Stopwatch Magic And Value For Robert Herron

May 14th, 2014

Wyoming Air Force FootballLost a bit in the NFL Draft frenzy was the point-guard-sized receiver drafted for the best basketball team in the NFC South: “The Dunkaneers,” as general manager Jason Licht called them.

The little guy Joe is referring to is speedy slot-receiver candidate Robert Herron, who stands 5-9 and was a star at Wyoming.

Per Licht, Herron ran a 4.31 40-yard dash when the Buccaneers worked him out. Licht delivered this detail on WDAE-AM 620 this week, when Licht also said the Bucs had Herron rated much higher than where they drafted him in the sixth round. Before the draft, Herron typically was projected as a fourth-round pick.

Herron played under Bucs quarterbacks coach Marcus Arroyo in 2010, when Arroyo was the Wyoming offensive coordinator that season. Ironically, Herron was converted to running back under Arroyo– his freshman year — with 40 carries for a whopping 235 yards. He blossomed as a receiver last season with 72 catches for 932 yards and nine touchdowns.

Herron was one of a handful of college guys who penned a pre-draft diary for USA Today. Here’s an excerpt:

It was a big change for me, coming from Los Angeles. I hadn’t been outside there too much. I’m used to the city. Wyoming was a lot less populated, a lot less things to do, and I had to get adapted to that. Another thing I had to get adapted to was the weather. It was cold. Real cold. You had to buy different clothes. You had to learn how to play in the cold, take care of your body.

It also was a change just learning. I wouldn’t say I was not that good at certain subjects, but the level I was at – I wasn’t ready for that college education. I had to stop procrastinating. I had to put extra time to decide just to study, and I feel like tutors helped me a lot. I had tutors for every class to help me knowhowto study. You could just study on your own, but if you don’t know the right techniques or take advantage of the time that you have, studying is useless.

I started off in fall camp as a receiver and I got moved to running back, which I hadn’t played since I was younger. After my first year, I started going through more at receiver, getting the technique and the routes and everything, and it took off from there. Now, going to the combine, I have to start all over again – show these teams I can run the routes, I can consistently catch the ball, I will run that fast time. All around, I feel like I have to go in and do well at every drill.

In addition to being a draft pick Licht now considers to be a great value, one has to think Herron as a great shot of making the Bucs’ roster. Does Tampa Bay have another promising slot receiver, a guy with some crazy speed in space?

Chris Owusu, Jeff Demps, Lavelle Hawkins, Louis Murphy, Eric Page, Tommy Streeter and more will all be battling with Herron for three or four roster spots. Joe’s not betting against Herron versus that crew.


31 Responses to “Stopwatch Magic And Value For Robert Herron”

  1. INDYbucsfan Says:

    It’s so easy to get lost in optimism during the offseason, especially this year.

  2. Brandon Says:

    I’ve liked Herron for a while now, since I started watching endless hours of tape on Brett Smith, and I really like him. He stood out, I THOUGHT he really helped himself at the Senior Bowl, I thought he looked at least as good as Titus Young a few years earlier who got himself into round 2 despite red flags. He doesn’t always play up to his stopwatch speed, but when he does, he is a jet. He’s tough, has occasional bouts of dropsies, but he’ll make a play on the ball.

    I like the interview. I really like what he said, it sounds like he really grew as a person (not that I know he needed it) and learned a lot. I hope he can take advantage of this situation and blossom for us. He has undeniable talent.

  3. FC Buccaneers Says:

    Worked his ass off to get drafted and finally gets a small break being on the same team that drafted his college qb, Brett Smith. You have a leg up on the competition, now it’s your time to impress!

  4. pablo Says:

    Hopefully Herron can be the next De Sean Jackson and not the next Dexter Jackson …

  5. Me First Says:

    Victor cruz

  6. biff barker Says:

    I can’t see keeping both him and Demps as they have a very similar skill set. Sims will be be the best receiving option out of the backfield so it’s either slot or gadget plays.

  7. biff barker Says:

    Brandon, I watched some of Brett Smith’s highlights and came away impressed. He really has some wheels and is tough to defend because he unloads the ball quickly.
    The release is a bit funky, but with all the similarities to JFF, why do you think he went undrafted?

  8. McBuc Says:

    The Spud Webb of the Dunkameers!

  9. lightningbuc Says:

    The release is a bit funky, but with all the similarities to JFF, why do you think he went undrafted?


    Because he’s not that good. Watch his last 4 games – not just highlights.

  10. William Says:

    He seems to have a good head on his shoulders. I hope he makes the team. Boy Tedford sure has what he ask for – SPEED. I’m looking forward to pre-season. Go Bucs!

  11. Buccinfan Says:

    I’d say more similarities to Steve smith of the panthers

  12. Ace_Da_Buc Says:

    I love this kid! So underrated and will be a steal when it’s all said and done. Watching his highlights from college and senior bowl, you’ll see the upside!

  13. Pete 422 Says:

    Interesting they also signed his QB

  14. brandonbucfan Says:

    Can you say “practice squad”?

  15. Sweets Willie Says:

    Please let Herron return punts! Someone threw the ball to him making him look good!

  16. Eric Says:

    I hope he has some padded gloves, for when the “cannon” stars firing.

