Buccaneers training camp battle breakdowns: Third wide receiver

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 18: Jameis Winston
ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 18: Jameis Winston /
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TAMPA, FL – JANUARY 01: Adam Humphries
TAMPA, FL – JANUARY 01: Adam Humphries /

Adam Humphries

It’s pretty easy to love Adam Humphries, is it not? Who doesn’t like a good underdog story? When the undrafted free agent does well, it’s always a good story. Humphries walked onto the team out of Clemson and earned his way to being one of Winston’s treasured targets. When Winston was looking for a weapon to turn to back in 2015 after Vincent Jackson was lost to injury, Humphries stepped up. His 27 receptions for 260 yards and one score were good for second on the team, and he was in with the quarterback from there.

He followed that up with 55 catches last year for 622 yards and two touchdowns, but it wasn’t just the number of catches. Humphries is also a guy that knows how to move those chains. How often do we see guys make catches on third down and then come up short of the line to gain? Humphries understands that to be reliable on third down you must move the chains. Of his 23 catches on third down so far in his career, 17 have been good for a new set of downs.  THAT is how you earn the trust of your quarterback.

He has also provided value on special teams. Last year, Humphries returned 24 punts, averaging 9.9 yards per return. It’s not spectacular but it is another example of getting the job done. By finding ways to be useful, Adam Humphries out-worked everyone and earned a spot on this roster. He comes into the 2017 season as the incumbent third wide receiver, and he deserves to start camp in the role.

But does he keep it?