Act IV For Chris Godwin

August 24th, 2020

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The Bucs clearly did their homework on Chris Godwin.

Tampa Bay’s scouting department went above and beyond when evaluating Godwin as a prospect out of Penn State. His tape was impressive, but it was Godwin’s demeanor that ultimately convinced Jason Licht he was worth selecting with the 84th pick.

Ten other wide receivers had been plucked off the board in 2017 before Godwin’s name was called. Three years later, he and JuJu Smith-Schuster are the only ones in that group awarded a Pro Bowl trip.

How productive was Godwin last season? He might have had a better year than Mike Evans — and that’s saying a lot.

New number, same grind.

Only the incomparable Michael Thomas produced at a higher rate than Godwin, who averaged 95 receiving yards per game. That’s a huge number, considering Godwin was changing positions to the slot and playing next to another stud wideout.

Godwin’s catch radius is extraordinary, as evidenced by a 71 percent grab rate that topped every player in the league who averaged more than 14 yards per catch.

As a result, Godwin’s peers voted him the 38th-best player in the NFL.

Value Vs. Numbers

You can bet he was front and center on Tom Brady’s radar while No. 12 was deciding whether to relocate to One Buc Place.

Godwin is entering a contract year and there is every possibility his personal statistics may decline this fall with the addition of Rob Gronkowski and the resurrection of O.J. Howard. Yet what comes across is Godwin’s insistence that team success is the paramount thought on his mind — not a new deal.

If it’s all an act, Godwin’s the next Samuel L. Jackson.

In a league overflowing with diva wide receivers, Godwin appears unabashedly unselfish. Maybe that will change if his numbers drop and this team doesn’t live up to expectations, but my guess is Godwin’s team-oriented approach is authentic.

“He’s the poster child for consistency,” says Licht. “He literally gets better every day. Now the leadership in him is starting to come out. I hope he’s a Buc for a long time.”

Godwin’s not going anywhere, except perhaps to another Pro Bowl. He’ll be a Buc for a long time because his attitude is as exemplary as his talent. If Brady returns in 2021, he’ll undoubtedly lean on management to cut Godwin a big check.

While Godwin is adept at making the difficult catch, he rarely drops the routine reception. That’s quite an exacta for Brady, who wasn’t exactly blessed with standout targets last year. Now, Brady finds himself surrounded by a bevy of proven weapons.

Godwin just might be the best of the bunch.

“I think it’s pretty scary what our offense can be,” Godwin says. “We’ve got so many guys who can make spectacular plays. We have a special opportunity here.”

All great receivers believe the path to winning starts with putting the ball in their hands … yet you can take that philosophy too far. Just ask 32-year-old Antonio Brown, still looking for a job despite crafting a potential Hall of Fame resume.

Brown was so disruptive, even Mike Tomlin threw up his hands and gave up on him.

In Godwin and Evans, the Bucs are blessed with a pair of 1,000-yard receivers who genuinely pull for each other. In Pittsburgh, Brown couldn’t handle Schuster’s breakout season in 2018, when he averaged more receiving yards per game than a 6-time Pro Bowler.

You won’t hear a peep out of Godwin if Evans puts up superior numbers.

He’s got Evans’ back, and vice versa.

“Chris embodies the football character traits we look for,” Licht says. “He’s a great example of what it means to be a Buc.”

Bill Currie Ford
5815 N. Dale Mabry Hwy.
Tampa, FL 33614

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13 Responses to “Act IV For Chris Godwin”

  1. ©MadMax Says:

    Godwin will be a #1…I hope we can afford him. Another pick I was hoping for. I knew he was a steal in the 3rd round.

    This is how you do it people….Scouting…later round steals….clear 1st rounders dropping into our laps like Big V and Wirfs. Its coming to fruition!

  2. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Need to draft Tackle……dump Smith….use his money for Godwin….or something like that….

  3. PSL Bob Says:

    Love it Ira! Waiting on my new Godwin jersey I ordered earlier this year.

  4. SB Says:

    I frequent and write for a NFCW site. Most all of the cats there think that Godwin is the best WR on our team. Not saying they are right or wrong. Just an observation shared from afar.

  5. TSmitty3000 Says:

    Honestly, I don’t know how much longer the Bucs can keep those two receivers. IMO, it is foolish to pay two receivers top dollar for multiple seasons in a hard cap league. It may work for a couple seasons, because the secondary are all young guys on the cheap. Gonna be interesting

  6. Miller5252 Says:

    The bad things is you dont know 100% if Godwin can do it like Evans if Evans isn’t around. Don’t get me wrong, from the fist season I thought we had a hell of a receiver in Godwin as long as he worked to get better, which he did and then some. With a league full of diva receivers you have 2, that to me, have the potential to be like Fitz in Arizona…. have a long great career with no issues and leaders to help show your young talent how to be a professional. I really think you have to pay both and keep those rare true professionals. These are guys that teams are always looking for and rarely ever find.

  7. Clw JB Says:

    We have the best tandem at WR1 & 2 than anyone in the league now

    The fact they are both old-school grinders with no ego might make them the best of all time, period

    Brady, Gronk, 13, & 14 – it is about to get real happy around JBF!!!!!!

  8. NCFlorIdiot Says:

    Clw JB… Agree completely… Go Bucs!

  9. NCFlorIdiot Says:

    Real Happy!

  10. NCFlorIdiot Says:

    SB… What was your name before you were clipped?

  11. Brandon Says:

    I honestly thought the Bucs were targeting Godwin in the 2017 draft when the chose Justin Evans. I was absolutely shocked. Godwin made mince meat of USC CB and #1 draft pick Adoree Jackson in his bowl game, killed it at the Combine, and had an excellent all around career at Penn St. I didn’t see any way that he got out of round 2… so I was not surprised but still excited when he was our selection in round 3. We got very lucky. I thought he could’ve gone in late round 1 but didn’t think he had a chance of making round 3.

  12. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    Demeanor is the keyword here.  You have hit the nail on the head, Sage.  Your many years of observation have given you that special insight  that you are qualified to share with the privileged fans of Tampa Bay.

    It is the immeasurables of what is going on inside the skull and within the heart that makes the difference between excellence and greatness.  How scouts and GMs determine this is beyond me.

    Super Bowl or Bust!

  13. Buczilla Says:

    Great article and I doubt that Godwin is going anywhere as well. Class act and awesome talent. “The incomparable Michael Thomas” (maybe on planet Zenon in an alternate reality from eons ago but not in this common sense universe) has had one of the better quarterbacks of this era throwing him the ball for his entire career and Mike is still better in every way outside of catch %. With the best quarterback of all time throwing them the ball this year, both Mike and Godwin will eclipse your boys that you ranked ahead of Mike this year. I still giggle when I remember that you and Simms put Tyreek ahead of Mike?!? No ones perfect though, not even you Sage. 😇