Pro Football Focus released their ranking of the 32 receiving corps in the NFL, putting them right where they ranked the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It’s right where the Buccaneers group should be.
It’s no secret to anyone that the Bucs have a wealth of talent on the roster. It really is a true embarrassment, spearheaded by Tom Brady of course, and it’s especially true on the offensive side of the ball. Brady makes everyone he plays with better, but when the players who catch his passes were studs from the start, it’s easy to see why the Buccaneers are in the solid spot they are at.
Pro Football seems to think so too, because when they recently came out and ranked the receiver corps of all NFL teams, the Bucs are well up second overall and at the top of the NFC. Here’s what Pro Football Focus had to say:
Tampa Bay’s receiving corps isn’t quite as talented as it was last season at full strength. Antonio Brown and OJ Howard are no longer on the list, and neither is Rob Gronkowski (for now). However, the Buccaneers still added Mike Evans and Chris Godwin — a standout one-two if they are healthy — and Atlanta’s Russell Gage via free agency and tight end Cade Otton in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Gage makes a lot of sense alongside Evans and Godwin. He excels as a possession receiver who can work center court from the slot or wide alignments. Gage steadily improved his receiving yards per route run from 1.18 in 2019 to 1.96 last season (19th among qualified wide receivers).
For starters, yeah, it’s weird that this is their wide receiver corps rankings and they’re talking about the tight end situation. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to the heart of the matter. The thing is, while some might find it annoying that the Buccaneers are only one spot away from tippy-top, they should be ranked right there.
The only team ahead of the Bucs is the Cincinnati Bengals group of Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd. To be honest, they’ve just come from a Super Bowl performance, albeit with a loss.
Sure, Mike Evans and Chris Godwin were 2020 champions, but that was with Antonio Brown versus Russell Gage. While it’s entirely possible that Gage can (and should) be very productive on this offense, he’s not as physically talented as AB. Luckily, what he falls behind AB in that department, he makes up for by not having a headache.
The other factor here is that Godwin comes from an ACL violation. With the Bengals being a healthy bunch coupled with the aforementioned Super Bowl performance, it makes sense why they are the only team ahead of the Bucs.
The Buccaneers will win many games in 2022, thanks in large part to plentiful points. The talented weapon group available to the GOAT will make this possible. Regardless of what analysis and offseason rankings say, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are incredibly fortunate to be in the form they are in, and that’s what really matters.