After the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' first organized team activity day (OTA) practice last Tuesday, Head Coach Dirk Koetter identified wide receiver Chris Godwin as the standout rookie of the afternoon. While Godwin was the first of the Bucs' 2017 draftees to get a Koetter shout-out, he was actually the last to get his contract work done.
Godwin wasn't last by much. He signed his first NFL deal on Thursday, while his five fellow 2017 draft picks worked out their deals last week. The team inked first-round tight end O.J. Howard last Monday, three other draft picks - third-round linebacker Kendell Beckwith, fifth-round running back Jeremy McNichols and seventh-round defensive tackle Stevie Tu'ikolovatu – on Tuesday and second-round safety Justin Evans on Thursday.
Thus, in a little over a week, the Buccaneers knocked out the entire rookie-signing process, which means it now has a fully-signed 90-man roster to take into training camp in late July.
Godwin was a very productive player at Penn State, racking up 154 catches for 2,421 yards and 18 touchdowns over three seasons. His top pass-catching numbers came during his 2015 sophomore season, when he caught 69 passes for 1,101 yards and five TDs, though his best scoring season was last fall, when he hauled in 11 touchdown passes.
The Buccaneers believe Godwin is versatile enough to play outside or in the slot and offer the team big-play ability, as hinted at by his career average of 15.7 yards per catch at Penn State. He could mix in quickly among an upgraded corps of pass-catchers that also includes Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, Adam Humphries, Cameron Brate and O.J. Howard.