Titus Young is a very good split-prospect that excels stretching the field vertically. After two extremely productive seasons for the Broncos, he appears to be capable of contributing readily as a receiver and kick returner at the next level. He has been one of the stars of the draft process, with an excellent week at the Senior Bowl and a Pro Day that drew rave reviews from media members and NFL personnel. One of this draft’s most fluid movers, he shows the quickness, agility, and speed to be a threat all over the field. Concerns over his character and physicality will push Young down the board, but he should still find a place in the second round or early third.
Though his route running is still a bit raw, Young creates separation all over the field. His quickness and burst allow him to create space underneath. He possesses the speed to threaten the field vertically and got open deep frequently. At his Pro Day, Titus drew rave reviews from those on hand. His ability to get in and out of cuts quickly and fluidly make him one of the best in this class when it comes to creating separation. He offers the versatility to run routes effectively over the middle, to the sideline, and vertically.
Typically hands will be a concern with smaller receivers. While Young does show occasional mental lapses, for the most part he shows excellent concentration. His hand size (9”) is average and he is pretty reliable catching the football. In particular, he is terrific tracking the ball downfield. At Boise State he showed the ability to make tough plays, including a few beautiful over-the-shoulder grabs. It should be noted that he will also make plays in traffic, showing the confidence to come down with any ball.
After the Catch
Titus Young is a dynamic player with the ball in his hands. He has quick feet and is very elusive, showing the ability to make defenders miss. In college, he also returned kicks, where he displayed his ability to see the field and follow blocks. It is clear that Young has enough acceleration and speed to hit home-runs at the next level. There is some concern about his lack of physicality and toughness, which could mean he may not be breaking many big plays open down the middle of the field.
One of the most impressive traits that define Young is his athleticism. He is a very smooth athlete, capable of changing speed and direction effortlessly. In college he showed good body control, adjusting well to poorly thrown balls despite size limitations. He is an incredibly fluid mover, is explosive, and a good leaper with some hang time. His ability to make plays away from his body stands out on film and he had several acrobatic catches for the Broncos.
There is no way to spin this positively: Titus Young is a marginal blocker. He lacks bulk (at only 176) and functional strength. It is clear that he will need to increase his dedication to the weight-room in the NFL. His lack of blocking ability could turn off some run-heavy teams.
Young looks to fit into the NFL as a split-end that will be involved in the deep passing game. His speed and ability to track down balls in the air make him more of a fit in a vertical offense rather than, say, a west coast offense. He shows the versatility to run routes effectively in the slot though and he will be used in the short passing game as well. On special teams, he is a very good kick returner who could contribute early in his career.
Size, Speed, Strength & Agility
What Titus Young lacks in size and strength, he more than makes up for with his speed and natural athleticism. His agility is top-notch, possessing quick feet. He is very smooth changing speed and direction. Often he is compared to the Eagles’ DeSean Jackson, but I feel he lacks the elite acceleration of the NFL star. As I touched on earlier, he is physically weak and must take the weight room more seriously.
There have been several pro comparisons thrown out there for Young, with the most common being DeSean Jackson or the Steelers’ Mike Wallace. I don’t believe he is quite as explosive or fast as either of those two, but he will have plenty opportunity to make a large impact at the next level. He has the potential to be a team’s primary vertical threat on the outside early on. His agility also makes him a dangerous fit in the slot or in the short to intermediate passing game. I think Young has the ability to be an excellent second option at receiver and a very good kick returner early in his career.
There has been some speculation about Titus Young’s character throughout his college career and during the pre-draft process. He obviously has a very strong personality, very goofy, and also extremely confident. The game is very fun for him, perhaps too fun at times, as he has been flagged for excessive celebration on several occasions. Many have described him as a pretty self-involved player, which may have contributed to his spot in coach Chris Peterson’s dog house in the 2008 season. That year, Young was suspended 10 games for violating team rules, with a Minor Possession of Alcohol serving as the root of that suspension. After returning to the team in 2009, he seemed humbled by the adversity that he faced the year before and rededicated himself to the team. During the draft process, many feel he has taken too lax an approach to his preparation. There have been reports of him slacking in pre-Combine training, missing workouts occasionally. Regardless, he competed admirably at the Senior Bowl and looked much better prepared for his Pro Day. He has been a very durable player during his athletic career and did not miss a game in college due to injury.
2010: 13 games, 13 starts; 71 rec 1,215 yds 17.1 avg 9 Td, 1 rushing Td, 23.5 KR avg
2009: 14 games, 14 starts; 79 rec 1,041 yds 13.2 avg 10 Td, 151 yds rushing 3 Td, 31 KR 833 yds 26.9 avg 2 Td
2008: 3 games, 3 starts (Suspended 10 games) 10 rec 168 yds 16.8 avg 1 Td, 2 rushing Td
2007: 13 games, 44 rec 639 yds 15.5 avg 5 Td, 2 rushing Td
Major in Communications.
Awards & Honors
2010: First Team All-WAC at Wide Receiver
2009: First Team All-WAC as a Receiver and Kick Returner
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Prospect Video Clips
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