Pro Football Focus right with ranking of Buccaneers wide receivers
Pro Football Focus came out with their ranking of the 32 receiving corps in the NFL, and were spot on with where they had the Tampa Bay Buccaneers rank. It’s right where the Buccaneers group should be.
It’s no secret to anyone that the Bucs have an abundance of talent on the roster. It’s truly an embarrassment of riches, of course lead by Tom Brady, and it’s especially true on the offensive side of the ball. Brady makes everyone he plays with better, however when the players catching his passes were already studs to begin with, it’s easy to see why the Buccaneers are in the solid spot they’re in.
Pro Football seems to think so as well, because when they came out recently and ranked every NFL team’s receiver corps, the Bucs are nestled nicely at number two overall, and tops in the NFC. Here’s what Pro Football Focus had to say:
"Tampa Bay’s receiving corps isn’t quite as talented as it was at full strength last season. Antonio Brown and O.J. Howard are no longer on the roster, and neither is Rob Gronkowski (for now). However, the Buccaneers still have Mike Evans and Chris Godwin – a stellar one-two punch when healthy – and added Russell Gage from Atlanta via free agency and tight end Cade Otton in the 2022 NFL Draft.Gage makes a lot of sense as a fit alongside Evans and Godwin. He profiles as a possession receiver who can work the middle of the field from the slot or wide alignments. Gage steadily improved his receiving yards per route run from 1.18 in 2019 to 1.96 last season (19th among qualifying wide receivers)."
For starters, yes, it’s weird that this is their wide receiver corps ranking and they talk about the tight end situation. Now that that’s out of the way, we can get to the heart of the matter. The thing is, while some may find it annoying that the Buccaneers are one spot removed from the tippy-top, it’s right where they should be ranked.
The only team ranked ahead of the Bucs are the Cincinnati Bengals group of Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd. In all fairness, they are just coming off of an appearance in the Super Bowl, albeit in a losing effort.
Sure, Mike Evans and Chris Godwin were champions in 2020, but that was with Antonio Brown in the mix as opposed to Russell Gage. While it’s entirely possible that Gage can (and should) be very productive in this offense, he isn’t as physically talented as AB. Luckily what he trails behind AB in that department he makes up for by not being a headache.
The other factor here is that Godwin is coming off of an ACL injury. With the Bengals being a healthy bunch, coupled with the aforementioned Super Bowl appearance, and it makes sense why they are the only team ranked ahead of the Bucs.
The Buccaneers are going to win a lot of games in 2022, thanks in large part to scoring a lot of points. The talented group of weapons at the GOAT’s disposal will make this possible. Regardless of what analytics and offseason rankings say, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are incredibly fortunate to be in the shape they’re in, and that’s what really matters.