Skip to main content

Who is the Buccaneers' Best-Kept Secret?

Could Tyler Johnson follow up a disappointing 2021 by being a key to 2022?

When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected Minnesota receiver Tyler Johnson in the fifth round of the 2020 NFL Draft, they did so to much fanfare. 

Two seasons, 48 receptions, 529 yards, and two touchdowns later, the third-year receiver may be the Bucs' secret weapon in 2022. 

Tyler Johnson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Bucs6

READ MORE: Tampa Bay's Under-the-Radar Signing

At the very least, he's the team's best-kept secret according to Bleacher Report

"Over the past two seasons, we've seen glimpses of Tyler Johnson's playmaking ability," Bleacher Report says. "Behind Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Rob Gronkowski in the pecking order among quarterback Tom Brady's pass-catching options, he didn't get a consistent volume of targets. Yet Johnson has converted 72 targets into 48 receptions for 529 yards and two touchdowns. Though the Buccaneers added wideout Russell Gage to the roster, Godwin is still in the early stages of his recovery from a torn ACL. Godwin's potential absence at the beginning of the 2022 campaign could allow Johnson to fill in as a starter for multiple weeks...Because of some question marks in the Buccaneers' pass-catching group, Johnson could rack up receiving numbers...On the flip side, he'll have to settle for leftover targets if Godwin and Gronkowski (returns and suits) up for Week 1."

Scroll to Continue

Read More

There's certainly an impressive list of established weapons ahead of Johnson in projected targets, and the consistency of running back Leonard Fournette as a receiver is certainly an impactful presence when considering his ceiling as a third-year receiver. 

Tyler Johnson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Bucs5

READ MORE: Insight Into the Development of Kyle Trask

Rookie running back Rachaad White figures to make his bid for being involved in the Tampa Bay offense as well, and even if Ke'Shawn Vaughn is able to win the backup job behind Fournette, it'll be because he's proven more capable in the passing game than we've seen previously. 

Either way, Johnson certainly enters year three with a lot of Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans hoping to see further growth from the young receiver, and plenty of talent to learn from and compete against as he continues to develop.

For more on this and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers check out James Yarcho and David Harrison on the Locked On Bucs Podcast!