Lack Of Depth At WR

July 15th, 2015
Bucs rookie WR Kenny Bell will determine just how deep the Bucs' receiving corps will be.

Bucs rookie WR Kenny Bell will determine the depth of the Bucs’ receiving corps.

Yes, the beginning of Bucs training camp is near, just a tad over two weeks. It’s coming, folks.

In his countdown of four training camp predictions, multimedia maven Scott Smith seems to think there will be too much kvetching about the lack of depth at wide receiver.

It’s too early to know which way the 2015 season will swing, but it’s not too early to predict that the current crop of wideouts will be turning fans’ heads at the open training camp practices. Vincent Jackson is still Vincent Jackson, and rookie phenom Mike Evans is probably going to become even more Mike Evans in Year Two. Louis Murphy is back after a very satisfying season as the team’s primary #3 pass-catcher, but he has some pretty obvious competition in fifth-round draft steal Kenny Bell.

There’s more. No matter how polished he looks on offense, sixth-round rookie Kaelin Clay could very well lock down a roster spot by winning the kick return job. Russell Shepard has stuck for two seasons based almost solely on his special teams prowess and could easily do so again. And, during the rookie mini-camp and the subsequent OTAs, undrafted free agents Rannell Hall, Donteea Dye and Adam Humphries all had impressive moments, or even impressive full practices. Second-year man Tavarres King shined at times, too, and last year’s sixth-round pick, Robert Herron, is back to take another crack at winning the slot job.

While Joe will admit this is a concern, it pales to concerns at defensive end and offensive line.

If Vincent Jackson or Mike Evans go down, then journeyman Louis Murphy is now your No. 2 receiver. Repeat that last sentence and try to tell Joe your Corn Flakes are settling nicely this morning.

Remember, Murphy was released by this same Buccaneers team the day before the season opener last year.

Yes, the Bucs are excited about Kenny Bell, but at this point — mid-July — it doesn’t appear Bell would be your No. 3 receiver come September. But Bell will be the key to whether the Bucs have depth at receiver.

30 Responses to “Lack Of Depth At WR”

  1. Stanglassman Says:

    I don’t get the big concern at WR. This has got to be one of the best WR groups in the history of this team. I love the competition 3 through 7, they have all looked good at OTAs.
    Who was a best ever Keyshawn, McCardell and Jurevicous? I think K. Bell or Murphy can step up and catch close to 50 balls like Joe J. did in 2002. I also believe VJax and Evans are better than Key & McCardell. I’m much more concerned with the OL (not sold on LT Smith yet) and getting production out of the young DE this year.

  2. The Buc Realist Says:

    I do agree with this assessment. It is probably the only position where “depth” is an issue. The Bucs main problem is not depth! They have depth, the problem is lack of “starters”. The depth is starting because of not enough NFL starters on this team!!!

    year 7 and the rebuild continues!!!

  3. David Says:

    Why do we always bring up the fact we cut L. Murphy last year? He was hurt and wasn’t going to be ready for a few weeks and we needed the roster spot. If we had put him on PUP would have to wait at least 6 games I think. So we cut him, let him heal then brought him back when he was healthy. And he had a couple good games. He stepped up against the Steelers when Evans went down with a injury.

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

    Malarky,this team has more than enough dept at this position. But I wanna get off topic for just a moment. Most visitors of this site would I assume agree with NFL network’s top 100 players ranking with JJ Watt(The Great I might add)being voted the number 1player in the NFL. How many were aware that KCs Justin Houston the league’s sack leader from last season accomplished that task while dropping back in coverage on a whopping 37% of his snaps last season? I didn’t until I just heard NFL network just say it. 37%. Woah.

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

    I mean I honestly hate the cowboys but ironically that team helps me make a number of my points. After Dez Bryant how many other WR on that team could start anywhere else in the NFL?

  6. Another J Says:

    This is the most dept we’ve ever had at receiver. I’d be more worried with an injury along the offensive line!

  7. Casual Observer Says:

    I think there is quite a bit of (raw) talent at the WR position. The final six, through competition, should be pretty good, imo.

  8. tampa2bucsforever Says:

    When a team drafts three WR in two years that usually means you have depth at that position. With Vincent Jackson, Mike Evans, Louis Murphy, Kenny Bell Kaelin Clay and Russell Shepard. With Jackson aging and his contract 10M maybe we should go after T.Y. Hilton next year in FA. I am hearing the Colts are not going to tag him.

  9. Buc1987 Says:

    Money it’s gotta be the hair…

    Go Bucs, Go Kenny Bell!

  10. tickrdr Says:

    Please re-read the article. It states that the problem may be TOO MUCH DEPTH at the WR position, leading to a difficult decision of whom to cut in TC.


  11. The Buc Realist Says:


    you keep bringing up Dallas, But the Bucs have nothing in common with them except defensive scheme!!!

    The Cowboys had a very talented Qb that has been in an offense for a number of years, a TE that stays healthy and is a legit target, a running back that lead the #2 overall rushing in the league! a great O-line which they drafted and developed, very good special teams, and a real NFL coach that gets the best out of players and match ups!!

