If Marcus Mariota is to take the second-year leap into the upper echelon of NFL quarterbacks he'll need help from his receiving corps.
The Tennessee Titans added Rishard Matthews this offseason. Kendall Wright has been a solid slot receiver with run after-the-catch ability. However, both are No. 2 receiver material, not top-end, defense-changing players.
The one receiver on the roster with the physical talents to become an undisputed No. 1 wideout in Tennessee is second-year pro Dorial Green-Beckham.
The uber-athletic 6-foot-5 wideout showed flashes during his rookie season, but was far from a consistent performer. In Year 2, the 22-year-old thinks he can become that go-to target for Mariota.
"I see myself as being that No. 1 receiver, because I know that I can help this offense. I know that I can do big things," Green-Beckham told TitansInsider.com. "That's my motivation, to go out in the off-season and work hard and try to become that No. 1 receiver and go out there and just dominate. That's my motivation right now."
In 2015 DGB defined inconsistent. His roller-coaster rookie season included two games with over 110 yards receiving, several more with more than 50 yards and five games in which he didn't have a single catch. After spending much of the early part of the season on the bench, Green-Beckham came on in the latter portion of the year, but the maddening inconsistencies remained.
DGB's speed and size get him open with ease, but he had several easy drops and struggled mightily with route running. Perfecting his route tree is tops on the list of offseason goals.
At the NFL Scouting Combine, coach Mike Mularkey placed the onus in DGBs lap.
"A lot of that will depend on Dorial," Mularkey explained at the time. "We'll know right away (whether he's been studying). ... I think he knows that's a point of emphasis for him. He'll have a lot to say on whether he's that guy or not."
The second-year pro got the message.
"I feel like them saying that is them giving a challenge to me and saying to me that working in the off-season and (they're) using that to get my head into motivation," Green-Beckham said. "That motivates me that I can become one of the big guys in this offense and on this team. I want to try to do that for myself also. I use that as motivation every time I go and work out. That's what I'm trying to become is the person they want me to become."
DGB added that he plans to get together with Mariota prior to offseason workouts beginning next month, to get a jump on the season.
If Green-Beckham becomes a game-changing receiver in Tennessee -- his talent alone suggests he should -- the Titans passing offense will be intriguing in 2016.