Are Bucs Really Deep At WR?

June 6th, 2015
The spreadsheeters seem to be holding their nose over the Bucs receivers after you look past Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson.

The spreadsheeters seem to be holding their noses over the Bucs receivers, after looking past Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson.

Joe knows there is speculation that the Bucs are deep at wide receiver. Until proven otherwise, Joe is suspicious of such a notion.

Yes, the Bucs are top-heavy. Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans are as good a pair of Nos. 1 and 2 as there is in the NFL.

After that, there’s a major drop off.

Seems like the numberscrunchers over at Pro Football Focus are as dubious as Joe. The spredsheeters seem to think the Bucs have no depth at wide receiver.

While Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson are both good, or high quality starters, the team really needs a third option to step up. Louis Murphy hasn’t shown much outside of the occasional flash, but hopes will be high that rookie Kenny Bell has something to offer on the field.

Nothing against Louis Murphy, but if he is your No. 3, that doesn’t say a whole lot about your depth at wide receiver. The wild card here is rookie Kenny Bell.

If Bell, a speedster with good ball-catching skills, can emerge, then that will do a lot for depth at the position.

29 Responses to “Are Bucs Really Deep At WR?”

  1. Macabee Says:

    Here are your 2015 WRs. This July training camp is going to be the most competitive ever! Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans are locks, but after that it’s wide open. They are all fast and they can all catch. Specials Teams, precise route running, and versatility may make the difference.

    Kaelin Clay has a chance because he is the best KR/PR in camp. Kenny Bell can also do KRs and is a precise route runner. Rannell Hall looked really good in mini-camp and has an aggressive style of play. Russell Shepard is a ST ace and ST coach O’Dea will fight for him. Robert Herron and Louis Murphy are holdovers from last year and have good speed, but will be tested in camp for roster spots. IMO, the rest are playing for practice squad positions! Last year, the Bucs kept 6 receivers.


    80 Bell, Kenny WR 6-1 197 23 R Nebraska
    14 Clay, Kaelin WR 5-10 195 23 R Utah
    17 Dye, Donteea WR 6-0 195 23 R Heidelberg
    13 Evans, Mike WR 6-5 231 21 1 Texas A&M
    16 Hall, Rannell WR 6-1 200 23 R Central Florida
    10 Herron, Robert WR 5-9 193 22 1 Wyoming
    11 Humphries, Adam WR 5-11 195 21 R Clemson
    83 Jackson, Vincent WR 6-5 230 32 10 Northern Colorado
    15 King, Tavarres WR 6-1 200 24 2 Georgia
    18 Murphy, Louis WR 6-2 200 27 6 Florida
    89 Shepard, Russell WR 6-1 195 24 2 Louisiana State

  2. Buc-A-New Says:

    Howdy Macabee. Good to see you over here sir. Go Bucs

  3. Casual Observer Says:

    The cream will rise to the top in pre-season. Lots of talent in that pool. Time will tell, but good reason for optimism, imo.

  4. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    Okay after Dez Bryant who plays WR for the cowboys?

  5. Anthony Says:

    @Nole – your right, bucs have more depth than most teams, not sure why this topic keeps getting brought up. We have plenty of talent at the wide receiver position. We had 2 – 1000 yard WR what else more can you ask, drafted 2 WR and have solid tight end depth.

  6. Tom S. Says:

    The depth at WR is not great. When you rely on a street free agent like Murphy or hopes that a 5th or 6th round pick will become your upgrade at slot receiver, you are asking a lot. That said, the Bucs view ASJ as the 3rd option in the passing game and if he develops and both Evans and Jackson can stay healthy, they will be fine regardless of who is in the slot.

  7. Lou. Says:

    Can anyone say Osuwu?

    Chris had “potential.” Probably still does.

    Ah, the depth of years gone by.

    Does anyone else find the long-snapper thing intriguing? Rule changes have cleaned up the bash-the-hiker tactics somewhat. Still, wouldn’t it be great to have Marpet or the like do the honors and so save an extra roster spot for an o-line candidate?

    Likewise, we really have wasted at least one wr slot on return specialists for the last however-many years. Nothing against the returners, but they just are not real receivers and it is a travesty to count them as such. Just admit you are keeping 6 wideouts and 1 returner.

  8. Kevin Says:

    The quarterback and OC come first. After that it’s not hard to find guys that can make plays. Receivers and rb’s come out all the time . Im excited about Bell

  9. Dick2111 Says:

    WRs really don’t stand out until the real season starts. All of them are fast, all of them can catch, all of them can run routes. It’s being able to do ALL of those things in the real season when you’ve got someone covering you like a blanket that counts (and who’ll also be ready and willing to rip your head off if you do catch it).

