WR at No. 20? Not so fast
Wanted to elaborate on a point mentioned here last night when I posted the Caldwell/Hawkins item.
As I stated in the previous post, the Bucs appear to be giving heavy consideration to a group of receivers who aren't considered first-round caliber. Hawkins and Caldwell, for example, are more likely to be picked between the second and fourth rounds. Tampa Bay is, of course, considering a number of receivers who are potential first rounders, too.
Now, the draft is one of those things where you can find justification for just about any theory. But, with that said, there are a couple of reasons I think the Bucs believe they can get by without choosing a receiver in the first round.
For one, because this is a deep, if unspectacular class of receivers, the Bucs will have a decent group available to them in the second round and, perhaps, even later. Knowing this, the Bucs might well feel they can take their time and not rush, choosing instead to address another position with the 20th pick. If so, it will probably be a player at a position that is not considered as deep as receiver. Also, though cornerback is considered a deep position, the top four or five prospects could be off the board after the first round. Thus, you can make a case that the Bucs' first pick would be better spent there.
The other reason this scenario could play out: the Bucs aren't nearly as down on their group of receivers as everyone else seems to be. I know this sounds ridiculous to many and, yes, they are definitely going to address the position. But I don't know that Tampa Bay feels nearly as much urgency as it would appear. I'm not pulling this out of thin air. As with everything you read here, we form our opinions through behind-the-scenes observations, conversations, etc. Whether you agree or not, the Bucs think Michael Clayton can be a significant contributor for them. They believe Maurice Stovall has some rare ability, too. And Paris Warren looked like a Pro Bowler in the 2007 preseason, for what that's worth.
In the end, I suppose we'll know soon enough. But this is a theory I think could certainly come to fruition.