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NFL Rookies to Watch: Titans’ Kyle Philips Runs with First-Team Offense

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PASADENA, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 27: Kyle Philips #2 of the UCLA Bruins completes a pass for a touchdown against the California Golden Bears during the second half at Rose Bowl on November 27, 2021 in Pasadena, California. Michael Owens/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by Michael Owens / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

Tennessee Titans rookie wide receiver Kyle Philips ran with the first-team offense during Thursday’s practice.

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As wide receivers coach Rob Moore highlighted in the video, the Tennessee brass has been impressed with Philips, as the fifth-round selection in the 2022 NFL Draft might be on the fast track to earning a role in the passing attack entering the regular season.

The UCLA product projects primarily as a slot receiver, whereas Tennessee’s first-round selection, wide receiver Treylon Burks, profiles more as a prototypical outside pass-catcher.

Still, Philips receiving first-team reps this early in camp is an early indication he’s winning over the coaching staff, and the new-look Tennessee wide receiver corps could have a few moving pieces.

Veteran receiver Robert Woods appears healthy in training camp after tearing the ACL in his left knee during practice last November, and while he’s entering his age-30 season, he’s also the only proven starting wideout in the organization.

As a result, Burks, Philips and Nick Westbrook-Ikhine are likely battling for positioning behind Woods on the depth chart leading into Week 1.

Because of the draft capital invested, and the athletic gifts Burks boasts, he’ll likely be given every opportunity to start opposite Woods to open the season.

It isn’t an open-and-shut case, though.

Realistically, Philips is competing mainly with Westbrook-Ikhine for third billing on the pecking order for targets, which probably won’t turn into a fruitful offering.

It’s important to remember the Titans project to continue deploying a run-heavy attack and lean on running back Derrick Henry and a sound run-blocking offensive line, so quarterback Ryan Tannehill likely won’t often be airing it out all over the field.

All in all, while Philips gaining valuable practice experience with the offensive starters is encouraging for his long-term outlook, it’s probably best to keep short-term statistical expectations in check.

Kyle Philips AP Offensive Rookie of the Year Award Odds

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