This is the second in our training camp preview series. Today we look at the wide receivers.
The Bucs have the best receiving duo in the game in Pro Bowlers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin.
No one in their right mind could argue that. Well you could but you would be wrong.
However, there is one other team that surpasses the Bucs in overall talent top to bottom at the wide receiver position.
According to Pro Football Focus, the Dallas Cowboys with Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and rookie CeeDee Lamb have the best group of receivers in the league.
Some other teams have a very good starting wide receiver. The Saints have Michael Thomas, The Falcons Julio Jones.
But as a group there should be no argument, the Bucs have the best starting duo in the league.
Evans entering his seventh season will set a new NFL record this season providing he stays healthy. Evans will become the first player in NFL history to have over 1,000 yards receiving in his first seven seasons in the league.
Evans missed three games last season and still managed to have 67 catches for 1157 yards and eight touchdowns.
Evans should once again put up some great numbers this season catching passes from the GOAT Tom Brady.
Chris Godwin coming off his first Pro Bowl had 86 catches for 1333 yards and nine touchdowns. Godwin also missed two games.
Last year’s third receiver Breshad Perriman had a nice season finishing with 36 catches for 645 yards and six touchdowns. But Perriman signed with the New York Jets during the off-season and the Bucs will need to replace his production.
The Bucs have plenty of talent on the roster to replace Perriman. Scotty Miller, Justin Watson, and fifth-round pick Tyler Johnson from Minnesota will all compete for this spot.
Miller injured a good portion of last season finished with 16 catches for 200 yards and one touchdown in 10 games.
Justin Watson played in all 16 games and was targeted 26 times. Watson finished with 15 catches for 159 yards and two touchdowns.
A wildcard to compete for a roster spot is John Franklin. Franklin had one touch last year getting one carry for 11 yards.
Franklin has had a cup of coffee in the NFL on the defensive side of the ball at cornerback.
Arians is very high on Franklin and spoke glowingly of him at his press conference earlier this week.
“He’s a very interesting athlete. I mean, you know he’d never played defense. He’s one of those guys who’ve got so much talent and athletic ability, you’re trying to find a place for him. We ran that little wildcat package with him, and he did a great job with it. He can throw.”
“He’s coming in as a wide receiver, so he’ll be in the offensive rooms. He could give us a third quarterback on Sunday with his ability, so he’s got a lot of options, and it’s up to him to make the ballclub as a wideout.”
As I have stated before, Arians love those players that can do more than one thing. Franklin joined the Bucs practice squad in November of 2019 and was activated for the final game against the Atlanta Falcons.
The Buccaneers also have Spencer Schnell, Bryant Mitchell, Cyril Grayson, John Hurst, Jaydon Mickens, and Travis Jonsen on the roster. Barring an injury, Mitchell and Schnell of those guys could end up on the practice squad.
Evans, Godwin, Miller, Watson, and Johnson are locks to make the team. If the Bucs go with a sixth receiver I think John Franklin will get the spot.
Franklin can play receiver, running back, and quarterback if the Bucs deploy the wildcat formation.