Like Smith, Herron is an undersized receiver with the potential to contribute to the return game. But the similarities don’t end there, and Smith and Herron might have something more in common.
“I definitely have a chip on my shoulder because I feel like I should have went before,’’ Herron said.
Herron, a Wyoming product, was referring to the fact that he wasn’t drafted until the sixth round.
“I’m definitely motivated,’’ Herron said. “I thought I was going to go before that. But you never know how the draft is going to go. I wasn’t expecting that but I knew it could happen. I’m definitely going to try to go hard on every team that either I took a visit with or a workout with.’’
If Herron uses that fuel to be even half as productive as Smith, the Bucs will be very happy.
The Bucs see Herron as someone that has a chance to be their slot receiver. They have plenty of size with starters Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans, but they can use someone with speed to stretch the field. Herron said he spent much of his college career in the slot and is comfortable in the position.
But the Bucs also are looking at Herron in another spot. During this weekend’s rookie camp, Herron has gotten some work as a punt returner.
“He didn’t do a lot in college, but he has been working on it,’’ coach Lovie Smith said. “He caught the ball better today than he did yesterday. I was a little concerned to say the least yesterday. But today was better. It was windy. But, as I told them, there’s going to be a couple of windy games that we’ll be playing this year.’’
Herron said he hasn’t returned punts since high school. But Herron said he’s spent the last few months working on punt returns because it would make him more marketable in the NFL.