Do the Buccaneers Have the Best Receiving Corps in the NFL?
A big debate going on right now is about what team has the best receiving group in the NFL. The Buccaneers twitter posted the following tweet in regards to the receiving corps in the league and their own:
When another team claims it has the best WR unit in the NFL pic.twitter.com/4hsI1jdDgg
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) July 21, 2020
According to an article from Pro Football Focus back in May, the Buccaneers receiving corps is actually ranked number one. The Buccaneers had two of the top 15 receivers in the NFL last season in Chris Godwin and Mike Evans. Godwin ranked third and Evans ranked 13th. Both could’ve ranked higher had injuries not derailed their seasons at the end of the year. Now let’s compare the different receiving corps in the NFL.
Buccaneers- Chris Godwin caught 86 passes for 1,333 yards and 9 TDs. Mike Evans caught 67 passes for 1,157 yards and 8 TDs. The team added TE Rob Gronkowski to the TE room which was already deep. O.J. Howard caught 34 passes for 459 yards and 1 TD. Cameron Brate caught 36 passes for 311 yards and 4 TDs. In his last season in New England, Gronkowski caught 47 passes for 682 yards and 3 TDs. It’s going to be hard to stop this unit with Tom Brady at the helm throwing them the ball especially when Jameis Winston, who led the league in passing last season, threw for 5,109 yards to them last season.
Chiefs- TE Travis Kelce led the Chiefs with 97 receptions for 1,229 yards and 5 TDs. Deep ball threat Tyreek Hill caught 58 passes for 860 yards and 7 TDs. Sammy Watkins caught 52 passes for 673 yards and 3 TDs. Travis Kelce is arguably the best TE in the game at the moment so it shouldn’t come as a shock that he led the Chiefs receiving corps. They don’t match up to the Buccaneers all the way though.
Cowboys- Amari Cooper led the Cowboys with 79 catches for 1,189 yards and 8 TDs. Michael Gallup was right behind him with 66 catches for 1,107 yards and 6 TDs. WR3 Randall Cobb caught 55 passes for 828 yards and 3 TDs but he is no longer with the team. Veteran TE Jason Witten contributed for them last season as well but he is no longer with the team as well. The Cowboys drafted CeeDee Lamb out of Oklahoma who is a star coming out of college to this group so they will have a solid top 3 WR group for Dak Prescott but it’s still not matching up with what the Buccaneers have.
Saints- Michael Thomas led the league last season with 149 catches for 1,725 yards and 9 TDs. Thomas was the main target for QB Drew Brees as their number 2 receiver was TE Jared Cook. Jared cook caught 43 passes for 705 yards and 9 TDs. Ted Ginn Jr. is their number two WR and he had 30 catches for 421 yards and 2 TDs. RB Alvin Kamara is a dual threat out of the backfield as well catching 81 passes for 533 yards and 1 TD. The Saints are only in the conversation because of Michael Thomas leading the league.
Browns- The Cleveland Browns have two pro bowl WRs in Jarvis “Juice” Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. Landry caught 83 passes for 1,174 yards and 6 TDs last season. Odell Beckham Jr. caught 74 passes for 1,035 yards and 4 TDs. The Browns have a few TEs on their roster most notably David Njoku and new addition Austin Hooper but Njoku has requested a trade. Baker Mayfield’s top threats are Landry and Beckham Jr. which doesn’t match up to what the Buccaneers have depth wise.
Bills- The Bills acquired WR Stefon Diggs to be a weapon for QB Josh Allen this offseason. John Brown led the Bills last year with 72 receptions for 1,060 yards and 6 TDs. Cole Beasley was their second option after coming over from Dallas with 67 receptions for 778 yards and 6 TDs. Dawson Knox was their best TE with 28 receptions for 388 yards and 2 TDs. Stefon Diggs comes over after having 63 receptions for 1,130 yards and 6 TDs last season in Minnesota. The Bills also added WR Gabriel Davis from UCF in the draft to this receiving corps so it’ll be a deep group but still doesn’t match up stats wise to the Bucs corps.
Cardinals- One of the blockbuster trades this offseason was the Cardinals acquiring WR DeAndre Hopkins from the Texans. Hopkins joins Larry “Legend” Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk as the weapons for QB Kyler Murray. Last season, Larry Fitzgerald caught 75 passes for 804 yards and 4 TDs. Christian Kirk caught 68 passes for 709 yards and 3 TDs. In Houston, DeAndre Hopkins caught 104 passes for 1,165 yards and 7 TDs. The Cardinals added a top 5 WR every season to their corps so they will be strong and towards the top of the league as well but still don’t have the depth like Tampa does.
All in all, the Buccaneers are the best receiving corps based on star power and depth. The team will be competing for a shot at a Super Bowl this year and Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Rob Gronkowski, O.J. Howard, Cameron Brate, Scotty Miller, Tyler Johnson, and Justin Watson will be huge in the Offensive game. The addition of Gronkowski and Brady to the already top 5 Tampa Offense means that the league better watch out for this group because when they double team one then that means it’s single coverage for the other weapons. Fire those cannons for the Buccaneers receiving corps!
Featured Image Credit: Kim Klement- USA Today Sports