A once-vaunted position group is now on the move for the Bucs. At the end of last year’s training camp, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Russell Gage, Julio Jones, Scotty Miller, Breshad Perriman, Deven Thompkins and Jaelen Darden formed one of the best receiving corps in the league. Nine months later, alone Evans, Godwin, Gage and Thompkins stay. The Bucs used Trey Palmer in the sixth round to cement that unity.
Since the team is likely to have six receivers with them, that means there are roster spots available. Palmer will certainly not only make the team, but also play a major role in 2023.
The Bucs tried to increase their speed with this design and Palmer fit the bill. Palmer clocked in with blazing times of 4.33 seconds in the 40-yard sprint, with a 2.52 second 20-yard split and 1.48 second 10-yard split. Palmer could even fit into a specific role that new offensive coordinator Dave Canales could take over from Seattle.
In 2022, Marquise Goodwin recorded the third-most wide receiver snaps for the Seahawks. A former third-round pick, Goodwin has stayed in the league for 10 years due to his own blazing speed.
Palmer’s speed compares favorably with Goodwin’s. Palmer clocks in slightly faster at both 10- and 20-yard distances, while Goodwin wins at full distance. But the two are generally pretty close in terms of speed.
Palmer is similar to Goodwin in more ways than just the speed score. Both struggle with press coverage and profile as they are more successful due to slot alignment.
How Trey Palmer can be the Bucs version of Marquise Goodwin
You can see glimpses of how Trey Palmer can already be used in similar ways to Marquise Goodwin. Working from the slot allows each player to emphasize deep certainties. The threat of their home-run speed allows them to create easy separation in deep cuts and crossings. See how Palmer was able to pull this off in Nebraska.
Palmer, working from the field-side slot, heads straight for the deep safety. He forces security to open his hips for Palmer to prepare to run deep on the seam route. Once Palmer gets that snazzy commitment, he starts digging deep, creating miles of separation. Compare that to a similar situation that Seattle used last year at Goodwin.
Goodwin similarly commands respect for his vertical speed with safety by his side. As the routes evolve, the safety gives Goodwin a lot of room to cover for the vertical route. This gives Goodwin plenty of room to bend his crossing route and create space for days.
These deep crossers and dig routes will be a staple of the new Bucs attack. Many of these routes are run on play action. And while almost every Bucs receiver will be asked to run these routes, Palmer’s speed (like Goodwin’s) will give him a specific advantage by forcing opposing safeties to cover for the vertical route. This should give him plenty of room to work and eat underneath.
Now keep in mind that these safeties don’t just cover because of what Palmer can run on a track. His speed is also legit on the field. Check out some of his highlights as he blows past safety after safety.
Trey Palmer can be used wide and from the slot
The Bucs could also choose to take a page from the college ranks and emulate what Tennessee did to Jalin Hyatt in an attempt to get Trey Palmer off the line of scrimmage with few obstacles. An example is this stacked alignment that Hyatt was able to score from long range.
Now don’t expect Palmer to have the quick share that Goodwin enjoyed last season. Marquise Goodwin recorded 420 shots in 13 games for the Seahawks as their WR3.
Palmer will be fighting Devin Thompkins and a host of undiscovered free agents for the right to be WR4 after Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Russell Gage. But there’s a good chance that with his speed threat abilities with plus ball tracking skills, he can come into play by getting 5-10 snaps per game with 2-3 shots, having the chance to break a game wide open.
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