Welcome to the offseason version of Bucs Briefing! My weekly column will seem every Wednesday morning, sometimes detailing key observations concerning the group’s offseason. We’ll have a look at tape, scheme, free company, draft prospects and main storylines as we prepare for an offseason stuffed with intrigue.
This week, we’re wanting on the Bucs offseason outlook at broad receiver. Who’re their free brokers, which of them will probably return and what free agent/draft choices at broad receiver make sense for Tampa Bay?
Bucs Free Agent WRs
Just one Bucs broad receiver is a free agent this offseason, nevertheless it’s a giant one. Chris Godwin is predicted to hit the market as one of many prime broad receivers out there. Presently, Professional Soccer Focus has Godwin’s subsequent contract projected at 4 years, $70 million. That’s a mean of $17.5 million per yr, which might be greater than Mike Evans’ common of $16.5 million.
Sure, the Bucs would have main cash tied up in two broad receivers. But when a group needs to place cash right into a place group, broad receiver needs to be on the prime of the checklist. Particularly in Bruce Arians’ offense. The Bucs desperately want a game-changer at broad receiver, for whoever performs quarterback in 2022 and past. Few gamers can exchange the affect Godwin makes in Tampa Bay’s offense. Tampa Bay must prioritize bringing him again so long as his well being checks out.
Free Brokers WRs For Bucs To Goal
The Bucs aren’t going to have a lot cash to spend in free company if they bring about again their very own prime free brokers. If Tom Brady have been again, I’d advocate utilizing void years to usher in a top quality third broad receiver like JuJu Smith-Schuster or D.J. Chark. However now? I wouldn’t be trying to spend a lot. Might some discount bin choices be on the desk for the Bucs?
Byron Pringle, Chiefs • Age: 28 • 42 catches, 568 yards, 5 touchdowns in 2021
The Bucs have picked up plenty of Chiefs castoffs lately, together with Rakeem Nunez-Roches, LeSean McCoy, Deon Yelder and Darwin Thompson. I feel they’ll have curiosity in Pringle this offseason, too. A Tampa native, Pringle broke out with a profession yr final season in Kansas Metropolis. He has the dimensions (6-1, 201 kilos) and pace (4.46 40) that Jason Licht and Arians covet. Pringle has additionally improved by leaps and bounds throughout his time with the Chiefs. His inside-outside versatility can be tremendous enticing to the Bucs, as would his underrated post-catch skill.
Zach Pascal, Colts • Age: 27 • 38 catches, 384 yards, 3 touchdowns in 2021
Pascal is an influence slot who could possibly be described as a reduction Chris Godwin. In some methods, Smith-Schuster, Pringle and Pascal are cheaper choices for the Bucs in the event that they don’t re-sign Chris Godwin. However the latter two might additionally function high quality depth choices for the group to usher in this offseason. The Bucs want a plan B if Godwin goes down once more. Tyler Johnson and Breshad Perriman didn’t fill that position in a giant manner in 2021.
Pascal (6-2, 214) could possibly be an affordable signing for the Bucs this offseason. He’d even be a standout particular groups choice and a high-character man. Pascal isn’t a burner on the skin, however he’s a stable and bettering receiver who will block his tail off. His numbers have been higher in 2019 and 2020, when the Colts threw the ball extra usually. In Tampa Bay on a short-term deal, Pascal might earn himself an even bigger pay day down the highway.
WR Draft Prospects For The Bucs
Treylon Burks, Arkansas • 6-3, 225
I’m a fan of Burks. He’s the choose for Tampa Bay within the new Pewter Report 2022 Bucs 7-Spherical Mock Draft 2.0.
Merely put, there aren’t many wideouts this massive who can run like he does. Burks has legit breakaway pace, operating previous defensive backs with lengthy pace after beating them with quickness on the line of scrimmage. Take a look at the dimensions of this man shifting at prime broad receiver pace.
Burks was an issue down the sphere for defenders regardless of less-than-desirable quarterback play. Per PFF, Burks caught 12 deep ball passes final season, twenty fifth within the nation. Though he not often performed towards press protection, the junior shredded jams when he confronted them. Sure, at occasions Burks commits refined pushes to get open down the sphere. However what massive broad receiver doesn’t? The NFL nonetheless rarely calls it. And he’s quiet about it too.
Burks is way from only a pace demon, nonetheless. He has huge palms and the flexibility to make performs on the ball outdoors his body. The Arkansas star was excellent at adjusting to the soccer and controlling his physique within the air. This catch towards Texas A&M broke my mind (Burks was barely out of bounds).
Have you learnt how exhausting it’s to achieve again over your head for the ball whereas operating towards it? And whereas attempting to look right down to see the place you’re, trying to get a foot down in bounds? That is only a loopy play.
