The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed wide receiver Breshad Perriman shortly after wide receiver Chris Godwin‘ ACL injury last season. Perriman is a former first-round pick out of the University of Central Florida, Perriman performed well when called upon.
The Buccaneers have a fairly large wide receiver corp heading into the season. That indicates there will be significant competition to make the 53-man roster at the wide receiver position.
This notion is bolstered by a post from Greg Auman of The Athletic projecting which receivers will and won’t make the 53-man roster. Auman’s projection has the Buccaneers sticking with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Russell Gage, Tyler Johnson, Cyril Grayson and Jaelon Darden. Yes, Auman is projecting that not only will Perriman not make the 53-man roster, but neither will fan-favorite Scotty Miller.
“We’ll be optimistic about Godwin and put him on the opening 53 (though not necessarily ready to play in Week 1) So our six are Evans, Godwin, Gage, Johnson, Grayson and Darden,” Auman stated. “That means Perriman and Miller are choosing between the practice squad here or another 53, with Thompkins, Smith and Jerreth Sterns among the best developmental types for the practice squad.”
The rub here is Auman is valuing youth over experience in this battle, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Auman points to Perriman’s inability to earn playing time last season.
“Could the Bucs get a late-round pick for Miller? He didn’t have much of a role last season, even after he returned from injury, so he’s the biggest X-factor here, capable of grabbing the No. 4 spot if he looks like he did in 2020, or not making the cut,” Auman stated. “Perriman had a huge catch to win in overtime against the Bills, but couldn’t get on the field with other teams for much of 2021 and could be on the outside looking in.”
Perriman played in six games for the Bucs in 2021, posting 11 receptions for 167 yards. These stats include the game winning touchdown against the Buffalo Bills in overtime. Six games doesn’t seem like a fair sample size to go off of. Let’s look back at Perriman’s previous stint with the team. Back in 2019, Perriman played in 14 of the team’s 16 games. During that season, Perriman posted 36 receptions for 645 yards and six touchdowns. This is a much better sample size of what Perriman could do as the Buccaneers fourth receiver.
What About Scooter?
This brings us to Scotty Miller, the fan-favorite and arguably one of the fastest guys in the league. Miller had his biggest season as a pro in 2020. Posting 33 receptions for 501 yards and three touchdowns. Then, injury set in and Miller has struggled to get on the field since. Once there, he didn’t exactly light it up. His 2021 stat line was just five receptions for 38 yards in nine games.
So on one hand you have Perriman who has size, speed and can make the big play. On the other hand you have Miller, who doesn’t have the size but has an abundance of speed and can make a big play. The issue here is Perriman can run the entire route tree, Miller can’t. Miller struggles at downfield blocking, Perriman doesn’t. To be honest, I see Miller heading to the practice squad and Perriman making the 53-man roster.
So then the question is, who joins Miller on the outside looking in at the 53-man roster? My best guess would be Jaelon Darden. Yes he has great speed and can return kicks. But let’s be honest, Darden had a total of 597 yards returning punts and kicks last year. Most of which we can joke that he got falling down. On the receiving side of things, Darden is a non-factor posting six receptions for 43 yards. Hard to make an argument for the guy to be honest.
Aside from stellar performances from Miller and Darden in training camp and preseason, I just can’t see either of these guys bringing more to the table than Perriman. Especially for a team built to win now.
For more on this and everything Buccaneers check back here hourly at BucsReport.com.