The combine commences Tuesday (Joe’s not talking about that damn indoor track practice TV show people wet themselves over), and the folks at NFL.com are doing a variety of team-by-team position breakdowns to help fans figure out who their favorite teams will target in free agency and the draft.
(The free agency dinner bell rings two weeks from Wednesday, March 15.)
Kevin Patra last week looked at wide receivers and says that may not be a position AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht will give much thought.
The Bucs have a host of free agent questions heading into the offseason, but their top three wideouts all return in 2023. Evans and Godwin each missed two games in 2022 — and even so, Evans is coming off his ninth consecutive 1,000-yard season, and Godwin posted 1,023 yards. Gage had a disappointing Tampa debut, missing four contests and generating 426 yards and five scores, but he still makes for a solid third fiddle to Evans and Godwin. Adding youth and speed in the draft would help with depth, but it isn’t a front-burner issue in 2023.
Joe doesn’t know what to think of Russell Gage. Is he going to be an All-Pro hot tub dude again this fall? No matter how you slice it, he was a major disappointment.
Yeah, yeah. Gage was hurt. Joe gets it. Do you think he got a $30 million contract of Team Glazer loot for three years to average less than four catches a game?
If Gage can stay healthy and produce, few teams have a better Nos. 1-3 group of receivers.
Joe could see the Bucs drafting one, maybe two receivers on the third day of the draft. Scotty Miller would be a surprise to return, partially because he is no longer on his rookie contract.
Since his spectacular catch against the Packers in the 2020 NFC Championship game (No. 3 play in Bucs history?), Joe can only think of one big catch by Miller. That came against Seattle in Munich and even then, Miller damn near dropped it despite being wide@ss open down the middle near the goal line.
In 2020, Miller had 23 first-down catches, including the postseason. He has just 12 since.
This content was originally published here.