With the departures of Adam Humphries and DeSean Jackson, Chris Godwin, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 3rd-round (84th overall) selection in the 2017 NFL Draft, moves up the depth chart. But is he a no. 2 wide receiver?
At the very least, Godwin could be competing with Breshad Perriman, formerly of the Cleveland Browns, with the trade for the New York Giants’ Odell Beckham, Jr. becoming final. Godwin’s made serious strides since his rookie season. He went from 34 receptions, 525 receiving yards and one touchdown to 59 receiving, 842 yards and seven TDs in 2018.
It’s hard to argue against progress like that going into Godwin’s third year. But make no mistake, this is a different offense now with Dirk Kotter and offensive coordinator Todd Monken no longer calling the plays after being fired at the conclusion of the 2018 season. He emerged as the second in receiving yards behind star receiver Mike Evans and exceeded Humphries in production despite starting in fewer games, outgaining him by 26 yards and two more TDs.
Godwin was number three in receptions with 59 catches after being targeted 95 times. By comparison, Humphries has him beat in the hands department, catching 72.4 percent of passes thrown his way. Godwin’s catching percentage matches more closely to Evans with his 62.1 to Evans’ 62.3 percent.
Of the primary receiving corps, Humphries and Godwin exceeded expectations compared to the veteran Jackson, who only caught 55.4 percent of passes thrown his way. I can see Godwin being the primary deep threat in the 2019 season. That is, unless general manager Jason Licht and head coach Bruce Arians are trying to covet a high value receiver in free agency. But no one has the Bucs drafting a receiver in the early rounds.
We’ll have to wait and see if Perriman is going to be penciled in as slot or fourth receiver. He hasn’t shown to be a value pick-up since he hasn’t even exceeded 1,000 receiving yards for his career. His best year was his rookie season with the Baltimore Ravens, catching half the passes thrown his way for 499 yards and three TDs. The following year saw his role and presence reduced, catching a paltry 28.6 of passes thrown his way for a measly 77 yards in 10 catches. He seemed to return closer to his rookie form in 2018 when he caught a career high 64 percent of passes, but for only 340 yards and two TDs.
We can only hope both benefit from the receiver-heavy sets Arians likes to run.