Winner: Bucs WR room
Somehow, despite losing one of their starters to a season-ending injury, the Bucs will begin the season with one of the most promising wide receiver groups in the entire league.
Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are the headline acts, but a pair of rookies have stepped up in a big way to secure key roster spots as potential impact players. Trey Palmer was a sixth round pick for the Bucs this year but has used his preseason reps to look more like a Top 100 prospect than a Day 3 player.
In each of the Bucs preseason games, Palmer showed up somewhere on the highlight reel. He caught Baker Mayfield’s first touchdown pass in the opener against Pittsburgh, had an impressive tip-drill touchdown against the Jets, and went for the trifecta on Saturday against the Ravens.
Palmer hauled in a pass from Kyle Trask that confirms him as a rookie to pay close attention to when the season starts.
Palmer isn’t the only rookie who made waves on Saturday night. Rakim Jarrett went undrafted out of Maryland but has made the most out of his chance with the Bucs. He was praised earlier in the offseason by Dave Canales and delivered on the hype in the two preseason games he saw action in.
Jarrett led all Bucs receivers on Saturday with 43 yards on four catches, and while he stayed out of the endzone he hauled in the longest pass of the night.
The combination of Jarrett and Palmer is even more exciting when you consider who their offensive coordinator is. Dave Canales is known for his run-heavy attack but he also helped mold Seahawks receivers like Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse into valuable impact players on Super Bowl-contending teams.