There actually isn’t a ton to dislike about Burks recreation. He could possibly be a a lot better blocker within the NFL than he was in faculty. That’s okay, as many receivers don’t make that leap till they turn into a professional. Burks additionally wants growth to run the total route tree. He would possibly by no means be the very best separator attributable to some lateral stiffness. However his skill to get open on a vertical airplane and make powerful catches beneath is a reasonably sturdy mixture.
I feel Burks might be off the board by the point the Bucs choose at No. 27. However proper now, it’s commonplace to see him lasting into Tampa Bay’s vary. If his character and well being take a look at, I can’t think about that being the case in a category this weak.
Drake London, USC • 6-5, 210
There’s no probability London is there for the Bucs at No. 27, proper? Proper?
London has sometimes been mocked within the prime 10 to fifteen picks, however I feel a slide may be coming. Sure, the USC product’s tape is spectacular. Few massive wideouts can cease and begin like London, which permits him to realize separation regardless of not being a burner. London has fast toes and good high-point abilities, which come from his basketball background.
However the comparisons to J.J. Arcega-Whiteside shouldn’t cease there. London is a high-cut athlete who strikes with extra stiffness than you’d like. There’s no query he’s artful and found out methods to choose up yards after the catch in faculty. However I’m positively fearful about his athleticism translating to the NFL. I’ve heard reviews that his 40 time could possibly be very underwhelming if he works out earlier than the draft.
London is clearly a superb faculty soccer participant. The query might be how a lot of that may translate to the NFL? The 20-year previous can be coming off a damaged ankle suffered in October. In time I feel London might turn into an excellent route runner and a perfect massive slot within the NFL. However I’ve severe questions on his skill to win outdoors persistently attributable to his lack of blazing pace.
I wouldn’t take him off the board for the Bucs fully simply but. However I feel they’ll be coveting dimension and pace with their early-round receiver investments. Given how unlikely London is to examine the second field, and his propensity for drops, I don’t suppose he’ll be excessive on their board.
Jameson Williams, Alabama • 6-2, 190
If not for a torn ACL, Williams would most likely be a lock to return off the board very early. However due to the uncertainty with Williams’ harm, his inventory would possibly stay in limbo for awhile. A switch from Ohio State, Williams erupted into the NFL Draft image out of nowhere this season. Pace is his recreation, nevertheless it comes packaged in a pleasant 6-foot-2, 190-pound body.
There’s no query Williams is lanky, however his body isn’t frail. Positive, he gained’t win many contested catches. However he does snag the ball outdoors his body and has flashed sturdy palms. Williams is a superb athlete, going parallel to the bottom to snag a number of balls this season. You may inform there’s physique management and ball monitoring abilities to have potential for powerful catches as a vertical menace. And he’ll instantly be one of many quickest gamers within the NFL.
All 15 of Alabama’s Jameson Williams’ receiving TDs, which led the SEC.
— Wes on Broadway (@TitansDraftTape) February 6, 2022
That stated, Williams has loads of enhancements to make. He’s nonetheless comparatively inexperienced, and press protection towards extra technical cornerbacks might hassle him. He has all of the instruments to work free early in routes, however timing and approach are nonetheless inconsistent.
Kaiir Elam in press vs. Jameson Williams. Elam forces that sideline along with his size so shortly. Good job to return again and make a play on the ball. pic.twitter.com/IjSQoeiTMe
— Matt Alkire (@mattalkire) February 12, 2022
In case you’re drafting Williams, it’s since you imagine he has a trump card to make an affect straight away along with his pace. And it’s since you imagine he can turn into a extra full receiver in time. If Williams is wholesome, he is smart for the Bucs. He could possibly be a perfect vertical menace on the skin to maintain additional protection off of Mike Evans. Williams doesn’t have slot flexibility but, however I’m encouraging the Bucs to have a look at free agent choices for that position, too.
Chris Olave, Ohio State • 6-1, 188
It’s exhausting to not like Olave’s recreation. He’s a easy route runner with terrific ball monitoring abilities down the sphere. Few receivers in faculty soccer have made as many performs within the vertical passing recreation as Olave, who ought to have the pace to translate to the NFL. Regardless of not being an excellent bodily receiver, Olave has proven he can go up and get the soccer in shut quarters.
However the senior’s recreation by no means advanced. Olave hasn’t bulked up a lot, resulting in considerations that greater corners can physique him up within the NFL. He’s additionally a non-factor after the catch, so he higher be quick on the Mix. Olave has good athletic instruments, however does he have nice ones? I’m a believer in his traits translating to the following degree.
Will the Bucs have an interest? Most likely. However maybe not sufficient to draft Olave over extra preferable choices. Particularly extra preferable choices at different positions. The Bucs sometimes favor grimier receivers, and Olave is extra of a finesse participant. He’s nice at making splash performs down the sphere, which they covet. However Tampa Bay may be searching for a bit extra within the blocking and YAC division.