Titus Young Sr. was officially cut by the Detroit Lions on Monday.
The second year wide receiver played his college ball at Boise State, and was a second round draft pick by the Lions in 2011. To this point in his career, Young has totalled 81 catches for 990 yards and 10 touchdowns, often lining up in the flex position behind Nate Burleson and Calvin Johnson on the Lions depth chart.
Young showed great speed and quickness out of the slot, able to burn defenders on the deep ball or sneak underneath for a quick catch-and-run. His versatility was an asset to a Detroit passing attack which has ranked near the top of the league in both seasons in which he was a member of the team.
Unfortunately for both Young and the Lions, his years in Detroit were marred by issues both on and off the field. Dating back to his college football days, Young had character concerns which hurt his draft position. In his sophomore season at Boise State, Young was suspended after fighting with a team-mate.
These habits carried over to the NFL, as in May of 2012 during a voluntary team workout, Young was sent home after sucker-punching team-mate Louis Delmas. Despite this incident, Young was a member of the team to start the 2012 season, and he was productive, with four touchdowns in 10 games.
Young’s future as a Lion became a major concern in November of 2012 during a game against the Green Bay Packers. Young was benched and subsequently suspended for intentionally lining up in the wrong position on the field in an attempt to sabotage the Lions’ offense. The second year receiver was reportedly frustrated that more balls weren’t being thrown his way, and acted out against the team.
After being kept away from team facilities, Young’s career with the Lions effectively came to an end on December 5th, when he was placed on season ending Injured Reserve.
Titus Young represents just the latest in a long string of Lions wide receivers that haven’t made the cut in the NFL. With the exception of Calvin Johnson, the Lions haven’t had much success drafting wide receivers with high draft picks. Mike Williams, Roy Williams, and Charles Rogers are all first rounder draftees who failed to make a significant impact in the NFL.
Whether Detroit will choose to replace Young through the draft is not an obvious decision. The team picked up veteran Mike Thomas midway through last season, and 2012 second round draft pick Ryan Broyles made a positive impact in the first team in Young’s absence.
If they do choose to add talent at the receiver position through the draft, do not look for them to do it early. The Lions need to bolster their defensive line and secondary before they risk another early-round wide receiver bust.
I’d look for the team to put some trust in the veteran Burleson and newcomer Broyles, and potentially find a sleeper through free agency.
About the Author
Written by Kyle Myers
Journalism student at Western University in London, Ontario, Canada. Sports fanatic, aspiring sports journalist.