The Buccaneers have a lot of questions as they open up training camp. Maybe one of the biggest questions is will a third receiver emerge as a reliable threat to stretch the field this season?
With Louis Murphy sidelined to begin camp, there is an opportunity for others to step up and stake their claim to that position. While there is no shortage of names willing to step up, there is a shortage of NFL production.
Jonathan Krause is a guy who has opened up eyes with his speed. He ran a 4.37 forty-yard dash at his pro day a couple years ago. Teams have been trying to take advantage of that speed every since. The Browns, Patriots, and Eagles all tried and now the Bucs hope they can get that speed to pay dividends.
Bernard Reedy is a slot receiver and a hometown guy from St. Petersburg. He was very productive at Toledo and knows this Koetter offense from his time with Atlanta in 2014.
Evan Spencer was originally a 6th round pick for Washington in 2015 and was active for two games last season for the Bucs.
Andre Davis is another hometown boy who is also the all-time leading receiver in the University of South Florida history. He spent time last season on the Bucs practice squad and with a good camp, he could have a chance at making the active roster more this season.
Kenny Bell was a fifth round draft pick for the Bucs last season but a hamstring injury cost him the 2015 season. The front office and coaching staff are anxious to see what they have in Bell who many believed would fill that number three role prior to his injury.
Donteea Dye Jr. was productive in a limited role last season. He accounted for 11 receptions, 132 yards and a touchdown. The Heidelberg alum is hoping to improve on last season and show his worth in the receiving corp.
Adam Humphries was the surprise undrafted free agent last season for the Bucs. He hauled in 27 receptions for 260 yards and a touchdown. His production was definitely unexpected and it remains to be seen if he can be a consistent playmaker or if last year was a product of injuries to other receivers.
Russell Shepard’s spot on the roster is not in question. He has been a great special teams guy for the Bucs over the previous three seasons and now could be the perfect time for his role to increase. He has the most diverse skill set of all the receivers on the roster. He is just as comfortable in the slot as he is on the outside. He works well in close quarters and has shown the ability to stretch deep. He also possesses the weaponry to be effective after the catch. The question will be if he bring consistency in the pass game.
There’s no doubt the competition will be fierce and if the first day is any indicator, it will be a difficult decision for Koetter and his coaching staff.