With Bucs training camp quickly approach the PewterReport.com staff asks – and answers – 15 critical camp questions that need to be answered this August as Tampa Bay prepares to embark on the 2019 season. Over the next 15 days PewterReport.com will offer up its thoughts on the topics that the Bucs will need to sort out in order for the team to be successful this season and possibly compete for a long-awaited playoff berth.
These are the things that the PewterReport.com staff will be following closely in camp, and invite our readers to share their thoughts as well in the comment section.
Bucs’ Critical Camp Question No. 11:
Who Wins The Fourth And Fifth WR Jobs?
Justin Watson and Scotty Miller.
With Mike Evans and Chris Godwin stepping into familiar roles as big-bodied, productive downfield targets who already have a relationship with Jameis Winston, and the addition of Breshad Perriman to slide in as the third wide receiver, the battle for the fourth and fifth receiver spots will come down to production in camp and the preseason, and Watson and Miller should keep a firm grip on those spots.
Watson, the Bucs’ fourth-round draft pick in 2018, leads the pack as far as the fourth wide receiver spot goes, but the fifth spot could see much more of a battle. Watson initially started the 2018 season inactive, but quickly found himself a role on nearly every aspect of the Bucs’ special team’s unit, and despite only hauling in one catch for five yards at Cincinnati, was active for 12 games last year.
Watson also spent a lot of time with the “first-team” offense during the Bucs’ offseason workouts due to injuries to Evans and Perriman. With great size at 6-foot-3 and a 4.4 40-yard dash back at his pro day, Watson’s combination of size and speed fits Bruce Arians’ mold for wide receivers to a tee, giving him the potential to be a very dangerous target when given an opportunity.
Scotty Miller, the Bucs’ sixth-round pick this year, made a great case for himself through OTAs and mandatory mini-camp, coming up with numerous splash plays and showing that he can be a true threat to take the top off of the defense with his speed.
In his final year at Bowling Green, Miller hauled in nine touchdowns and 1,148 receiving yards on 71 receptions for an impressive 16.2 yards per reception.
While Watson and Miller hold the edge, a number of wildcards could stand out as the team begins to practice with pads and get geared up for the season.
Bobo Wilson, an undrafted free agent from 2017, has played with Winston since their days at Florida State and has managed to keep himself around with the team for two seasons and caught his first touchdown pass last year. K.J. Brent has NFL experience, originally signing with the Raiders before finding his way onto both the Seahawks’ and Colts’ practice squads the past two seasons. Brent and rookie Anthony Johnson have prototypical size for the Bucs’ wideouts. DaMarkus Lodge and Bryant Mitchell, undrafted free agents out of Ole Miss and Northwestern State, also have size and will be interesting players to keep an eye on as camp goes on, in addition to newcomer Xavier Ubosi.
All of these receivers will be names to look out for, but will certainly have their work cut out for them if they want to put pressure on Watson and battle Miller for the final spot by the time the season rolls around in September.