Every year it seems the Buccaneers are in the market for a third or fourth wide receiver in the middile of the draft. Coming into the draft the Pewter Pirates are again in the market for a wide receiver. Here’s a few mid-round players the Bucs should consider taking.
Jalin Hyatt is the type of player that every person will mock to their favorite team. It’s easy to see why. His skill set is extremely fun and if he works out, he will be an electric addition to any offense. Hyatt is a deep threat through and through, he will come into the NFL with elite speed on day one. His speed and vertical separation ability will be an instantaneous impact. But there are a lot of fast guys in the league, what will separate him from the rest? I believe he is more refined than the normal “speedsters” we see selected.
I like his tracking ability and can seem to pluck the ball out of the air with authority. His route running is pretty solid for what might be a project, and there is only one main drawback that is hindering his draft stock. At Tennessee, Josh Heupel worked miracles, and one of those was seldom letting Hyatt face press coverage. These free releases allowed Hyatt to let his skill set truly show. In the NFL, he will need to prove his worth, especially in a world where press coverage is becoming more and more prominent. A solid pick for the Buccaneers if he’s available.
Projection: Late 2nd, Early 3rd Round
For most people, Puka Nacua might be a name they have never heard before. But for me, i had the privilege of him tearing my favorite team apart and catching a ridiculous game winning touchdown. I believe that Nacua is a very safe pick and will be in the NFL for a long time. The first thing that is evident is that he can essentially catch any pass thrown to him. Often making tough catches bailing his offense out. His size helps with this, although he isn’t the tallest, he is still built like an NFL player and keep up physically.
Nacua brings physicality that is shown in every facet of his game. He can play outside receiver and will be a plus in the run game. The only way i can put it into words is “he has that dog in him”. He plays like the scrappy guy in a pickup basketball game that you hate to play against. He isnt the most refined, but he does alot of the small things right.
His route running still needs to be worked on, but besides that, he is a solid prospect. As a runner, BYU used him on jet sweeps and other plays to get the ball in his hands to tire defenses out. A solid fit for the Buccaneers.
Projection: 3rd-4th Round
Before the senior Bowl, some mocks had Rashee Rice sneaking into the first round. After his poor showing in Mobile, that illustrated many of his flaws, he might not even be a mid round guy. Let’s start off with the positives. Rice has good size and will be able to compete physically on day one. This is shown on inside breaking routes where he can often get inside and box the defender away from the ball. He has an elite set of hands and won’t be a liability. His physical play allows for him to be aggressive when he gets the ball, often falling forward for extra yards.
The negatives for Rice are staggering and will end up being his downfall. On film he’s shown nearly zero ability to create separation and during the senior bowl that showed up for everyone to see. It doesnt matter how big he is or how great he can catch, if he cant produce separation he cant be a reliable target for an NFL offense. In college he also struggled against press coverage, which is something he must learn to do successfully, if he wants to make it.