Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 2018 wide reciever depth is real
It’s not uncommon to hear conversations about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and whether certain positions are stacked for success or not. However, over the past few years it seems wide receiver has gotten a good chunk of the talk.
While many have speculated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ wide receiver depth chart possessed pretty strong talent from top to bottom, it just hasn’t surfaced the same way once the snaps counted.
I’ll admit, I’ve been one of the guys trumpeting the value in the depth at the position only to be left somewhat dissapointed when certain guys just didn’t capitalize on their chances on the active roster.
This year is different though. Stay with me, I’m serious.
Mike Evans is a stud. A bonafide star who is always going to be part of the Bucs’ offensive gameplan and a focal point for opposing defenses.
DeSean Jackson is still faster than the majority of starting defensive backs, and did his best work late in the season. The team should be able to build off of this and we should all expect an increased presence for Jackson this year.
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Adam Humphries is who we thought he was. His ceiling is slot contributor, and that’s ok. Plenty of guys would be more than happy to contribute to an NFL team in this manner. Going from undrafted free-agent to solidified presence in two-years is pretty stinking good.
But now there are two more names entering the wide receiver conversation at One Buc. Chris Godwin and Bobo Wilson.
Godwin has been getting praise all off-season, and had a very good rookie year despite being the fourth guy in the pecking order after being a third-round selection in 2017.
He started two games, and while he had just one scoring reception, it was a big one.
We’ve written about him plenty on this site and it’s looking like it isn’t going to stop anytime soon.
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Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Todd Monken didn’t mince words saying he saw Godwin as a starting caliber player already.
It’s obvious the young receiver who came out of Penn State has capitalized on the education he received in his rookie year. Better ideas of how to take care of his body, prepare and just play at the NFL level are all starting to pay off.
Now, just how the depth chart will take shape is still to be seen. Godwin figures to do most of his NFL work on the outside. He’s capable of playing in the slot, but lacks a bit of the suddenness teams tend to desire inside.
A guy who does have the feet to work inside and is starting to generate some buzz, is Bobo Wilson.
The former Seminole receiver rubbed some the wrong way last year, but public perception isn’t always correct. In fact, it’s usually short sided at best.
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Jameis Winston compared the young receiver in his second-year as an undrafted free-agent to Antonio Brown of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Again, this wasn’t the Bucs quarterback saying Wilson is a top receiver in the league. His commented was targeted at Wilson’s preparation coming into the off-season program and his willingness to take on the challenges ahead of him.
Similar to the way Brown did as a sixth-round draft pick and the 22nd wide receiver taken in the 2010 NFL Draft.
Wilson also scored a touchdown in 2017 and his came on his first career reception. It was his only reception.
Something the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could find useful in deciding whether or not Wilson makes the active roster following training camp is his speed and potential as a return man.
He didn’t have any returns as a pro last year, but he did return work for Florida State and had a 17.2 yards per return average in 2016 as a punt returner.
Along with these two are some other familiar names. Freddie Martino is one. Playing in 21 games over the past two years he’s had modest catch numbers, but has averaged over seventeen yards per catch as a Buc.
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Thomas Sperbeck was re-added to the 90-man roster after he reached an injury settlement last year. Prior to his injury, some buzz was starting to build around the incredibly productive Boise State product.
And of course there’s Justin Watson. The Ivy League draftee who has the frame and speed to make a difference if he can make the jump from Penn football to the NFL.
The wide receiver room is talented. It’s got a good mix of young leaders, veteran experience, ambitious workmen and hunger.
We may have this talk every season it seems but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are deep at receiver. Sounds familiar, I know.
This time though, it’s true.