Buccaneers Draft Need: Wide receiver

In the last of a series of articles profiling the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 2008 NFL Draft needs, Matthew Postins examines what the Bucs have at a key position, who they could draft and what kind of impact that player could have. Also, look for links to stories, video and audio of players the Bucs could draft throughout the article.

The Buccaneers are nearly a week away from being on the clock. Who will they select? Bucsblitz.com may not know that, but it does know which players the Bucs have met with and worked out privately. Get that information, plus find out how, according to Scout.com's Adam Caplan, you can detect a team's intentions on draft day by looking at the volume of visits and workouts at a particular position. Click here to access this exclusive feature.


WIDE RECEIVER

WHAT THE BUCS HAVE

Joey Galloway, Ike Hilliard, Michael Clayton, Maurice Stovall, Paris Warren, Taye Biddle, Brian Clark, Chad Lucas, Antonio Bryant, Charles Spiller, Cortez Hankton, Micheal Spurlock.

WHY THE NEED?

In terms of big-play threats, Galloway is it. He's the only game-breaker on the field. Chad Lucas might have that potential, but he has so little experience it seems foolish to anoint him Galloway's heir. The rest of the receivers are West Coast possession receivers, but only Hilliard made any real significant contributions last season. Clayton remains an enigma and Stovall's talent never materialized, except for one touchdown reception in Detroit and his standout special teams work. Stovall is now recovering from an elbow injury. Warren now appears 100 percent after breaking his ankle last year, but will he reclaim the promise he showed last year?

As for the rest of the talent, there's nothing there to speak of. The Bucs, at the moment, are pinning their hopes on a 36-year old speedster whose hamstring could snap any time and a 31-year old possession receiver who can't stretch the field.

It isn't out of the realm of possibility that the Bucs will spend a first-round pick on a wide receiver. It also isn't out of the realm of possibility that the Bucs will select two wide receivers in this draft, regardless of position. There isn't a receiver that all the experts agree is worth a first-round pick. But they do agree that there's plenty of talent and that most of it will be selected in the second or third rounds. The Bucs could benefit from that, restock the position and improve competition. At least one of those selections should be a player that can push Micheal Spurlock in the kickoff and punt return game.

THE TOP FIVE

Here are the top five wide receivers in this draft, according to Scout.com:

Devin Thomas (6-foot-2, 215 pounds), Michigan State — Scouts worry that he's only had one full collegiate season as a starter under his belt. Given his current ranking, they appear to be getting over that.

Malcolm Kelly (6-foot-4, 215 pounds), Oklahoma — A poor pro day workout and his anti-Oklahoma comments afterward are sure to turn teams away, making him a second- or third-round pick now.

Mario Manningham (6-foot, 187 pounds), Michigan — Now that it's known that he tested positive for marijuana in college, his stock will likely drop a bit. He was a soft first-round pick to begin with.

Andre Caldwell (6-foot, 203 pounds), Florida — He's really benefited from a solid scouting season, including an above-average pro day. He's a solid second-round pick now and teams see him as more of a potential vertical threat now.

Early Doucet (6-foot, 213 pounds), LSU — Scout.com personnel man Tom Marino compared him to Anquan Boldin recently. He can be had in the second round and teams would love to see him develop into that type of receiver.

GET TO KNOW THEM

Want to know more about these prospects, plus other WR the Bucs could be interested in? Check out the links below.

ScoutTV — Michigan's Mario Manningham:

ScoutTV — Indiana's James Hardy:

ScoutTV — Oklahoma's Malcolm Kelly:

ScoutTV — California's DeSean Jackson:

ScoutTV — Michigan State's Devin Thomas:


Matthew Postins of Bucsblitz.com has released his third Buccaneers Mock Draft of 2008. How did he shake things up this time around? Find out by clicking here.


Bucsblitz.com has started its "Bucs Scouting Report" series, profiling players the Saints could have interest in selecting on April 26-27. Catch up by checking out our reports on Wesley Woodyard, Chad Henne, DeSean Jackson , Tracy Porter , Adrian Arrington , Duane Brown Jamaal Charles and Brandon Flowers.


Bucsblitz.com has confirmed that a Tampa-area collegiate product will visit the Buccaneers on Thursday. This former Jefferson High wide receiver is being projected as a second-round pick. Find out who he is and what other wide receiver have visited with the Bucs so far.


It's the most important time of the year for NFL teams that want to improve their roster for 2008. Are you getting all the analysis you need as the NFL Draft approaches? If you're not, click here to find out how you can become a Bucsblitz.com insider and become the expert at your NFL Draft party. We're the only Tampa-based media site providing daily draft and scouting coverage with a Buccaneers slant.


Matthew Postins covers the Buccaneers for BucsBlitz.com and the Charlotte Sun-Herald in Port Charlotte, Fla. An award-winning member of the Pro Football Writers Association, he appears frequently on Scot Brantley Show from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WHBO 1470-AM in Tampa-Clearwater.



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