The battle to win the third wide receiver spot in training camp won’t just be the most entertaining but also the most highly contested.
There’s no clear front runner, no clear prototype to follow, and the offense is going to be too diverse to pinpoint which player is the most likely to take the spot early on. This battle may very well last all the way up until the final preseason game and could carry into the season.
There’s the returning players - Justin Watson and Bobo Wilson. Watson seems to be a fan favorite as he flashed in preseason last year but had severely limited opportunities in meaningful games. Watson took just 73 snaps all season, with the most being twelve in the week eight loss to Cincinnati.
Wilson, who has a rapport with Jameis Winston going back to their FSU days, is a solid option, but hasn’t really asserted himself as a player who can handily win the job.
With newcomers Breshad Perriman and rookie Scotty Miller also getting the opportunity, the competition becomes even more stiff. Perriman was signed to a one year deal after being a first round pick just a few short years ago. Perriman has had some major injury issues and is looking to prove he’s one of the better receivers in the league, worthy of that first round pick. His speed is a massive weapon that will (hopefully) work out better than a certain receiver who gave 50% effort 25% of the time.
Miller also offers blazing speed but isn’t exactly large in stature. He offers that possession type player like Adam Humphries did, but we have to see him stand up to the size, speed, and strength of NFL defenders. If he can prove that he’s durable and fearless over the middle, he may win the job yet.
Finally, there’s undrafted free agent Anthony Johnson out of Buffalo that is generating a ton of buzz thus far this off-season. Seeing him get the opportunity to take snaps with Winston in full-contact practices will allow him to put his full arsenal of skills on display. We know Jason Licht’s propensity for finding these undrafted gems and, so far, Johnson has the most buzz around him among all the UDFA’s not named Bruce Anderson.
This won’t be an easy battle. Not by a long shot. However, it will certainly be the most entertaining and - likely - will have the biggest impact on the Buccaneers’ offense in 2019.