The Bucs franchised WR Antonio Bryant this offseason as well as resigning Michael Clayton to a multiyear contract, but even still, in my guestimation and apparently the front offices, the Bucs are still in need of another threat at the receiver position. Michael Clayton has shown over the last few years to have suspect hands, and while I love what Antonio Bryant did last year, his production over the years has been up and down because of personal issues, and expecting him to repeat last years production shouldn’t be a given. Even if he were to repeat last years numbers, he still will be a free agent at the end of the season barring a multi year deal or another franchise tag (please no!). After our top 2 guys, Maurice Stovall, Parris Warren and Dexter Jackson are the next 3 receivers on the depth chart, and none has produced at the NFL level.
Heyward Bey is a very intriguing player. At 6’2″ and 210 lbs, he has the perfect size for a receiver in the NFL. His 4.30 fourty yard dash time at the Combine was one of the best in the last few years. There are varying opinions on his overall rank on most major publications draft boards, but taking an average of them all, he is the 14th ranked prospect. Judging him based on his numbers from last year is tough, because Maryland’s offense was a atrocious at best. He still put up 49 catches for 740 yards for a 15 yard average. There are some questions though as to whether or not this guy is more of a workout warrior or a legitimate future threat at the receiver position.
Positives: Exceptional straight-line speed. Opponents must account for his deep speed on every play. Too fast off the snap for most defenders to challenge him in press coverage. Long, lean athlete with long arms and strong hands. Has the agility to make plays in space. Reads the field and can follow his blocks to generate yards after the catch. Can snatch the ball out of the air. Learning to better use his height as an advantage. Good leaping ability and has become more consistent in timing his leaps.
Negatives: Bit of a one trick pony at this time. Might be the draft’s most dangerous vertical threat, but offers little else. Long-legged and struggles to generate consistent separation out of his cuts. Not as consistently effective on jump balls as he should be, considering his natural size advantage. Too often double-clutches the ball. Questionable toughness running across the middle. Lacks strength and consistent effort as a downfield blocker.