I mentioned in my offseason wish list that the number one priority for the Bucs should be getting a receiver. With the exception of Galloway the Bucs lack a dangerous playmaker, and their scoring suffered for it. To Gruden's and Garcia's credit, the Bucs had an efficient offense, in fact according to the Football Outsiders the Bucs had the 10th most efficient offense. But they were only 18th in the league in scoring, and might have been worse if teams figured out earlier that the key to stopping the Bucs was double-teaming Galloway.
BucStats makes a compelling argument for a few of the receivers who will be hitting the free agent market. Larry Fitzgerald and Jerry Porter are both appealing options, Fitzgerald because he is one of the best young receivers and Porter because he is the type of value player I mentioned before, i.e. someone who's stock has fallen because of personal issues. And while Fitzgerald may be too expensive for the Bucs, Porter may be a good fit, just look at how much Randy Moss's value went through the roof once he left the Raiders. Porter is one of the better receivers in this league, but you would never know it with the Raiders motley crew of quarterbacks.
This looks to be a deep year at receiver for the NFL Draft, and while receivers are always dangerous picks (Exhibit A: Michael Clayton) it is worth the time to consider drafting a receiver in the first round. On to the picks.
Adarius Bowman (#25 Overall) - Oklahoma State
I'm going off the rankings found at Great Blue North Draft Report, which was updated just a day ago. I know little about Bowman other than he is tall which means Gruden is already considering drafting him.
Malcolm Kelly (#27) - Oklahoma
Another Big 12 receiver which I rarely watched.
DeSean Jackson (#31) - California
Jackson is one of the more intriguing prospects to me, he is raw as a receiver but has the speed and explosiveness to go in the first round based on potential. He could be the Ted Ginn Jr. pick of this draft, and could contribute immediately in the kick return game. Don't expect him to work his way into the starting lineup on opening day though.
Limas Sweed (#35) - Texas
Another tall Big 12 receiver Sweed was considered one of the best college receivers before the season started but injuries kept him out for much of the year. Another guy who will be drafted based on the mysterious "potential" aspect.
Mario Manningham (#37) - Michigan
Mario is one of the guys I'm leaning towards having the Bucs draft, he appears to be a complete receiver who does not excel in one area but is not lacking in anyone area either, i.e. this year's Anthony Gonzalez. While Manningham has not yet declared his new coach has mentioned that he expects Manningham to do so. Mario has missed one of the teams first meetings.
James Hardy (#39) - Indiana
Earl Bennett (#42) - Vanderbilt
Devin Thomas (#47) - Michigan State
Early Doucet (#51) - LSU
Early this late? Color me surprised.