Yardbarker Horiz

Saturday, August 14, 2010

2010 Preseason: By The Numbers: Wide Receiver

The first preseason game of the 2010 season is less than 24 hours away -- finally!!  We last had a look at the Wide Receiver competition just after the draft.  So what do we know now?

Currently there are 10 Wideouts on the camp roster of 80 men.  At the end of last season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were carrying eight wide receivers on the active roster.  With the assumption this is the target number for 2010, Micheal Clayton could be on the bubble.

Using the recently released depth chart for the first preseaon game, the battle breaks down like this:

#19 Williams, Mike; 6'2", 212, Rookie (2010 Draft)
#85 Stovall, Maurice; 6'5", 220, 5th Year (2006 Draft)
#15 Brown, Reggie; 6'1", 197, 6th Year (2010 Free Agent)
#18 Stroughter, Sammie; 5'10", 189, 2nd Year (2009 Draft)
#81 Spurlock, Micheal; 5'11", 200, 3rd Year (2009 Waiver Wire)
#17 Benn, Arrelious; 6'2", 220, Rookie (2010 Draft)

A pretty solid looking top six with a mix of experienced veterans and highly drafted young talent -- possibly the best looking overall group on the Buccaneers roster in almost a decade.  Hopefully it translates to the regular seaon (with the continued improvement of Josh Freeman at Quarterback).

This leaves four men to battle for possibly the last two roster positions:

#13 Brooks, Chris; 6'2", 215, (Undrafted Rookie)
#80 Clayton, Michael; 6'4", 215, 7th Year (2004 Draft)
#83 Nunn, Terrence; 6'0", 195, 2nd Year (2009 Wiaver Wire)
#87 Parker, Preston; 6'0", 200, (Undrafted Rookie)

Clayton sticks out like a sore thumb in this group.  While he occasionally displays the talent that made him the Buccaneers top pick in 2004 (Round 1, #15), each of the other men in this group have also has their "flash moments" in camp.  The wierd thing about Clayton is it does not feel like the swansong of a veteran player -- you still find yourself frustrated at the unfocused talent he possesses and can't help but pull for him.  Looking at the top six you have to wonder if anything he might show during the 2010 preseason would be too little too late.  Nunn is also at a pivotal point, having been with the Buccaneers for more than half a season.  Brooks and Parker, provided they continue to show not only their Wide Receiver skills but also a willingness to play on special teams, are prime candidates for the practice squad.

Without taking the depth chart of the first preseason game too seriously, what this mostly means is that the four men on the bubble should get a lot of snaps Saturday night as a final audition.  They may all survive until the 53-man cutdown date of September 6th, but there is no guarantee any of them will survive to the 7th.

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