TAMPA BAY – If you pay attention to the Buccaneers, then you know how good Chris Godwin is.
The sixth-year receiver is arguably the second-most important player on the team, let alone the offense. What he does in both the passing game and the run game is crucial to the Buccaneers offense establishing itself as one of the NFL’s best.
Many people are starting to take notice of Godwin’s abilities thanks to the Buccaneers’ recent success. He’s even gained enough traction that national networks are noticing.
Count Good Morning Football‘s Kyle Brandt as someone who notices how good Godwin is. He and his three co-hosts held a segment on Wednesday morning’s episode asking which No. 2 receiver in the NFL is No. 1.
And of course, Brandt picked Godwin.
“The question was best No. 2 wide receiver – it’s Chris Godwin,” Brandt said on the most recent episode of Good Morning Football. “I’ll even spice this segment up by giving a player who was injured, and I don’t care. I love him. He’s the No. 2 to Mike Evans [but] sometimes he looks like a No.1….
“He’s a Super Bowl champion and he’s really good. I don’t think he’s as quite as good as Mike Evans, but he makes some really big plays. This is how you answer the best No. 2 wide receiver question.”
Brandt’s analysis is nearly spot-on
There’s a ton of evidence that Godwin is in fact that best No. 2 wideout in the NFL. For starters, he graded out as the second-best No. 2 WR in the NFL (81.3) behind Tee Higgins (84.5) among receivers with at least 101 targets, per Pro Football Focus. The key here, however is Godwin played in two less games than Higgins. Meaning, Godwin could’ve finished with a better grade.
But either way, Godwin still surpassed Higgins in both receptions (98 to 74) and receiving yards (1,103 to 1,091). It’s fair to argue that Godwin is in fact the No. 1 option in the Buccaneers passing attack, but he is not the actual No. 1 receiver, if that makes sense.
The only place that Brandt slips up is his comment about Evans being a better receiver. Don’t get me wrong: Evans is one of the league’s best. But one can certainly make an argument that Godwin is better.
Godwin can highpoint the ball just about as well as Evans – which is Evans’ strength. Godwin is also a big, strong target who can play both inside and out.
But the key separator are both players’ YAC abilities. Evans is average at best after the catch. Godwin, however, is elite. This is evidenced by his average mark of 6.0 yards after contact per reception in 2021. That number was good for third-best among the 32 eligible receivers.
You can’t go wrong with Evans or Godwin. But it’s definitely reasonable and fair to say that Godwin could be the No. 1 receiver on the Buccaneers and the offense would be just fine. Having both players simply makes it the unstoppable unit it is (unless the Buccaneers are playing the Saints).
Featured image via Kyle Zedaker/Handout Photo via USA TODAY Sports