Talk about a one-hit wonder.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed Kevin Ogletree on Thursday in hopes of providing more weapons for quarterback Josh Freeman to work with. The former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver has seen his stock rise much higher than it ever should be after putting on one of the flukiest performances of the 2012 season.
Unfortunately for the Buccaneers, they’ll soon learn that Ogletree’s Week 1 showing against the New York Giants (eight catches, 114 yards, two touchdowns) was anything but a sign of things to come.
Throughout his four-year NFL career, Ogletree has struggled to make his mark on the field despite several opportunities. In his rookie season, he managed only seven catches in 11 appearances. From 2009-2011, Ogletree hauled in a whopping 25 passes in 32 games. It wasn’t until last season that he caught his first touchdown.
What Ogletree lacks is technique and polish, both of which shouldn’t be issues after four seasons in the big leagues.
A very raw receiver who opted to leave school early for the NFL, Ogletree has been nearly invisible apart from his 15 minutes last season. He doesn’t run crisp routes, has a tendency to drop easy balls and doesn’t play with the type of confidence you want in an NFL wide receiver. The maturity that he missed out on after skipping his senior season is coming back to haunt him.
The only thing that Ogletree currently has to offer the Buccaneers is speed out of the slot. He seems to fit with their personnel because the team’s other two slot receivers, Arrelious Benn and Tiquan Underwood, aren’t in any position to start. The Buccaneers are reportedly shopping Benn and Underwood has failed to create any sort of connection with Freeman during his time in Tampa.
Despite this ideal situation, Ogletree is unlikely to assert himself as a reliable weapon for the Tampa Bay offense. He might start as the Buccaneers’ slot receiver early on, but as time goes by, he’ll fall into his old ways and remind the Tampa brass why the Cowboys simply gave up on him.
The Buccaneers wanted a No. 3 wide receiver. Instead, they got a bust. Ogletree isn’t and never will be anything more than depth.