Finding “Speed In Space”

January 22nd, 2014

Perhaps the Bucs would eye Jalen Saunders on Day 3 of the NFL draft?

During the little time new Bucs offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford has spent speaking publicly, he’s repeated his desire to get the football in positions where the Bucs can use “speed in space.”

Obviously, Doug Martin is an explosive player when healthy, but what other wheels do the Bucs have?

Track star/running back Jeff Demps is coming off surgery and may not be committed to football. That’s really about it when you talk about standout speed on the Bucs. Sorry, Joe’s confident the Tiquan Underwood era is over.

So the Bucs will have to go get some speed. Joe wrote about the potential drafting of Wyoming speedster Robert Herron, and now there’s a lot of noise coming out of the Senior Bowl on tiny Oklahoma wide receiver Jalen Saunders, who measured just under 5-9 and 164 pounds. You might remember him carving up Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. He’s played in the slot and played plenty outside, as well.

Former scout turned draft guru Daniel Jeremiah featured Saunders in this video yesterday from Senior Bowl practice. Jeremiah like his precision. Joe would think Saunders could be had in the third or fourth round.

It would take a creative and versatile offensive coordinator to use a guy like Saunders effectively. Hopefully, the Bucs have found just that sort of guru in Tedford. 


17 Responses to “Finding “Speed In Space””

  1. Orca Says:

    What about the king of the inactive list, Michael Smith? Maybe Tedford’s offense will suit his skills and he’ll have a chance…

    Possibly, but you wonder about him losing a step coming off a foot injury that ended his season. –Joe

  2. TBFan Says:

    Dri Archer can probably be had in the fifth or sixth round. He can be the Bucs KR, slot and change of pace back.

  3. Geno714 Says:

    I really hope they get a quick, productive, slot receive which they need desperately. These guys remind of that 2nd round bust that Gruden drafted. I think he was out of football after two years. Let’s hope the hiring of Licht will prevent those big misses. I’m excited about what he brings to the table.

  4. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Many times the Bucs look like they are playing in slow motion.

    Lets hope Demps is healthy & wants to continue because he looked pretty good in the backfield (very few samples).

    I agree that Michael Smith deserves another look.

    Speed isn’t everything (Remember Dexter Jackson)?

  5. Brandon Says:

    Michael Smith was likely stashed on IR due to so many quality RBs last season, I doubt his foot injury is that bad.

    Also, don’t forget Oregon speedster De’Anthony Thomas who is a RB/Slot/KR, Josh Huff, Tevin Reece, Isaiah Burse, Brandin Cooks, Dri Archer, along with Herron. Reece, Archer, Thomas, and Herron can really really run. All should definitely still be around round 3 or later.

  6. Brandon Says:

    You can’t compare every undersized speedy WR to Dexter Jackson. Jackson lacked toughness and didn’ play in a passing offense in college where h got tons of touches and had lots of contact. Jackson was not all that productive in college, although he did have a huge game against Michigan that got him national exposure.

  7. bucsQcCity Says:

    Speed is good but playmaking ability and separation in open space is even better..

    Let’s draft Watkins.

  8. DontBucNH8 Says:

    Definitely like that kid. Could be a Trindon Holiday kind of return man and would be good in the slot.

  9. BigSombrero Says:

    JS didn’t look like a speed in space guy. Looked like a deep threat. Don’t see much in the way of underneath ability at the NFL level though.

  10. ROBERT6 Says:

    we go after speed every year and NEVER do anything with it!!!!!!

    we need a slot guy who can get open. speed would be nice though….

  11. Macabee Says:

    Jalen Saunders measured 5086 at the Senior Bowl weigh-in, where the last digit is an eighth. He is 5’83/4” and weighs 165lbs. No more smurfs in today’s NFL. And yes I’ve heard of Wes Welker – different body type.

    Think length and speed. Saunders runs a 4.49/40. A better choice might be L’Damian Washington/Mizzou in the 5th round – 6-4, 205 and runs a 4.39/40. Then at the end of the season, we got “Touchdown” Tommy Streeter at 6-5, 215, 4.36/40 from the U.

    Speed is good, long speed is better! If you’ve just gotta have a smurf, go with Dri Archer, much more versatility!

  12. Solinor Says:

    Finally a post not about the QB position!!

  13. Bucamania Says:

    YES!! Please get some speed and quickness on the roster at WR. Long overdue.

  14. BucsfaninChina Says:

    Golden Tate? Could be had this offseason. We’ll see who may overpay for his services after the Hawks take the Super Bowl.

  15. voice of reason Says:

    love to see tevin reese get a shot!

  16. Mr. T Says:

    I also am looking forward to see what happens with Michael Smith. He certainly has no wear and tear on him and I don’t think it will be a big deal with the foot injury. If he can be developed at RB then we will have some real speed out of the backfield. Lots of interesting things to watch this year.

  17. mark2001 Says:

    If we don’t sign a talented FA WR, and we wait until round 7, you might as well forget the offense for another year….and I don’t care who you have at QB. Our WR’s can’t stretch the field and get open…and an aging Jackson can only be expected to continue to slow down. We don’t spread the field and we will see keys against Martin all year.