It’s an unprecedented time in the NFL calendar where the draft is finished but we haven’t moved onto OTAs and rookie minicamps because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Outside of weekly zoom interviews with players on the Bucs’ roster, the most that experts can do across the nation is speculate how each team and player will operate. We haven’t seen yet what Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowksi look like in a Bucs uniform, nor can we analyze how the Bucs’ rookie class has performed so far at the next level.

But that hasn’t stopped the analysts from making predictions about each team’s rookies from the draft this year. And a couple of analysts from ESPN believe that the Minnesota Golden Gophers rookie pairing of wide receiver Tyler Johnson and safety Antoine Winfield Jr. should have impactful seasons for the Bucs.

WR Tyler Johnson – Photo courtesy of Minnesota Athletics

When making bold predictions for the upcoming season, NFL analyst and Football Outsider editor Aaron Schatz expects a big year from Johnson, saying that he will be a trusted target for Brady.

“Fifth-round pick Tyler Johnson will become Tom Brady’s new favorite slot receiver for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers,” Schatz said. “He won’t put up the numbers of Julian Edelman and Wes Welker, not with all the competition for targets in Tampa Bay, but he’ll gain Brady’s trust. Johnson is a former high school quarterback who runs crisp routes with vision and toughness.”

Kevin Seifert, a national writer for ESPN, said that he sees the instinctual Winfield having an opportunity to lead the NFL in turnovers during his first season with the Bucs.

“Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive back Antoine Winfield Jr. will challenge for the league lead in takeaways,” Seifter said. “Last season at Minnesota, Winfield combined exceptional instincts with a lifetime’s experience as the son of a former NFL cornerback to intercept seven passes and force two fumbles. Playing in Todd Bowles’ defensive scheme will give the second-round pick plenty of opportunities.”

Winfield’s father played in the NFL for 15 seasons, so he brings along with him a ton of football knowledge that not many else could replicate.

You can read the all the bold predictions made from the large group of ESPN analysts here.

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Alldaway 2.0

Dear NFL pundits,

Godwin is the best slot WR in the NFL. But yeah I am excited about the rookies but don’t forget about Godwin!

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ScottC543

Exactly! Brady will LOVE Godwin in the slot – bigger and faster, great at shielding defenders from the ball, and one of the best in the league at making contested catches.

Brady and Godwin will tear it up this year.

Johnson will, however, make his mark as the #3 WR.

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Dave

Seriously! I think it’s being underreported how ridiculous Chris Godwin is. He’s not only the best slot WR in football, but he also had the highest grade of any WR in the NFL last year. Higher than Thomas and Julio. Yeah Thomas got 149 receptions on 185 targets, but he was basically used as an extension of the running game. Chris Godwin did more with less balls thrown his way. If Godwin got the same amount of targets per game as Thomas, his 16 game pace was 131 rec 2030 yds and 10 TD’s. For all the efficiency stats Thomas… Read more »

ScottC543

By the halfway mark of the season everybody will know.

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Spitfire

I know Godwin did Amazing in the Slot last year, but if they feel with Godwins 4.42 speed that it would be best to put him back outside and put Johnson in the slot, I don’t see how that could hurt as long as it works. Though, I still think Miller will shine as WR3 this year on the outside and we may see plenty of 4 WR sets to get all of them on the field. Johnson will be welcomed as relief for Evans and Godwin to be able to spell them throughout the game and most importantly if… Read more »

Dave

I mean I see your point. Personally, I think Godwin’s hands, and route running ability play anywhere on the field. But taking him out of the slot still makes me a little nervous. It’s the old if it’s not broke, don’t fix it thought process. And on top of how ridiculous he was in the slot, now he has a QB who’s made his living off of excellent route running slot WR’s. Just the thought of Brady throwing to Godwin in the slot, gives me goosebumps. Everything I’ve seen out of those 2, makes me think this is a match… Read more »

ScottC543

ESPN is reporting Brady got together with ME, Miller, OJ, Brate, and a few others this morning.

https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/29194544/tom-brady-holds-informal-workout-new-bucs-teammates

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FireLichtMovement

Scotty is going to have to beat everyones 4th or 5th CB. This season is going to be intense!

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seat26

Yeah. I think this is going to be a good Rookie class for the Bucs. But we have had 2 very good drafts in a row. How much more good luck can we have?

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FireLichtMovement

Ask the stupid Saints! They havent missed in forever! Smdh…

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BigSombrero

Hey Dave. Remember a few weeks ago when I said the same thing as the ESPN analyst about Tyler Johnson being in position to make an immediate impact in the slot on drags/slants? Remember when you said he isn’t a slot receiver, blah, blah, blah?

Just checking.

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surferdudes

I don’t think they pigeon hole any receiver into either an X Y, or Z. I think you’ll see Godwin, Evans, Johnson, all of them lined up in all three spots at any given play.

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