Breaking down one of the riskiest draft moves (pick or trading picks, trading back, etc.) by the Tennessee Titans over the past 25 years:
Round/overall selection: First, 16th
Did the risk pay off? Hesitation about Randy Moss was understandable given the questions he faced coming into the league, and the Tennessee Oilers avoided him and made Kevin Dyson out of Utah the top receiver in the 1998 draft. Dyson didn't pan out nearly to the level of the alternative, with 176 catches for 2,310 yards and 18 touchdowns in 58 games over fives seasons while averaging 13.1 yards per catch. In his second season, he did have the ball in his hands in the franchise's two most iconic moments, taking Frank Wycheck's lateral 75 yards for the Music City Miracle and stretching desperately for the goal line one yard short of a tying touchdown on the final play of Super Bowl XXXIV. In Nov. of 2010, the Titans finally got Moss on their roster. They claimed him off waivers from Minnesota. But even with Kenny Britt hurt, they showed they didn’t know what to do with Moss. He had slowed, for sure, but none of the Titans faster wideouts were doing anything significant. Moss played in eight games, and caught all of six passes for 80 yards.
Was there a safer move? Randy Moss lasted until the 21st pick and Minnesota got a fantastic, dynamic player who spurred four playoff appearances in seven full seasons with the Vikings. Moss played in 109 games during that span (1998-2004), making 574 catches for 9,142 yards, a 15.9-yard average per catch and 90 touchdown receptions. Moss rates as one of the most explosive, hard-to-defend receivers in the history of the game while the Titans have failed to draft and develop a receiver close to his caliber since they relocated to Tennessee in 1997.