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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Training Camp Goals: 2023 Buccaneers, Numbers 10-19

Our player-by-player look at potential training camp objectives continues with the second group, this one largely made up of receivers but also including a kicking candidate and a third quarterback


The arrival of training camp is the unofficial beginning of every NFL team's season, when players return from a lengthy break and dive back into a daily grind that won't cease for at least five months, and hopefully more. And every player enters camp with the same top-level goals: Make the team, earn playing time, win a starting job.

The paths to potentially achieving those goals will differ from one player to the next, however. That's why we're using the last couple weeks before the start of camp to go down the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' roster and consider what specific individual objectives each roster hopeful may have. We call these 'Camp Goals' and it's a good way to consider what the training camp experience may be like for each player who steps on the field. On Monday, we did that for the players who wear jersey numbers between zero and nine, such as third-year quarterback Kyle Trask (take command of the huddle) and former NFL sack champ Shaquil Barrett (return to pre-Achilles injury form).

Today we move on to the next set of camp-goers, those who wear jersey numbers from 10 to 19. That group includes six receivers in widely varying situations.

#10 WR Trey Palmer: In search of more team speed across the board in 2023, the Buccaneers were thrilled to find the Nebraska sprinter and his 4.33-second 40-yard dash time still on the board in the sixth round of last April's draft. In fact, even though the Bucs had a pick of their own approaching just five spots later, the team sent a fifth-rounder in next year's draft to Philadelphia to jump back in at the 191st slot to nab Palmer. If the former Husker and LSU Tiger can approach the type of production he had in his last college season, the Bucs will feel like they got a third-day steal. Palmer will want to show in training camp that he can use that speed as a legitimate deep threat that will pull defenders away from other targets. This will involve working on beating press coverage, running precise routes and minimizing drops.

#11 QB John Wolford: After signing Baker Mayfield to compete with Trask for the starting job, the Buccaneers went looking for another veteran with some game experience to fill their third quarterback spot. Wolford, like Mayfield, was most recently with the Rams and he made five starts, playoffs included, in three years in Los Angeles, winning three of them. Since he's not expected to be a contender for the starting spot, Wolford will seek to convince his new team that it is worth carrying a third quarterback on the 53-man roster during the regular season. This may be more likely now that the NFL has brought back it's 'inactive third quarterback' rule for game days, but some teams may still use the practice squad to roster a third passer anyway.

#13 WR Mike Evans: Evans, of course, has little left to prove in his career and is a lock to be a central part of the Bucs' offense again in 2023. He has in years past expressed a desire to add more yards-after-the-catch (YAC) to his game, but it's not yet certain if the structure of his role in the new offense will lend itself to that. The more visible goal for Evans in this particular training camp will be to build chemistry with both Trask and Mayfield so the offense as a whole can hit the ground running in September.

#14 WR Chris Godwin: During the Bucs' minicamp in June, Godwin touched on a few things that he plans to work on this year, and training camp is the perfect place to do so. That included, in his words, being more "efficient" in his route-running, particularly in his release and at the top of his routes. After a season in which he hauled in 104 passes but averaged career lows in yards per catch (9.8) and yards per target (7.2), he said he also wishes to get his YAC numbers back up to his typical levels before the knee injury that ended his 2021 campaign early. Godwin is a meticulous worker, which will be helpful as he transitions into a new rule that is expected to see him on the outside more often than in his slot-heavy recent seasons.

#15 K Rodrigo Blankenship: Blankenship has competed with Chase McLaughlin in an NFL camp before, when he won the Colts' job as a rookie in 2020. (Coincidentally, it was McLaughlin who stepped in for Indianapolis after Blankenship was released after one game.) While the level to which the Bucs' 2023 job is up for grabs was not spelled out when Blankenship was signed in June – Head Coach Todd Bowles said they needed a second kicker to keep McLaughlin from wearing out his legs – Bowles did note that, "Competition doesn't hurt anybody." This one is pretty straightforward: Blankenship will strive to be as perfect as possible on his kicks, particularly in the preseason games, so that either the Buccaneers or another team with a need at kicker considers him a good option for this season. He has made 47 of his 56 career field goal attempts (83.9%).

#16 CB Keenan Isaac: With the number 16 on his back, Isaac will stand out amid a crowd of cornerbacks in individual drills during training camp. The next step will be to stand out from the pack with his play. The Buccaneers have a couple of spots available on their regular season cornerback depth chart, which usually runs at least five deep, as there are not a lot of experienced options behind Carlton Davis, Jimmy Dean and Zyon McCollum. The team will likely also keep several cornerbacks on the 16-man practice squad, as well. With a long wingspan and quick feet, Isaac has some of the tools that could help him catch the coaches' eyes if he can show those skills translate into good coverage ability at the pro level.

#17 WR Taye Barber: Barber played in a high-powered offense at TCU, and while a deep group of skill-position plays kept him from putting up huge numbers he did show off his explosiveness with an average of 16.6 yards per catch oh 37 grabs last year. Barber slipped through the draft in April likely due to his lack of stature (5-9, 175), but he landed in a good spot to compete in Tampa. After Evans, Godwin and Russell Gage, the Bucs have little in the way of experienced depth at the receiver position. Barber will hope to show he is a potential weapon both as a slot receiver and a deep threat on the outside.

#18 WR Rakim Jarrett: Like all the young and inexperienced receivers on the roster heading into camp, Jarrett will be looking to show the coaching staff that he has the potential to develop into an NFL player, even if his career, like so many before, has to start on the practice squad. Jarrett in particular was considered a developmental prospect by some draft analysts because he has speed and a quick burst plus a willingness to work on his craft but some other unrefined tools. As an undrafted free agent, Jarrett had the opportunity to sign with any interested NFL team, but by coming to Tampa he arrives in a situation in which there are several opportunities for unproven players to stick around, either on the active roster or the practice squad.

#19 WR David Moore: Of all the new receivers jockeying for position on the Bucs' camp depth chart, Moore has something the rest lack: actual NFL playing experience. He even has familiarity with the Bucs' play-caller, having spent four seasons in Seattle alongside Dave Canales. Canales was Moore's position coach during his 2017 season, then the Seahawks quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator over the next three campaigns. Moore has played in 50 regular season games, recording 78 receptions for 1,163 yards and 13 touchdowns. As the Bucs hit camp and look to sort through a long list of candidates for fifth and sixth spots on the receiving depth chart, Moore will seek to show that he is already the polished NFL receiver some of his younger teammates are trying to become.

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