TAMPA — After two days of drafting tall pass catchers who look like small basketball forwards, the Bucs diversified their receiving corps with their final pick.
"We got the point guard," general manager Jason Licht said Saturday.
That floor general is Robert Herron, a small, speedy receiver out of Wyoming. Though some analysts projected him as a third-round pick, he fell to the Bucs in the sixth (No. 185 overall).
Herron's speed could have the 5-foot-9, 193-pounder returning punts or competing for a starting job at slot receiver as a rookie, Licht said. Though he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.48 seconds at the draft combine, Herron (pronounced HAIR-on) was clocked at 4.25 at his pro day.
The Bucs hope that speed complements the size of fellow draft picks Mike Evans (first round) and tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins (second), and last season's leading receiver, Vincent Jackson, all 6-5.
"He gives us a different dimension," coach Lovie Smith said.
Herron played at Dorsey High, a Los Angeles football factory that produced former Bucs receiver Keyshawn Johnson. He was recruited to Wyoming by its then-offensive coordinator, Marcus Arroyo, who became the Bucs' quarterbacks coach in January.
"When I had some grade issues, (Arroyo) stuck it out," Herron said. "Somehow, he got me up there."
Arroyo also helped get Herron down here, meeting him at the combine and talking to Bucs coaches about him.
Herron and Arroyo worked together for only one season in Laramie, and Herron amassed 303 all-purpose yards as a freshman and lined up at tailback, slot receiver and split end.
Herron was one of only three players in Division I-A to average at least 20 yards per catch in 2012 (21.2), and he finished his Cowboys career with 152 catches for 2,025 yards and 20 touchdowns.
Herron said his draft wait was frustrating because he expected to go sooner, but he said he's excited for a reunion with Arroyo and to play in a system in which he can thrive.
"It was a long wait, but I feel like it was the best position for me to go," Herron said.
"I'm just ready to get to work."
Times staff writer Matt Baker can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @MattHomeTeam.