The Buccaneers need help on the wide receiver depth chart.
More from The Pewter Plank
- Devin White posts cryptic message to Lavonte David on Twitter
- ESPN predicts surprising outcome to Devin White trade saga
- Updated Buccaneers depth chart after signing two players from rookie minicamp
- Todd Bowles sends clear message about Baker Mayfield’s role with Bucs
- The Athletic is wrong about Bucs one ‘must-watch’ game in 2023
The Buccaneers wide receiving corps boasts some unique talent. Mike Evans is special and was on a mission this season racking up 96 receptions for 1,312 yards and 12 touchdowns. He was Jameis Winston‘s favorite target at 173 targets on the season. Mike is special, there is no question he will be good for years to come, but outside of him, the Bucs lack depth on the outside.
Obviously he spent a majority of the season on IR, but during the time he was in, he seemed to not be the same receiver we saw in the past. In the past I questioned his motivation, but setting that aside the mental lapse in week one against the Falcons was strange to see from a veteran like Jackson. In 2017 he will probably return, if he does hopefully he can give the Bucs one more year without getting injured. While in Tampa, Jackson has performed admirably, amassing over 4,300 yards. His time in Tampa may be drawing to a close quickly but the signing was one of the better FA signing the Bucs have had, especially in recent years.
Humphries has turned into one of the more sure-handed receivers we have. His game has been a huge boost to the team and those tunnel screens, a thing of beauty. In 2017, he will most likely keep his role as short yardage situation guy who catches everything and makes plays. Winston targeted him 82 times, second most behind Mike Evans. Couple that with having the most RAC (Runs After Catch) yards for receivers (324 yards), and he had a good season.
The rest of the receiving core can be lumped together into one bit unit. While some surprised (Martino) other didn’t perform as well as the Bucs hoped (Shorts, Huff). Shorts was starting to get his stride when he got injured and Huff just never quite settled in. Shepherd performed admirably with the injuries at wide receiver, but is a much better special teamer and captain than a receiver.
A lot of unknowns exist from free agency, but Cordarrelle Patterson is intriguing. Similar to what the Bucs thought Huff could do, Patterson has made a name for himself with his speed and return savvy. Robert Woods is another intriguing option at WR, should be a cheaper contract and has been on the upswing since being drafted in 2013. Finally, another interesting option for the Bucs is Marquise Goodwin. Goodwin had his best season of his career last season and like Woods, should come cheap.
In the draft there are quite a few interesting prospects. While Corey Davis, Mike Williams and John Ross may be gone, Dede Westbrook and Juju Smith-Schuster stand out as top flight receiver prospects. Coach Koetter talked about wanting to get some speed out on the field across from Evans and a guy like Schuster would fill that need nicely. The draft is loaded with talent at wide out and the Bucs would be wise to find a guy to give Winston a much-needed secondary target on offense.