Drafting Two ReceiversApril 20th, 2014
There is no question the Bucs need a receiver after trading mattress-in-the-yard, stripper-pole-owning (allegedly), blade-in-the-thigh Mike Williams to Buffalo. Shoot, Joe was thinking the Bucs would draft a receiver, even if Williams was still on the roster.
With the draft lousy with receivers, starters, shoot, even Bucs multimedia guru Scott Smith of Buccaneers.com doesn’t discount the Bucs picking up two receivers next month.
My point is, there’s no reason to dismiss the idea of doubling up on a position at the top of the draft if the need is great enough and the opportunity is there. And, yes, that looks like it could be the case for the Bucs at receiver this year. For the sake of this argument, let’s say the Buccaneers do take a receiver in the first round. At that point, I don’t think it would necessarily be the plan to target a receiver at pick #38, but it might prove to be the best value when that selection comes around. The team’s shopping spree in free agency took care of a lot of needs that would have driven them in certain directions in the draft; now, it seems like the Buccaneers can swing the pendulum farther towards “best available player” with their early picks. If a receiver is easily the highest-rated player left on the Bucs’ board when pick #38 arrives, then why not?
Also, Jonathan, consider that the Bucs are really looking to fill two receiver spots – flanker and slot. Vincent Jackson is obviously set at split end but there’s no obvious incumbent at either of the other spots after the Williams trade. Now, at least one of those solutions could already be on the roster; I don’t want to discount the possibility that a holdover like Chris Owusu or a free agent like Louis Murphy or Lavelle Hawkins could take control of one or both of those spots. But I don’t think the presence of any of those players would stop the team from drafting another option at flanker or slot.
So, let’s say a lot of the latest mock drafts are right and the pick at #7 is Mike Evans. I imagine he would quickly take his place at the top of the depth chart opposite Jackson, giving the Bucs two really big and athletic receivers on the outside. Perhaps they might then want to find a smaller, quicker receiver to man the slot, like a Brandin Cooks or a Bruce Ellington, in a later round. Yes, Cooks is projected as a first-round pick by a lot of analysts, but what if he slipped, simply because this is such a loaded draft? Could you see the Bucs doubling up with Evans and Cooks? I sure could.
Joe could see this happening, even if the Bucs someone other than Evans at No. 7 (Hhheeerrreee’sss Johnny!). If the draft is as deep as just about every NFL insider and front office type says it is, a team failing to draft a receiver in the first round shouldn’t prevent them from drafting two good ones.
As Joe has typed several times, he would be very happy with Penn State receiver Allen Robinson. But Cooks seems to a fine prospect.