Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Vincent Jackson finished the 2013 NFL season with a career high in receptions, putting him in the borderline WR-1/WR-2 category. When Doug Martin and Mike Williams went down with injuries that cost them their seasons, rookie quarterback Mike Glennon depended heavily on Jackson to move the chains. Last season was also the fifth time in Jackson’s career in which he eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark.
At 31 years old, Jackson still has some good football left in him, and the incoming receiver Mike Evans, who will prove to be a big athletic target as he transitions into the NFL game, will open up the offense to a level that they weren’t able to achieve last year. Injuries are truly unfortunate (just ask the Atlanta Falcons) and should in no way be a fair assessment of how a team’s offense will perform. With Martin coming back at full strength and Glennon getting more comfortable running the offense, the arrow is pointing up for the Bucs’ offensive unit. It will take time for Evans to become acclimated, so the team should still rely heavily on Jackson for the time being.
Jackson finished the 2013 season as the 14th ranked overall wide receiver. He should see a steady decline and fall just outside the top-20 this year due to the influx of all the young talent coming into the league. Even though I predict Jackson to see a drop in his production this season, he should still be viewed as a valuable borderline WR-1/WR-2 and be targeted by fantasy owners as a fourth-round pick in the draft.