One of the strong positions for the Bucs in 2017, the Bucs receiving core continues to make strides, but have they improved for 2018?
At WR, None.
At TE, None.
At WR, Draft pick Justin Watson, UDFA’s Erv Phillips, Sergio Bailey, young veterans Benard Reedy (returning to the Bucs from the Patriots) and Jake Lampman.
At TE, UDFA’s Donnie Ernesberger, Tanner Hudson and Jason Reese.
At Wide Receiver, Tampa Bay boasts one of the deadliest trios in the NFL with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Desean Jackson. Godwin is expected to take over as the outside WR opposite Evans while Jackson spends significantly more time in the slot.
At TE, the embarrassment of riches continues with Cameron Brate, one of the best young tight ends in the NFL, and 2017 1st round draft pick O.J. Howard.
It’s crowded at WR, with Adam Humphries returning, along with Freddie Martino and Bobo Wilson, in addition to the young guys we already mentioned in a fight for 3, possibly 4 spots behind the big 3.
At TE, the UDFA’s we mentioned earlier join Anthony Auclair and Alan Cross in a battle for what’s expected to be about two spots behind Brate and Howard.
Improvement or No?
By getting more reps for Godwin and figuring out how best to use Desean Jackson, the Bucs automatically upgrade their receiving core. O.J. Howard moves into his second season and is expected to make a significant jump. It remains to be seen if draft pick Justin Watson can get out the tub and make the club. With improvements along the offensive line and the running game, the plethora of weapons Jameis Winston will have at his disposal will make the Bucs a difficult offense to stop, if Winston can avoid the drive killing mistakes and take advantage of his opportunities.