We are just two weeks out from Bucs training camp, but “List Season” is still going strong. We’ve seen the Buccaneers represented pretty well on multiple platforms over the last few weeks, but now it’s Chris Godwin‘s and Ronald Jones II‘s turn to be featured.
Both Bucs made their respective lists: Godwin comes in at No. 9 on the slot receiver list, while Jones just made the cut at No. 11.
While one could argue Godwin received a low ranking, I’m just happy someone on Farrar’s level finally realized/recognized that Godwin plays slot for the Bucs!
But I digress.
Here’s what Farrar had to say about Godwin:
Tom Brady has long relied on outstanding slot targets, and he had two in his first year with the Buccaneers — Godwin and Mike Evans. We’re giving Godwin the slight nod here because of his speed to get open and shiftiness once he catches the ball. From Week 1 through Tampa Bay’s Super Bowl LV win over the Chiefs, Godwin caught 53 of 69 slot targets for 690 yards and five touchdowns. With Brady getting the hang of the Bruce Arians offense in the second half of the 2020 season, Godwin’s slot target share could increase in 2021, as could his overall productivity.
The last sentence of Farrar’s evaluation is what should have the rest of the NFL scared for its lives. We saw what primo-Godwin looks like in the slot back in 2019 when he shredded the league for 86 receptions, 1,333 yards and nine touchdowns. A healthy Godwin and a comfortable Tom Brady is not something opposing cornerbacks -or teams- want to see.
The Buccaneers selected Jones in the second round of the 2018 draft out of USC, and it took him a while to become a major part of Bruce Arians’ offense. That happened in 2020, as Jones became a key cog in Tampa Bay’s offense — especially when Arians and Tom Brady got on the same page about halfway through the season. Including the postseason, Jones gained 1,117 yards and scored seven touchdowns on 227 carries, gaining 802 yards after contact (fourth-best in the NFL behind Derrick Henry, Dalvin Cook, and Nick Chubb), and proving that he has the vision, contact balance, lateral movement, and acceleration to be a perfect foil behind the Buccaneers’ outstanding offensive line.
Bruce Arians has been on record saying that training camp will determine whether or not Jones gets the starting nod. He proved himself to be the better player over the course of a 16-game season. But at the same time, it’s hard to ignore what Leonard Fournette did in the postseason.
Jones was among the league’s best in several different categories last year. If he can improve his receiving ability and his pass protection, then 2021 could be a breakout year for the former Trojan.