Heading into the 2013 season, it’s extremely obvious that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers need another legitimate wide receiver threat who can come in and take some of the pressure off of Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams.
Former undrafted rookie Chris Owusu, who signed with the team last season after a short stint with the San Francisco 49ers, can be the difference-maker they’re looking for.
While the Buccaneers did sign former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Kevin Ogletree this offseason to fill the No. 3 receiver role, I’m a firm believer that his 15 minutes of fame are up. He’s going to be a free agency bust, and it’s only a matter of time before Tampa Bay comes to that realization.
The Buccaneers have also seen some promising play out of Tiquan Underwood, but he’s never going to be that reliable target they need.
What Owusu brings to the table is an explosive wide receiver with electric capabilities after the catch. During his college career, he consistently turned routine catches into touchdowns with a knack for making defenders miss. There are still a lot of rough edges to his game, but the physical tools (speed, size and change of direction abilities) can’t be ignored.
On top of everything else, Owusu also presents a threat as a return specialist.
Owusu joined the Buccaneers midway through the 2012 campaign, which allowed him little time to learn the playbook or develop any sort of chemistry with quarterback Josh Freeman. With an entire offseason under his belt, though, the former Stanford star could find himself with some considerable playing time on his hands if he can make the most of the opportunities he’s presented.
If it wasn’t for his scary history of concussions, Owusu would have been a third- or fourth-round pick in 2012. He’s a touchdown waiting to happen, and deserves the opportunity to make his mark in the NFL.
The Buccaneers have a hidden gem in Owusu. Whether or not they realize it is still to be determined.