The Tampa Bay Buccaneers like versatile contributors, on both offense and defense. In the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft, the Buccaneers got another such player: Penn State wide receiver Chris Godwin.
Godwin, the 84th player selected overall, may need that versatile because Tampa Bay management has suddenly done a remarkable job of amassing targets for the 23-year-old rising-star quarterback, Jameis Winston. With the free agency addition of wide receiver DeSean Jackson and the surprising first-round pick of tight end O.J. Howard on Thursday, the Bucs can trot out any number of potent offensive packages, also including Pro Bowl wide receiver Mike Evans, pass-catching tight end Cameron Brate and productive slot receiver Adam Humphries.
Godwin, physical and fast and capable of playing all over the offensive alignment, will likely see his role within that group defined over the next four months. He's willing to play wherever is most beneficial to Winston and the Bucs' attack.
"Obviously when you have two veteran guys like DeSean and Mike Evans you have a lot of production," said Godwin. "I'm happy to be a Buc and I'm willing to come in and contribute in any way."
A look at the newest member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, WR Chris Godwin.
Godwin played three seasons at Penn State before declaring early for the draft, and in that time he racked up 153 catches for 2,408 yards and 19 touchdowns, averaging 15.8 yards per catch to underscore his big-play ability. He primarily played the X position, where Jackson will start for the Buccaneers, but scouts think he could operate well in the slot thanks to his fearlessness over the middle, quick-twitch moves and good hands. Chances are Godwin will cross-train at several positions for his rookie year and fit in where the Bucs need him as the season progresses.
"Honestly, I'm comfortable doing both," said Godwin of lining up outside or in the slot. "I've always been the type of guy that anywhere my team needs me to be is where I'll be. I'm proud to be a Buc and I can't wait to get to work."
Winston is the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for over 4,000 yards in each of his first two seasons. He has also racked up 50 touchdown passes already, even as the Buccaneers have struggled to fully fill out an offensive unit to complement Evans. Given the weapons he now has in place, Tampa Bay looks poised to field the most explosive offensive it has ever had in over four decades of existence. Godwin is just glad to be a part of it.
"I had a good interaction with them," he said, recalling his pre-draft experience and the Bucs' obvious interest. "They came to Penn State to work me out and then I went there on a pre-draft visit. So I spent a good amount of time with them and it was cool. It felt like home."