  17. Me First Says:

    Ravens…yea steve Smith is great.. im saying victor cruz is the best he can be..steve smith may be HOF..

  18. BucsfaninChina Says:

    Brett Smith went undrafted because he is a developmental prospect in a draft where even the big names is the SEC went very late in comparison to their draft status. The guy didn’t have a line, very little talent in the way of weapons, and was constantly playing from behind. No one will say the guy has a “cannon”, despite the word being thrown around these days.

    They guy will take work, about 1 to 2 years, to see what you have. But a lot of the reasons why the Bucs picked him up are the intangibles. Super quick release, setting and resetting of feet, and playmaking ability. Not to mention that he has lots of experience avoiding defenders in the pocket. It sounds silly now, but I saw some Brees-like traits when he is on his game. I love that the Bucs got him but let’s see what Tedford can make out of him.

  19. BirdDoggers Says:

    The team certainly needed another speed option to go along with the big WRs. It will be interesting to see who makes the roster out of this group.

  20. Tnew Says:

    No comparison between smith and manziel. Smith has a low release point puts his entire body into throws to the point his back foot flies up on follow thru. Reminds me of tebow’s throwing motion in college. People are so quick to fall in love with the mobile qb right now and while that is enticing with the new rule changes about what you can and can’t do to a qb on the pocket or the crossing wr, the pocket passer will come back in style.

  21. Jeagan1999 Says:

    Maybe Herron could be our “Wess Welker-type” slot guy? With Evans and V-Jax probably drawing double teams regularly, this guy could be a great weapon if he is used properly!

  22. Buc1987 Says:

    Louis Murphy 4.32 40
    Hawkins 4.49 40
    Demps 4.26 40
    Chris Owusu 4.36 40
    Page 4.56 40
    Herron 4.39 40
    Streeter 4.4 40

    They DO have burners on this team. Can they catch idk? Evans runs a 4.53 too and that’s pretty quick for a guy his size.

  23. Buchead407 Says:

    Herron will beat out those scrubs without a problem I do like Eric page though. I think lovie will find a way for him to contribute

  24. Buchead407 Says:

    In my opinion we still need another receiver

  25. delson Says:

    No to hawkins no to owusu no to streeter. Give murphy a shot but with a short a leash. Page could be our 3 or 4 with herron or murphy at the other slot. I prefer herron or maybe we can get miles austin outta free agency.

  26. Phillip Says:

    The 40 time can be so misleading though… If you get the right coach he can easily shave a tenth off your time with proper positioning and getting out of the box keeping your head down to a certain point and how to move your arms while running..

    Plus these guys aren’t wearing pads and seriously unless you are on a go route or running away from a defender that top end speed barely gets used.

    Marshawn Lynch 4.46
    Calvin Johnson 4.35
    Shady McCoy 4.5
    Demaryius Thomas 4.38

    Seen all these guys caught from behind plenty of times… Football speed is different than track speed

  27. Lou. Says:

    On Smith — I suspect he has a shot at practice squad or maybe as 3rd q.b. — developmental. His quick release is impressive. Arm strength is questioned, with some saying better mechanics will make him more rounded. He was wise not to return for senior year, as his program does not seem to have good qb coaching and uses a funky spread — little chance for him to improve at that college. Brandon has been beating the Smith drum and is entitled to toot his horn on a good call. How good, we’ll see.

    On Herron — It almost sounds like “speed in space” means the big guys are used to create space and then the burners take advantage of the resulting space with their speed. Herron is supposed to be quick on getting a release as well as fast on the straightaway. How that plays out on the field, we’ll see.

  28. bucinnc Says:

    is anoyone else concerned about the fact that Arroyo had the brilliant idea of attempting to convert Herron into a receiver?

  29. BamBamBuc Says:

    Speed is relative. A 4.5 VJ is fast compared to 4.6 Stan Jean-Baptiste just drafted by the Saints. A 4.3 Herron is fast compared to most DBs, but speed isn’t the only factor. A WR getting open vs a DB is partially speed (vertical route), partially release (getting off a bump at the line), precise route ability and agility;/quickness. A smart DB that is slower can still cover a faster WR if he knows how to cover that type, what routes he typically runs, etc. A WR with great moves and routes can beat just about an DB, even faster ones, with a quick fake. And press coverage changes lots of things.

    One thing about Herron is he has a knack at the line to make defenders whiff on press. If the DB doesn’t at least slow him down, there is no way (with his speed) a Safety can help over the top. Also, put the #3 DB against him, because #1 and #2 are on VJ and Evans… much more opportunity to break free. I have also heard Herron has large hands for his height (9-3/4″) which helps his catch ability.

    Out of our current group, I’d put Herron right in the mix as a #3 or #4 guy. We also have potential to use Sims in a slot WR position, who also has very good hands. Two guys with speed AND hands. A bit different from years past where we typically had guys with speed and NO hands, or No speed and No hands. These guys are WRs (or receiving backs) and the #1 priority should be the ability to catch the ball. If they have speed after the catch, all the better.

  30. Jim Walker Says:

    If Herron has good hands he’ll have an opportunity to have a 500-800 yard season as the DBs have their hands filled with the Towers.

  31. BoJim Says:

    Buccinfan Said:

    “I’d say more similarities to Steve smith”

    Smith is one tough S.O.B. That would be great. We’ll see.