, 5 touchdowns, 13 carries, 76 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 kick return, 52 yards
2008: 10 catches, 168 yards, 1 touchdown, 5 carries, 52 yards, 2 touchdowns
2009: 79 catches, 1041 yards, 10 touchdowns, 15 carries, 138 yards, 2 touchdowns, 31 kick returns, 833 yards, 2 touchdowns
2010: 71 catches, 1215 yards, 9 touchdowns, 14 carries, 94 yards, 1 touchdown, 24 kick returns, 564 yards
- Barry Sanders announces Lions' pick of Titus Young
- Titus Young vs. Fresno State (2010)
- Titus Young 360: The Trainer
- Titus Young 360: The Agent
- Titus Young 360: The Backstory
- Titus Young 360: The Family
- Titus Young All-Access
- 2011 Draft Profile: Titus Young
- 2011 Combine Workout: Titus Young
- Boise State pro-day report
- Draft Gem: Titus Young
- Young highlights
- Young recovers fumble for touchdown
- Young takes a screen pass the distance against Nevada
- Young scores a touchdown on a reverse
- Quick Hits: Titus Young (from the combine)
- More of Young's press conference at the combine
- Titus Young Draft Profile (ProFootballWeekly)
- Highlights from Young's high school days
Outlook for 2011
Young is expected to come in and immediately become the Lions' third receiver behind Calvin Johnson and Nate Burleson. He will likely get work in the slot quite a bit and be all over the field as the Lions' speed receiver. He could also get work on special teams, although Stefan Logan probably has the returner job locked down after an outsanding 2010 season.
Previously: Nick Fairley