This is the second part of our eight part series previewing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Today we’ll look at the wide receivers.
The 2018 Tampa Bay Buccaneers had the number one passing offense in the NFL averaging 320 yards per game. Overall the Bucs offense was third in the league averaging 416 yards per game.
But leading the league in yards per game does not necessarily mean that you will win your division or secure a playoff birth. The Bucs averaged just 24 points per game good with all that offensive firepower good for 12th in the league.
One thing anyone who is knowledgeable about the NFL would have to agree on is that this wide receiver group led by Mike Evans is one of the most underrated and disrespected units in the league.
When you look at the receivers in the league and you want to rank Mike Evans in the 11-20 group of receivers as some of the so called experts have, you are ignorant.
Let’s look at what Mike Evans has accomplished in his four years in Tampa.
Evans has the Bucs record for most receiving touchdowns in Buccaneer history with two season of 12. Evans has 21, 100 receiving yard games. Has five consecutive 1,000 yard seasons.
Evans is the all-time Buccaneer leading receiver with 6,103 yards. He also has the Buccaneer record for the most receiving yards in a season with 1,524.
His NFL records include being the youngest receiver in league history to reach 6,000 receiving yards. The youngest player to have 5 seasons of 1,000 yards receiving, and the youngest player to have 200 yards receiving in a game as Evans was just 21 years 87 days when he accomplished that feat.
All these NFL and Buccaneer records were accomplished before the age of 25. He will not turn 26 till August 13th.
Chris Godwin is back for his third year with the Buccaneers and is ready to have a huge season. With DeSean Jackson as the number two wide receiver the last two seasons, Godwin was underutilized and was the third receiver.
This season Godwin will become the number two receiver behind Evans and has the potential to have a Pro Bowl season. Godwin has shown what he can do in small doses, but has lacked the consistency needed to perform at a high level.
At times his route running has been questioned and he has been haunted by dropped balls. Godwin is coming off a 2018 campaign where he caught 59 balls for 842 yards for seven touchdowns and averaged just over 14 yards a catch.
To replace DeSean Jackson, the Bucs signed Breshad Perriman to a one year contract. Perriman who is one of the fastest receiver in the league with 4.35 speed has been hampered by injuries so far in his NFL career.
Perriman has not come close to reaching his NFL potential as he has been bit by the injury bug at almost every stop so far in his career. Perriman was the number one pick of the Baltimore Ravens in the 2015 draft, did not play in his first NFL game until 2016.
In 2018 Perriman was cut by the Ravens, and then went on to play with the Washington Redskins and the Cleveland Browns. In 2018 with the Browns, Perriman had 16 catches for 340 yards and two touchdowns.
The Bucs are hoping that Perriman’s injuries are behind him, and is ready to come in and be contributor the entire 2019 season.
The Bucs drafted Scotty Miller a small wide receiver from Bowling Green in the sixth round, and from watching him at OTA’s and minicamp, Miller is going to be an integral of this Bucs receiving group.
Miller at five feet eleven, 175 pounds consistently got behind the defensive backs and made play after play. Miller has great hands as he seems to catch everything thrown his way, and will also be a key component in the return game.
Look for 2nd year receiver Justin Watson and Bobo Wilson to battle it out for the fifth receiver spot on the team.
OJ Howard and Cameron Brate will be the top two tight ends on the team with Antony Auclair making the team as the third tight end if the Bucs go that route.
With Howard and Brate as your tights ends, that is like having two extra wide receivers as Howard is know more for his catching ability than his blocking. Brate will get you the tough catches when needed, but is a better blocker than Howard.
Winston will have plenty of good targets to throw to. The arsenal is loaded and ready to be unleashed.
Opposing defenses, you have been warned.