The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are set to bring in wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown for a visit. However, given the current roster, do the Buccaneers need to draft a wide receiver at all? The team has some strong pillars at the position and some young talent, ready to break out.
A Number One and Two Receiver
Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ fans and the rest of the NFL already know the name Mike Evans. He is a top five receiver in the league with game changing talent. He is a true number one target who has surpassed 1,000 yards and 65 catches each year. Defensive coordinators come with a plan to stop him and rarely succeed.
Flanking Evans on the other side is Chris Godwin. A sure handed, leave it all on the field player who has yet to reach his maximum potential. He improved in most categories last season with just a small dip in yards per catch. Godwin looks to keep the trend going. He could be over 1,000 yards receiving in 2019.
The combination of these two will be something special to watch this season.
A Wide Receiver to Stretch the Field
With the departure of DeSean Jackson, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are looking to find a player that can stretch the field and thin out the defense. “Hollywood” would provide that for the Buccaneers but they may have someone on the roster already who can fill in and do the job well. Breshad Perriman, who boasts a blazing 4.22-second 40-yard dash, may be that player. Coming over from the Browns, Perriman saw little use. Last year, he had only 25 targets. The season resulted in 16 catches, 340 yards, two touchdowns and an average of 21.3 yards per catch.
To put that in prospective, DeSean Jackson was targeted three times as much. The result was 41 receptions, a little under three times the catches Perriman had. With less targets, Perriman had a better yards per reception average and almost as many touchdowns as Jackson last season. If Perriman was targeted as much as Jackson, his stats would surpass Jackson’s numbers. I believe Bruce Arians will get the best out of Perriman and will have him stretching the field and playing like he had John Brown doing in Arizona. So, there may not be a need to draft a speedster this year. Perriman is underrated and has been underutilized over the last two years. He could break out.
With the departure of fan favorite Adam Humphries, the Buccaneers need someone to step up and play the role of a sure handed safety net for Jameis Winston. Currently, there are two players on the roster that everyone seems to forget about: Bobo Wilson and Justin Watson. Both players have had little time on the field because they were buried on the depth chart last season. One of these players could step up to become the threat that Humphries was. That is a tall order to ask of both these receivers but not entirely out of the realm of possibility. We have not seen their true capabilities due to the limited playing time they received. Watson was drafted because he resembles the traits that Humphries possesses. These players could be next in line to stand out.
If the Buccaneers add Another Wide Receiver
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will do the work necessary to understand who is available. Given the current needs of the team, I believe wide receiver is not the top priority. Early rounds should be concentrated on building the offensive and defensive lines. The later rounds are where the team can bolster the receiving core.
Possible Later Round Targets
Gary Jennings, West Virginia: 3rd to 4th round
David Sills V, West Virginia: 3rd to 4th round
Terry McLaurin, Ohio State: 4th to 5th round
Hunter Renfrow, Clemson: 4th to 6th
Jon’Vea Johnson, Toledo: 4th to 6th round
Marquise “Hollywood” Brown
If the Buccaneers pull the trigger, the addition of “Hollywood” would be phenomenal for the team. As a result of his explosive speed, he is an immediate threat at the professional level. Some have even compared him to the recently departed DeSean Jackson. He adjusts well to the ball in the air and is a natural route runner. His durability, mostly due to his size, is one of the only concerns. Brown is sought-after in this draft and will be off the board quickly. Most likely late in the first round. The Buccaneers did trade up to get Doug Martin late in the first and could do the same here. However, I do not see Jason Licht doing that this draft. It is unlikely the Buccaneers draft Brown unless he falls to them in the second and he is the highest rated player on their big board still available.