When you’re like the Bucs and you have the best wide receiver group in the NFL, it’s hard to say that anyone is a bad draft fit a receiver. The Bucs have size, speed, toughness, and talent to spare. However, don’t be surprised if Tampa Bay looks to add to their treasure chest of riches in this draft.
With Chris Godwin on the franchise tag and Antonio Brown fresh off signing a one year deal, the future of this group does come with some question marks. The Bucs will likely add a play maker at some point in the draft. Where exactly is hard to say because they have no pressing needs to address. So be on the look out for a pass catcher at various points in the draft.
1. WR Marquez Stevenson, Houston Cougars
Projected Selection: Rounds 4-5
Stevenson is explosive and elusive. There aren’t many players in the draft who are more dangerous with the ball in their hands. If he can become a more polished route runner then he will be a legitimate NFL star.
In his last 30 games Stevenson racked up 2,233 yards and 22 touchdowns through the air. In the scope of an NFL season, that’s more than 1,100 yards and 11 touchdowns per season. This is the type of player he can be if he reaches his potential.
Where Stevenson’s skills will make an immediate impact is on special teams. He is an electric kick returner who averaged over 26-yards per return. This includes more than 36-yards per return as a senior and three touchdowns in the last two years.
2. Kadarius Toney, Florida Gators
Projected Selection: Rounds 1-2
Yes, the Bucs re-signed Antonio Brown. But Toney still fits in as the best player available at No. 32 or beyond, so, he’s a fit at the end of the day.
Toney is quick and electric. One of the most exciting players in college football last year, Toney would make a great compliment to Mike Evans’ size, Chris Godwin’s toughness over the middle and Scotty Miller’s deep speed. This is a skill set that the Bucs need more of on offense.
And he’s a prototype that Brown would fall in. Now, I’m not saying that Toney is the next great hall of fame receiver, but there are certainly some similarities between these two.
The main thing that separates them is route running. Toney is somewhat limited in this area and will need to improve. This is the biggest reason he may slide to the Bucs. If he can learn behind Brown and develop in this area as a rookie, then he could become the next great Buccaneers wide receiver.
3. Nico Collins, Michigan Wolverines
Projected Selection: Rounds 2-4
There is a lot to like about Nico Collins. He is big, fast, and makes tough catches. He’s an ideal mold for an outside receiver that the Bucs would be interested in. He’s one of the few pass catchers who can do what Mike Evans does for this offense (to a lesser degree of course).
Collins would be an ideal depth receiver. His speed and toughness make him a guy who can play special teams. Not to mention that his reliable hands -combined with tailored other skills- make him a red zone weapon and a deep threat.
4. WR Dez Fitzpatrick, Louisville Cardinals
Projected Selection: Rounds 4-6
There is very little not to like about Fitzpatrick. A great blend of speed, quickness, size and consistency. However, some would call him a “good at everything, great at nothing” type. Some believe that takes away from his value; I believe it enhances it.
You can bet on Fitzpatrick making an impact as a day three pick. He’s even someone who could compete for a top three wide receiver spot on the Bucs with Scotty Miller. At the very least I believe he would challenge Justin Watson for his position on the roster.
Who are your Bucs’ draft fits at receiver? Let us know in the comments below!