New Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota has an intriguing new player to work with after the team selected former Missouri wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham in the second round of the NFL Draft on Friday.
The Titans, who drafted Mariota with the No. 2 overall pick during Thursday’s first round, traded the first pick in the second round to the Giants. Tennessee, which also received a fifth- and seventh-round selection, moved down seven spots and chose Green-Beckham at No. 40 overall.
Green-Beckham, 22, predicted great things from the partnership.
“I have a vision that we are going to have a great career,” Green-Beckham said. “Me and Marcus Mariota are going to connect well. He is going to have a big receiver like me that’s going to be able to get the ball. He’s not going to have to worry. I know I am going to be there and help out on a lot of things.”
Of course, in terms of off-field concerns, the two picks couldn’t be more different.
Mariota was considered one of the best leaders in the draft, while Green-Beckham was dismissed from the MU football team in April 2014 after a series of off-field incidents.
Green-Beckham was arrested twice for marijuana possession — in October 2012 and January 2014 — before he was the subject of a burglary investigation by Columbia Police that precipitated his dismissal from the Tigers. Green-Beckham allegedly pushed a female resident down stairs and dragged his girlfriend from the residence by her neck. Green-Beckham was not arrested or charged.
He said he’s grown from those experiences and is determined to make better decisions.
“I learned, you know putting good people around me,” Green-Beckham said. “Putting myself in better situations, I know the mistakes I had and went through. I mean, it was because I was picking the wrong people to be around. But I know now I am putting great people in my circle that’s going to be there to protect me.”
Green-Beckham faced questions abound about his route-running and ability to grasp an NFL offense. But he is a 6-foot, 237-pound target with a large catching radius and ran a 4.49-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine.
“I really consider myself at this time more like a Calvin Johnson or Dez Bryant — being a big receiver, being a big target, being a guy that’s going to go up and get the ball and score a lot of touchdowns,” he said.
Green-Beckham made 28 catches for 395 yards with five touchdowns as a true freshman. As a sophomore, Green-Beckham finished with 59 catches for 883 yards and 12 touchdowns, helping the Tigers breakthrough with the first of back-to-back SEC East division crowns.
He sat out last season after transferring to Oklahoma, but opted to enter the NFL Draft with two years of eligibility remaining.