Fans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers blew up twitter on Friday night after Clemson WR Sammy Watkins blew up in the Orange Bowl. After he had 16 receptions for 227 yards and 2 touchdowns, Watkins declared for the NFL draft.
A quick look at the draft order and you might notice that the Bucs are in the prime position to draft the playmaking receiver from Clemson, but would that be the smartest move?
The Bucs have both Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams locked into contracts, but some speed at receiver is needed.
Is the Bucs need for speed and a playmaker big enough to invest the 7th overall draft pick at a position where two receivers are already making a combined average of over $15M per season?
While some might view Watkins as being worthy of that pick, and he might, this draft might have no deeper position than receiver thanks to the massive amount of underclassmen who have declared for the draft from this position.
Watkins joins Mike Evans of Texas A&M, Marquis Lee of USC, Brandon Coleman of Rutgers, Devante Adams of Fresno State, Brandin Cooks of Oregon State, Allen Robinson of Penn State, Paul Richardson of Colorado, and LSU’s Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry as the latest WRs to leave school early and enter the NFL draft. FSU’s redshirt-sophomore Kelvin Benjamin might be soon to follow after the title game Monday night.
When you add the list of underclassmen to the group of seniors that were already eligible for this year’s draft, it might appear as if high quality receivers can be had into the 3rd or 4th rounds.
For a team like the Buccaneers with needs at prime positions such as quarterback, defensive end, and offensive tackle, the ability to improve one of those positions early and still get a very good receiving talent in the next few rounds might seem very valuable to the Bucs new regime.
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