Considering the quality, or lack thereof, of the Tennessee Titans‘ current crop of wide receivers, the team really has no choice but to draft a wideout in either the first or second round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

This isn’t a situation where the Titans “should” take a WR in either round one or two. This is a must, mainly because the team lost two of its top three receivers from 2020, Adam Humphries and Corey Davis, in free agency.

Davis signed with the Jets, and Humphries signed with Washington after the Titans released him. TE Jonnu Smith, a starter since 2019, also departed the Titans in free agency.

Losing Humphries and Davis hasn’t just left a void at the WR position for the Titans—it’s left a deep cavern.

Behind budding star A.J. Brown on the Titans’ receiver depth chart is free-agent signee Josh Reynolds and a bevy of practice-squad caliber players. That’s got to change for the Titans’ offense to continue producing at the high level it did in 2020.

The most effective way the Titans can make that change is by drafting a receiver very early in the draft.

If the Titans wait too late to draft a receiver, they’ll likely end up with a player with either limited talent or limited college production, or one who is more of a developmental project.

Only adding a player of that caliber would mean that receivers like Nick Westbrook-Ikhine and Cameron Batson—marginal talents, at best—would have to play major roles for the Titans’ offense in 2021.

Instead, the Titans need to draft a talented, physically gifted receiver who can start and produce from day one, just like Brown did after the Titans drafted him in 2019. Finding that type of receiver will almost certainly require a first- or second-round draft pick.

That will require the Titans to acknowledge the limitation of the only receiver they’ve added thus far through free agency, Josh Reynolds.

Reynolds could end up as a quality option for the Titans. His production with the Rams in Los Angeles from 2017-2020 was limited, but his role was, as well.

However, while the Titans can hope for Reynolds to fill the void left by Corey Davis’ departure in free agency, that’s not an outcome they should count on.

There’s no guarantee that a bigger role for Reynolds will lead to more production, and he’s not the type of player that a team should build part of its offense around.

A receiver of that quality is, almost always, found early on in the NFL Draft. The Titans need to hedge their bets on one in 2021.

Cover image: Christopher Hanewinckel & Nelson Chenault / USA Today