A former sixth round pick of the Indianapolis Colts, Pierre Garcon just completed his 10th season in the NFL. Garcon burst on to the scene with Peyton Manning and operated as the second receiver opposite Reggie Wayne. After four seasons in Indy, Garcon cashed out with the Washington Redskins in 2012 and has since been an ideal complimentary receiver.
Standing at six-foot flat and 211 pounds, Garcon plays a physical brand of football, winning with strong hands, a terrific ability to create extra yards post-catch, and a fiery competitive toughness. Garcon isn’t a blazing fast runner, but he’s plenty quick enough to get down the field in a hurry. Despite being 31 in August, Garcon has shown no signs of slowing down; in 2016 Garcon had 79 catches, the second most he’s had in a season, and 1041 receiving yards, also the second most he’s had in a season. Over the last four seasons Garcon hasn’t missed a game, and over the last three he’s dropped just two passes.
Garcon will appeal to Dirk Koetter in two specific ways. The first is Garcon’s ability to operate on screens, an important aspect of Koetter’s offense. With both the Colts and Redskins Garcon was featured heavily on screens allowing him to get into open field and create yards on his own. While Adam Humphries had some success with screens last season, Garcon is a different animal with the ball in his hands and could really help out the Bucs short passing game in that regard.
Secondly, Garcon is an asset in the run game, where he’s a willing and tenacious blocker. In Washington, Garcon found himself on several rush-heavy offenses that required him to take on cornerbacks, safeties, etc. in order to pave the way for Alfred Morris. While we don’t yet know who the Bucs primary running back will be, we do know that they’re going to be an offense that runs early and often; it will be a near necessity for their second receiver to block.
Garcon is expected to demand north of nine million dollars annually, which would place him somewhere inside the top 15 or 20 paid receivers in football. Of the pair we’re looking at today, Garcon will more than likely be the cheaper option with the safer floor.