    The Bucs have none of that!!

  12. P'cola Buc Says:

    I too am impressed with our wide receiver corp. Kotter will definitely utilize them in a very positive way. Are we seeing so negatively in everything that even our WR strengths are somehow now an negative?? Time for Winston to come in and begin a cultural change-one of positive thinking and hope that his personality exudes.

  13. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    If Vincent Jackson or Mike Evans go down

    This is the wild card in the NFL…INJURIES! Yes that would be devastating unless one of the two prized rookies turns out to be all pro material.

    But this is true for EVERY team in the NFL. Take any team’s top two receivers from them and they’re going to be in deep dooty at that position.

    This is also true for any position on the team. How about if LVD and Carter both go down.

    What if two OL go down?

    Ironically we are probably deepest at QB. Jameis is the man but I think Koetter could engineer an offense with MG8 at the helm that would still produce if Fameis goes down.

  14. CreamsicleBananaHammock Says:

    I just don’t get how people are comfortable with our WR’s.

    We’ve seen guys go completely belly up at WR after astonishing rookie seasons. I don’t expect that to happen with Evans, but it’s definitely possible. And other than the top two, our WR corps has never done a damn thing in this league.

    I expect them to be fine but it really is not all that far-fetched that after this season we’re saying that VJ looked old in 2015, and that we have the return of Michael Clayton on our hands with Evans.

  15. Buc-A-New Says:

    Quick! Name a better group of WRs the Bucs have Ever had!
    Wake me up when September comes.

  16. P'cola Buc Says:

    Last year fans and sports media types were all “Susie Sunshines” concerning the hiring of Lovie, the drafting of Evans and the possibilities Tedford would bring. We didn’t take into account that Lovie’s defense historically has a greater learning curve than most defenses and that Tedford would not be present. Sports media types went out on a limb and at times even felt that the Buccaneers would be the great turn around team of 2014. They have all been embarrassed, publicly. Now it’s the opposite “Susie Sunshines” have turned into “Debbie Downers”. Bucs are predicted to do not much better than we did last year. While I understand the rationale of this thinking I think the pendulum has swung too much to the negative side to be truthful as well. With addition of Koetter, Winston and perhaps Bell as well as a second year of the defense I very much look forward for the Bucs to show much notable improvement this year. Go Bucs!

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

    Realist!! I bet any kind of money you weren’t saying any of that about the cowboys at anytime prior to last season when they broke out and had playoff run. Why,because they’re play was highly mediocre. You’re correct they run a similar defensive scheme and went from God awful in year one of the scheme(you guys know the one where you’re learning it)to respectable in year two of that scheme with what I feel less talent than we’ll fielding this season inn year two of the scheme. I

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

    Then you conclude with the Buccs have none of this. I’ll remember those words and revisit them at the conclusion of next season. How some of you claim to be to Buccs fans is beyond my understanding. And I careless about you being one of Joe’s favorites.

  19. Buc-A-New Says:

    I am one of Joe’s favorites too Nos Bos 🙂

  20. R.O. Says:

    Just because it’s young depth doesn’t mean it’s lack of depth. Never know until injuries kick in. Useless garbage again.

  21. MadMax Says:

    Kenny Bell and Adam Humphries will make it…..keep your eye on Humphries.

  22. Idontwannahearitanymore Says:

    “tickrdr Says:
    Please re-read the article. It states that the problem may be TOO MUCH DEPTH at the WR position, leading to a difficult decision of whom to cut in TC.”

    I agree that Scott Smith painted a picture of good depth at WR and did not say that it was a concern (usually, lack of depth is a concern). However, JBF said: “While Joe will admit this is a concern, it pales to concerns at defensive end and offensive line.”

    By comparing the manning at WR to defensive end and offensive line positions, it would appear that Joe concerned over a lack of depth, the exact opposite of what Scott Smith was talking about.

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

    Lol I hear you Buc..

  24. Buc1987 Says:

    Idontwannahearitanymore …Joe’s always concerned about everything.

    In fact one could rename the site

  25. Señor Mofo Says:

    It’s not the overall lack of depth at WR that concerns me. It’s just that we don’t have that solid third receiver yet.

    Bell and Murphy are virtual clones in terms of size and speed. But Bell is younger, is way more acrobatic, and has better hands. And a great ‘fro.

    Jackson is our number two now, but he’s always been most effective playing out of the slot. He’s deadly out of the slot. So, we have to find that three-guy that can swap out with VJ on the outside or in the slot.

    Go Kenny Bell.

  26. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    @Pcola Buc

    Great post! That’s exactly what is taking place.

  27. P'cola Buc Says:

    @ StBucsFan

    Why thank you kind sir. Much appreciated feedback!

  28. P'cola Buc Says:

    ^^ St.PeteBucsfan^^

  29. P'cola Buc Says:

    that was to St.PeteBucsFan

  30. nucifyouBUC Says:

    Ranell Hall is a diamond in the rough, kid has hands, can cut, return, and I think he has more talent then any of the other WR’s we picked up this off season…