The Bucs And Luke McCaffrey

April 20th, 2024

Buccaneers Ring of Honor general manager Jason Licht loves what happened the last time he drafted the son of a prominent NFL player.

Next week, Licht could nail that scenario down again with a guy who also has a big-name brother in the league.

Rice University wide receiver Luke McCaffrey is one of the most intriguing prospects entering the NFL Draft. Why? He only played two seasons at receiver after transforming from multiple seasons as a college quarterback.

McCaffrey’s father Ed earned three Super Bowl rings and a Pro Bowl trip at receiver (1991-2003). Brother Christian was the NFL’s best running back last season. Luke McCaffrey is now a draft wild card. His ceiling is unknown as a receiver. All that’s clear is his rapid improvement.

At 6-2, 198 pounds with 4.46 speed and a big vertical leap, McCaffrey has unique measurables for a guy projected to be slot receiver. Last year, McCaffrey became known for his spectacular hands and special catches.

A feature this week at dove into how McCaffrey has been so devout in his pursuit of being a great receiver, he made up his own training came.

“He relentlessly played a hand-eye coordination game he came up with in which he’d throw a tennis ball off a wall and try to make increasingly high-degree-of-difficulty grabs. The real challenge: He’d have a teammate draped all over him, determined not to let McCaffrey make the catch.

“The best thing about a tennis ball is it’s portable,” McCaffrey said. “You can take it wherever you want — whether it’s before a meeting in the receiver room, in the weight room after the workout, whether it’s in the car.”

… two years after playing quarterback for the Owls, McCaffrey grabbed the attention of NFL scouts by hauling in one impossible catch after another and finishing with a team-high 992 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns. He stood out in the Senior Bowl in January, then aced the NFL Scouting Combine in February. His 4.02-second short shuttle — it measures how quickly a player changes direction — was the fastest for his position.

Joe likes McCaffrey as a prospect, in part, because Joe also could see him as a potentially dangerous option on kick returns courtesy of the NFL’s brand new rules on kickoffs. The Bucs need help in that area.

Also, how could McCaffrey not check nearly every box Licht has for a draft pick? Football obviously is critically important to him and he has the Antoine Winfield Jr.-style pedigree of being groomed for the NFL as a child.

The data nerds are panting over that McCaffrey short shuttle time, best among wide receivers at the Combine. The guy can move.

If McCaffrey is there when the Bucs are on the clock late in Round 3, Joe certainly would feel like he is a relatively safe gamble.

31 Responses to “The Bucs And Luke McCaffrey”

  1. Tony Says:

    Um yeah that’s part of the reason I’d consider drafting him, too! Just like Antoine he’s got an advantage already coming out just like Frank Gore Jr & Brendan Rice. They’ve been learning football from the beginning because it’s been part of the family forever & that’s why I’d consider Frank & Brendan, too! I would’ve taken Antoine when he was coming out, too!

  2. Noclu4u Says:

    Jackson Powers Johnson will be a top 5 center in the NFL the moment he steps on the field as a professional. Go get him Licht . Bucs were 7th in sacks in the NFL last season. Bucs were historically bad at running the ball last season . Mayfield put up fantastic numbers without a running game. Imagine what he can do with a good running game now that he has matured . Odds are against finding a top tier Pass rusher at 26th . D-line can wait .
    As always Go BUCS

  3. OR Buc Says:

    Let’s get trotter jr too!

  4. Tony Says:

    @OR Buc

    Clemson has never worked out for the Bucs.


    Even Bradley Pinion was questionable.

  5. Brandonbucc Says:

    Jackson powers johnson

  6. Tony Says:


  7. Bring back the lawn chairs Says:

    Gotta agree with Joe on this one . If McCaffrey is still around for the bucs 3rd, he’s my pick. Heck, I may jump and get him in the second round. Very very high upside imo. Kinda Winfield like but on the offense.

  8. Bring back the lawn chairs Says:

    Yup simply look at the pedigree.

  9. Fred McNeil Says:

    Honestly, that’s the first id heard of him. Sounds intriguing.

  10. WhatTheBuc Says:

    McCaffrey looks like he has potential to become a good NFL receiver but I don’t think he’s going in the third. More likely a 4-5th round pick due to the strength of the draft and his inexperience.

  11. Letsbucinggo Says:

    Could be the first triple threat player. Catch, Run and Pass!

  12. BA’s Red Pen Says:

    We should draft Bronko Nagurski’s great grandson too.

  13. Todd Says:

    I love the fact he’s a multiple threat option. Let’s not forget that he was a competitive quarterback.


  14. geno711 Says:

    Seems like a nice option Joe.

  15. ModHairKen Says:

    Considering his Dad and his brother, this is a no brainer. At the right time. Yes.

    And why not bring back Scotty Miller for vet min?

  16. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Try throwing a football against the wall and see what happens.

  17. Rev12:11 Says:

    Trotter Jr. is a son of a prominent player and happens to be a position of need.

  18. Marky Mark Says:

    Relieved to see no one has eliminated him based on non content of character reasons like with that iowa kid. His Dad and brother are irrelevant. The only thing that matters is stats at Rice, Senior Bowl performance, and performance at the combine. The story about the Tennis ball shows how motivated and determined he is which are content of character things.

  19. Toad Bowels Says:

    Hey Joe, is someone tracking Sapp, Brooks, Barber, Lynch and Simeon Rice’s kiddoes?

    Whatever happened to Kade Warner? He was one of the final cuts last year and I thought he did pretty well on camp as a wide receiver? Might he come back as a UDFA signing?

  20. Toad Bowels Says:

    I wonder if Christian McCaffrey ever said to him….

    “Luke, I am your father!”

  21. Beeej Says:

    That trade-back deal from the other thread could possibly net us this guy

  22. 1#bucsfan Says:

    Deff would get him. Watched his dad play. His mom was a beast I think at soccer or track I forgot and then you got cmc and his measurables are there so it’s not just he’s got part of a athletic family but he’s got the genes too

  23. BUCman Says:

    Nothing against McCaffrey but the Bucs better draft a much higher caliber receiver early in the draft. We need a starting #3 receiver that can eventually become at least our #2 receiver when Godwin possibly leaves next year. McCaffrey would be a good depth piece only.

  24. DavidBigBucsFan99 Says:

    What Letsbucinggo said

  25. Oneilbuc Says:

    I told y’all politics in the NFL it’s not just about how you play it’s about who you know are who you connected to.

  26. Scott Says:

    This is a Jason Licht kind of guy. He seems like he’d be a perfect fit and compliment to the offense.

  27. Scott Says:

    It says he compares to Romeo Doubs and Puca. One of the lowest drop rates in the class too.

  28. Esteban85 Says:

    Lots of bloodline picks out there and I wouldn’t mind seeing this one for the Bucs. Jonah Ellis would be another nice one

  29. SlyPirate Says:

    Hmm … IDK. Later than the 3rd, if we do draft him.

  30. TF Says:

    I think he is legitimate late 3rd or early 4th. That is not much of a reach when you look at everything. That’s where they have similar WR prospects like Ladd McConkey going and McCaffrey has a much higher upside with his speed and size. McConkey is only 185lbs. I do think he will be a steal and will actually be less of a risk than say Franklin, Wilson or Pearsall who are all rated above him mostly benefiting from the fact they ALL have been receivers their entire careers AND had Heisman finalist QBs throwing to them to make them look even better. McCaffrey very well be a steal!

  31. BucEmUp Says:

    Trade back and take him late second