New Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady took part in The Match: Champions for Charity on Sunday afternoon, teaming with Phil Mickelson against longtime rival Peyton Manning and Tiger Woods to raise money for COVID-19 relief.
While Brady eventually found more of a groove and even put up some of the day’s best shots, his afternoon on the golf course didn’t get off to the best start. After his tee shot on the fourth hole, he even let his mind wander to the fall, lightheartedly asking “when does football season start?”
Golf struggles or no golf struggles, Brady has to be excited about his first season in Tampa Bay. Not only is it a new chapter of his storied career, but it’s also a chance for him to throw to the NFL’s best receiving corps, at least as far as Pro Football Focus is concerned:
1. Buccaneers— PFF (@PFF) May 24, 2020
3-32 ⬇️ https://t.co/HNWxHjZ7LB
Of course, the rationalization from PFF’s Ben Linsey for ranking the Bucs’ receiving corps at the top of the league began with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. Both guys were top-10 wide receivers in 2019 by PFF’s grading standards, with Godwin earning the best grade (90.7) and Evans tying for the sixth-best grade (85.7). But Linsey acknowledged the fact that the weapons at Brady’s disposal aren’t limited to the team’s two-headed monster. Here’s what else he had to say about the rest of the group:
“All Tampa Bay did in the offseason was improve on that group by adding the highest-graded wide receiver in the FBS over the last two seasons (Tyler Johnson) and Canton-bound tight end Rob Gronkowski to pair with the two solid receiving options at tight end already in O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate. The cupboard is full for Tom Brady as he looks to get back to the Super Bowl again, this time with a new team.”
It’s hard to disagree with Tampa Bay holding the top spot on the list. Evans and Godwin make up the league’s best receiving duo, while the tight end group is unbelievably stacked. It was already strong with Howard and Brate in past years, but adding a talent like Gronkowski takes things over the top. As for the wide receivers behind Evans and Godwin, there’s some intriguing depth. The selection of Johnson in April’s NFL Draft has the potential to be an absolute steal, and guys like Scotty Miller and Justin Watson showed flashes of their potential in 2019. The group of weapons that Brady will have at his disposal is extraordinarily deep.
Beyond Tampa Bay’s place in these rankings from PFF, it’s worth noting that the rest of the top 10 is full of teams that are on the Bucs’ schedule in 2020. There’s the Chiefs at No. 2, the Saints (who, of course, are on the schedule twice) at No. 4, the Lions at No. 6, the Chargers at No. 7, the Panthers (also on the schedule twice) at No. 8, and the Broncos at No. 10. Plus, the Falcons (No. 13) and Rams (No. 15) are also ranked in the top half of the NFL. So, it’s safe to say Tampa Bay’s young secondary will have its hands full this fall.
Thoughts on PFF’s rankings, Bucs Nation? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.