Camp Preview — Who to watch at wide receiver


The Buccaneers have a nice situation at wide out. Vincent Jackson is a lock for at least 1,000 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns, especially if quarterback Josh McCown returns to his high caliber level of play.

There are two story lines at the wide receiver position that Buccaneer fans should pay attention too.

1) What is the projected level of performance out of rookie Mike Evans?

2) Can Louis Murphy save his career as a number two wide out?

Let’s look at the Mike Evans situation. Drafted seventh overall, Evans is expected to take over eventually as an elite receiver. Some scouts compared Evans to a “lower rate Calvin Johnson” which would still elevate him above 90 percent of receivers in the league.

Last year, many rookie receivers earned respect around the league due to their outstanding performance.

Houston Texan DeAndre Hopkins (52 receptions, 802 yards, two touchdowns), San Diego Charger Keenan Allen (71 receptions, 1046 yards, eight touchdowns), and Dallas Cowboy Terrance Williams (44 receptions, 736 yards, five touchdowns) all starred at wide out among rookies.

If last years rookie performance is any indication to the 2014 rookie wide out production, we can predict that Evans will put up numbers in the 50-60 reception range, 800-900 receiving yards and 4-7 touchdowns.

Louis Murphy, oh boy. What started out as a decent rookie year in 2009 with the Oakland Raiders has turned into a career of what could have been. Murphy has never caught more than 41 passes in a season or more than four touchdowns in a season.

Murphy never really had a fair shake in the NFL, playing for Oakland during their JaMarcus Russell fiasco. Murphy has played for four head coaches and three teams during his five-year career in the league.

On a brighter note, Murphy has a career average of 14.4 yards per reception throughout his career.

Murphy signed a one-year deal worth $795,000 this offseason and will be playing to save his NFL career this year.

If Buccaneer fans are looking for someone to root for this year, look no further than Louis Murphy.

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