In 2018 the Tampa Bay Buccaneers passing attack was one of the things that sparked early excitement, mid-season hope and end of year optimism for the future.
Even without veteran DeSean Jackson who was shipped back to Philadelphia after two letdown years in Tampa, the Bucs have a solid nucleus of receivers led by Mike Evans and featuring third-year favorite Chris Godwin and now former first-round pick Breshad Perriman.
However, starting with the fourth receiver spot, things get a bit congested for the Buccaneers. Some familiar names like Bobo Wilson and Justin Watson figure to be in the competition and could even be called favorites to be the fourth and even fifth guy as of now.
But, an impressive stock of newcomers and undrafted free-agents threaten their claim to the depth chart as we approach next week’s mandatory mini-camp and training camp after that.
Two specific names to keep an eye out for are undrafted free-agents Anthony Johnson (Buffalo) and DeMarkus Lodge (Ole Miss). Both guys were projected to be draft picks with NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein tagging Lodge with a 6-7th Round projection and Johnson with a 4th.
The fact neither was selected during the 2019 NFL Draft was surprising, the fact both signed with the Buccaneers was and is exciting.
Not only are the Bucs going to put their best however-many receivers on their active roster, but with the competition we’re about to see, those chosen are going to be well deserving after what figures to be a hard fought camp battle.
In fact, recently Buccaneers Senior Writer/Editor Scott Smith identified both of these guys as “top candidates” to make the 53-man roster among the undrafted free-agents currently with the team.
Of course, it’s important to keep in mind, like Smith wrote himself, it’s too early to commit completely to any one guy as ‘the’ favorite. But if you’re in the market and browsing for an UDFA to claim as your guy the next time you and your buddies are talking Bucs football, either Johnson or Lodge are good names to keep in mind.