You’ll be hard-pressed right now to find anyone who doesn’t like what the Buccaneers did in the 2017 NFL Draft. NFL.com liked what the Bucs did so much that they ranked them sixth overall in its draft power rankings.
Also among those who really liked what the Bucs did in the draft is Fox Sports radio host Colin Cowherd, who especially liked that the Bucs spent a third-round pick on wide receiver Chris Godwin.
Now, let me say right up front here that I like Cowherd. I think he talks about himself and the NBA way too much, but his viewpoints are not just intelligent and unique but insightful.
That said, I don’t really care that Cowherd, who cut his teeth as a weekend sports anchor in Tampa Bay, has a special affinity for the Godwin pick because Cowherd is not a coach or a scout.
I found it interesting that Godwin was one of the players Cowherd chose to focus on but what a scout says about the pick is far more valuable, and on that front there is clearly a difference of opinion.
Writing on his website, LandryFootball.com, talent evaluator Chris Landry describes Godwin as a “natural’’ who can eventually play opposite Mike Evans in the Bucs offense and has unlimited potential.
“While he is still learning to use his speed (4.42 in the 40) and has room to improve after the catch,’’ Landry wrote, “Godwin is among the highest-ceiling prospects in a weak 2017 wideout class.’’
NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock is a big fan for Godwin’s, too. Mayock said he likes Godwin’s competitiveness and catch radius, but he wonders if Godwin is really as fast as that 4.42 40 suggests.
“His combine speed didn’t measure up to what I saw on tape,” Mayock told reporters during a recent pre-draft conference call. “And I called a bunch of teams and found out pretty much everybody feels the same way.
“So it sets up kind of an interesting conversation (regarding) what it is you’re really getting when you draft him as far as speed goes, what his functional playing speed is.”
Mayock wasn’t the only scout to issue a few words of warning regarding Godwin. An anonymous NFL scout quoted in former NFL scout Nolan Nawrocki’s 2017 NFL Draft Preview, did the same.
“Our grades were all over the place on him, and more of them were low than high,’’ the scout told Nawrocki. “He looks like a quality (No.) 3 (receiver) to me.
“If you are going to take him in the first two rounds, he has to be a No. 1 or 2 and I just don’t see that. I have been wrong before, but that’s where I’m at with him.’’
We may never know for sure, but the fact the Bucs took Godwin in the third round, 84th overall, may be an indication they feel the same way as the unidentified scout Nawrocki quoted.
Either way, we’ll soon start to find out just how good Godwin really is and which was more warranted, the excitement and praise elicited by Cowherd and Landry or the skepticism voiced by Mayock and Nawrocki’s unidentified scout.