The 2020 Tampa Bay Buccaneers season is going to be an exciting one. By adding the biggest name in free agency all eyes will be on Tom Brady as he will try and lead the Bucs to the playoffs. Brady will have some standout receivers in Chris Godwin and Mike Evans. A much better situation for Brady than he had last year on the Patriots. In addition, he also has great tight ends in O.J. Howard and Cam Brate.
Looking at the wide receivers in this draft here are five the Bucs could draft that will benefit them this season and into the future.
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1. JERRY JEUDY: WR, ALABAMA
Jeudy, while playing for the Crimson Tide the last two seasons, was pretty impressive. In 2018 he caught 68 passes for 1,315 yards and fourteen touchdowns. In 2019 he had 1,163 yards and ten touchdowns. While he is only 6’1” he still brings the speed and hands. He ran a 4.27 in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine. Brady loves receivers who run the right routes and get open. Brady doesn’t have time to stand in the pocket and wait for the right receiver to run the correct route he’ll find someone he can trust to get open. Jeudy is predicted to go early in the draft.
It seems Jeudy could be a third or fourth option at receiver for the Bucs. He’s not as tall as Evans or Godwin but can become a mismatch for opposing defenses with his speed and willingness to get open.
2. JUSTIN JEFFERSON: WR, LSU
Jefferson, out of LSU, is expected to be drafted in the first round in this year’s NFL Draft. He’s 6’1” and ran a 4.43 at the NFL Scouting Combine. In 2019 he caught 111 passes for 1,540 yards and 24 touchdowns.
If he falls down in the draft then I see the Bucs taking a chance. However, the Bucs will have to watch him fall out of the first round to consider it. He’s got speed which is a must and with Brady being a 43-year-old quarterback he’s going to want to get the ball out quickly.
3. CHASE CLAYPOOL: WR, NOTRE DAME
Claypool was a four year player at Notre Dame. He finished with 2,159 yards and nineteen touchdowns. With the Buccaneers moving on from Breshad Periman they need a third receiver to replace him. One thing Claypool has is the size at 6-foot-5. Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and O.J. Howard are all over six feet which could create mismatches for opposing defenses. Claypool recorded a 4.42 in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine drawing some Calvin Johnson comparisons. I think he will go in the fourth round if the Bucs select him with their 117th pick.
Brady loves to get the ball out quickly and if you have Claypool in the slot and provide a mismatch with a corner by his size and speed Brady will find him open every time. If they want to replace Periman than Claypool should be an option.
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4. BRYAN EDWARDS: WR, SOUTH CAROLINA
Edwards out of South Carolina has the size that would make him a good fit for the Bucs. The 6-foot-3 receiver is coming off an injury after breaking his foot getting ready for the combine. However, if the Bucs are looking for extra blocking then he could provide that. Brady loves guys who can block so others can get open.
In addition, he can be an asset in the short passing game. Brady loves the screen game short passes over the middle. For Edwards coming off an injury, the Bucs may want to use him that way. However, the Bucs may have to use a third-round selection to get him.
5. K.J. HAMLER: WR, PENN STATE
Hamler, out of Penn State, is not the most popular wide receiver in the draft but he is well known for his prowess in the short passing game. At just 5-foot-8, Hamler has the speed and ability to get open and make the most out of limited space. That is an ideal skill set to have for a Brady-led offense.
Overall it’s a pretty solid wide receiver group in this draft. The Bucs don’t need much because they have two Pro Bowl receivers and a tight end. If they want do replace Periman then drafting either Jeudy, Jefferson, or Claypool could be a fit. But if Brady wants help in the short passing game then I would draft either Edwards or Hamler.