If the Buccaneers don’t address wide receiver in the first round of the draft, USC’s JuJu Smith-Schuster could be a day two steal.
Whether it’s a free agent like DeSean Jackson, Kenny Stills, or Kenny Britt or whether it’s an incoming rookie like Corey Davis or John Ross, Buccaneers fans are clamoring for a new wide receiver to come in and help Jameis Winston while taking pressure off Mike Evans.
But what if the Bucs don’t address receiver in the first round?
Let’s say Davis and Ross are both gone by time the Bucs pick. Mike Williams will surely be gone by then, so is there really a receiver worth taking at that point? Not really. O.J. Howard is the closest thing to it and that’s a real possibility. He provides a weapon on offense and will certainly be useful as both a pass catcher and run blocker – but he’s not a receiver.
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The Buccaneers have to add more than one receiver, so signing one in free agency doesn’t mean they don’t draft one. There is plenty of depth and speed to be had in days two and three of the draft and a guy to keep an eye on is JuJu Smith-Schuster out of USC.
The three year star of the Trojans won’t likely be a first round pick and will be available for the Bucs come day two of the draft. The offensive needs for the Bucs could lead to all offensive picks in the first two days if they’re sold on Howard in the first then address receiver and running back the next day. Guys like Smith-Schuster, Zay Jones, Cooper Kupp, and Dede Westbrook will be instant impact guys that teams will find in the second and third rounds.
Smith-Schuster stands 6’2″ and runs a 4.48-40 time, which isn’t blazing by NFL standards, but it’s certainly faster than any wide receiver the Bucs currently have. Finding a complimentary weapon like him on day two would be a great move for the Bucs moving forward, allowing them to find a running back in an extremely deep class in the third.
Smith-Schuster finished his USC career with 213 receptions for 3,092 yards and 25 touchdowns – scoring ten in both his Sophomore and Junior seasons. Smith-Schuster also had 44 plays of 20-yards or more, showing his big play potential all throughout his time at USC.
There are plenty of options for the Bucs at the wide receiver position and despite how glamorous some of these first round players are, the guys that will be available on day two are certainly worth getting to know.