    VJax and Mike Evans have both shown they can perform in games and help the Bucs move the ball and put points on the board (obviously locks). So has Louis Murphy though (not a superstar, but pretty good YAC and better than average on first down conversions). I think he’ll stick too, as much as anything because of his veteran presence. Beyond that though, like Macabee says ‘It’s wide open’.

  10. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Special Teams will be the key…..Louis Murphy is only guaranteed about $250k…..could struggle to

  11. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Murphy could struggle to stay….

  12. Waterboy Says:

    Hopefully ASJ can live up to his draft position and emerge as the 3rd option in the passing game. So far expectations of him seems to be fading pretty quickly.

  13. tmaxcon Says:

    I would not keep Murphy just based on his experience that would be great if the bucs were close to contending that being said they are a long way from contending. You already know what Murphy is or can do. Murphy not playing special teams is going to be the nail in the coffin. I would give one of the kids a shot it’s not like Murphy wont be sitting on the couch waiting for a call if it does not work out. Teams will not be lining up to sign louis murphy. not a bad player but at this point see what a younger guy can do.

    I really like Bell. I think he might be special early. I also like Dye. I’d be happy with Vjax, Evans, Bell, Dye, Clay and Hall but that is unlikely since sheppard is not going anywhere.

    which basically only leaves 4 receivers which is not deep considering all the 3 wr sets. Sheppard and Clay are special teams. Counting on simms and ASJ is risky but they are basically receivers as well. ASJ needs to prove he can stay on the field. his previous foot injuries scare me too

  14. cmurda Says:

    After the 2 obvious guys, Bell and Clay are very interesting. I could care less about the spreadsheeters. Bell could be the steal of the entire draft. Yeah, I’m the optimistic type but I love his game. Clay looks to be a legit returner. We haven’t had one of those guys since…. Have we ever had a difference maker as returner?

  15. cmurda Says:

    Good take Tmax. I agree completely. Also scared of ASJ’s foot injuries. Maybe I’m shell-shocked thanks to what happened with Carl Nicks.

  16. Arealbucsfan Says:

    Idk why u guys are so down Louis Murphy. He played well last year.

  17. The Buc Realist Says:

    After reading all the article this week on JoeBucsFan, lets recap!!

    The Bucs have no depth on the team except the cheerleader squad!

  18. tmaxcon Says:


    feet really are had to get over. those dudes are so big and fast not to mention the violent collisions and pig piles. at the end of the day that is a lot of small bones in the feet supporting it all.

  19. tmaxcon Says:


    I don’t think anyone is down on Murphy. He is not very versitle and if you got a younger, faster guy who is more versitle than you give him a chance. Murphy is what he is and good at but not great. if you can upgrade your team and be more versatile it’s a no brainier to me. I don’t think anyone is saying do a lovie and hand /gift bell, dye or hall a job over Murphy. they need to go to work and beat out Murphy but if they outplay Murphy in camp and it’s a close call give it to the young guy that’s all. i think Bell and Dye both have far more upside than a Murphy type player.

  20. rayjay1122 Says:

    I believe that considering the relationship he is building with Winston as his roomy as well as all of the devotion to mastering the playbook being if nothing else, forced on him by Winston, that Kenny Bell will be the slot receiver this season and will do just fine. That is just my prediction.

  21. Cobraboy Says:

    A better ground game will help the WR corp immensely…including Evans & Jackson who were constantly doubled because few were concerned about being run on…

  22. DallasBuc Says:

    Robert Herron
    *drop the mic*

  23. Tom S. Says:

    Was that you who dropped the mic DallasBuc or Robert Herron who did?

    Based on Herron’s reputation catching the football, I would bet it was the latter.

  24. DallasBuc Says:

    Tom S- I’m glad someone got the the joke

  25. FuNkYxMuNkEy Says:

    Bell has the talent to be a really good #3 until vjax is gone. then he should step right into the #2 spot. I have seen most of his games n he is a star

  26. what? Says:

    Wes Welker, vet minimum. Because looking back upon things, Dallas Clark was one of our better FA signings of the past 5 years.

    Why not?

  27. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    WR is one of our least needy positions. In fact if Bell or another rookie emerges or Murphy has a career resurrection, not impossible given his veteran smarts and his ability to get lost among the dunkaneers.

    At some point teams are going to have to pick their poison. VJAX or ME? ASJ or another one of our TE’s or Sims out of the backfield…or is is Murphy in a seam or Bell streaking to the post? There can be little doubt that our offense has many more weapons this year.

    And our depth at QB is far better than last year. Seriously. MG8 is a great player to have backing up Fameis. Do we feel better with a depth chart of Fameis/MG8 or McCown/MG8

  28. BoJim Says:

    Have we ever been deep at WR????????????

  29. The True Buc Fan Says:

    WR depth is only as good as your qb play. Great wr will get thier stats. 2nd stringers need a great qb to get thiers.