The Bucs’ roster is loaded with expertise at every place group. However which place group has essentially the most expertise and the way do they stack up towards one another?
In a twist on the normal energy rankings, I’ll be pitting every place group towards each other, developing with my very own energy rankings for the Tampa Bay roster. As you may think about, a participant or two may sway one group over one other, as may depth on the place.
1 – Quarterback
When you’ve the G.O.A.T. Tom Brady as your beginning quarterback, it’s onerous to not put this place group on the prime. Brady was enjoying on the highest ranges final 12 months. The NFL MVP runner-up is anticipated to proceed his stellar play, vaulting the Bucs into Tremendous Bowl rivalry. Blaine Gabbert supplies a gentle backup choice if the worst have been to happen. In the meantime, Kyle Trask continues to develop behind the scenes after being chosen within the second spherical in 2021. Then, there’s the longest-tenured quarterback in franchise historical past in Ryan Griffin, whose major job these days is ensuring Brady doesn’t fall over after a few avocado tequilas.
2 – Huge Receiver
Even with Chris Godwin nursing himself again from the torn ACL he suffered final season, this room continues to be top-of-the-line within the league. Mike Evans is as regular as they arrive. In reality, he’s the steadiest receiver within the league, posting eight straight 1,000-yard seasons. The addition of Russell Gage provides a layer of insurance coverage if Godwin is unable to go well with up in Week 1. However he additionally supplies inside-outside versatility, is a prepared blocker and provides the offense an ideal prime three when Godwin returns.
After that, the Bucs have a ton of succesful receivers. Tyler Johnson was the de facto No. 4 final season, filling in as soon as Godwin was injured. Breshad Perriman is a six-year veteran in his second stint with Tampa Bay. He made the game-winning landing catch towards the Payments in time beyond regulation final season. Scotty Miller supplies a confirmed deep risk. He performed a pivotal a part of the Bucs’ run to the Tremendous Bowl in 2020. Jaelon Darden is the unknown issue within the combine. After a largely down 12 months, the sport appears to be coming simpler to him after observing his play this offseason. And Cyril Grayson Jr. will look to enhance on his breakthrough season.
3 – Offensive Line
Certain, the Bucs misplaced left guard Ali Marpet to retirement, and that’s nothing to scoff at. However they nonetheless deliver again an elite offensive line. All-Professional proper deal with Tristan Wirfs anchors the suitable facet of line. A fellow Professional Bowler, middle Ryan Jensen, returns on a brand new deal. And Donovan Smith holds down Brady’s blindside.
There’s a brand new starter at proper guard, with Shaq Mason taking up Alex Cappa. Mason is definitely an improve over Cappa, who signed with the Bengals in free company.
There are query marks relating to the left guard spot. Nonetheless, the Bucs really feel like they’ve Marpet’s substitute on the roster. They’ve carried out an excellent job with including competitors to the group. Veteran Aaron Stinnie and rookie Luke Goedeke will battle for the beginning spot. The loser provides worthwhile depth alongside the inside to go together with Robert Hainsey and Nick Leverett.
4 – Defensive Line
This was already a stable unit with Vita Vea, Will Gholston and the newly drafted Logan Corridor. Add Akiem Hicks to the combo and this group has an opportunity to be one thing particular. The prospect of attempting to make use of lower than three blockers to comprise Hicks and Vea is amusing. It opens a lot up for the linebacking corps.
The depth is powerful too. Corridor now joins the rotation, bringing dimension and velocity to assault the quarterback. Rakeem Nunez-Roches is a flexible piece alongside the road and Patrick O’ Connor has improved yearly as nicely.
5 – Inside Linebacker
The duo of Lavonte David and Devin White has the chance to be the very best within the league. Each veterans have been disillusioned of their 2021 campaigns, however they give the impression of being poised to have bounce-back seasons. For David, it’s all about staying wholesome as he enters the ultimate 12 months of his present deal. He nonetheless had over 90 tackles final season, however didn’t make as many splash performs as he needed.
White, however, must be extra constant. He not too long ago spoke about being extra disciplined as a defender and never being too aggressive. If White can try this, he might be a prime participant at his place. The addition of Hicks also needs to assist devour blockers, permitting the duo to make extra performs. The depth on the place is untested, which additional emphasizes the necessity for a wholesome season from David.
6 – Exterior Linebacker
Shaq Barrett’s potential return to the suitable facet may spell catastrophe for opposing quarterbacks. The final time he performed a majority of snap lining up on the suitable facet, he notched 19.5 sacks. The addition of Hicks can’t be understated. He opens up a lot for the gamers round him along with his risk to hurry the passer and take up blockers along with his monstrous body.
Joe Tryon-Shoyinka now will get his likelihood to shine as he steps right into a beginning function. He confirmed flashes final 12 months throughout his rookie season and has the flexibility to get to the quarterback. If he takes the following step, Tryon-Shoyinka may present a harmful bookend with Barrett. Getting into his remaining 12 months of his rookie deal, Anthony Nelson will attempt to construct off his greatest season as a professional, whereas Cam Gill supplies one other stable rotational cross rusher and excels on particular groups.
7 – Security
I used to be tempted to go cornerback right here. After contemplating it, I simply assume the security group has extra confirmed expertise. The security group has the defensive backfield’s lone Professional Bowl choice in Antoine Winfield Jr., in addition to a ball hawk in Mike Edwards. The lack of Jordan Whitehead will sting a bit, however the addition of Keanu Neal retains an enforcer alongside the road of scrimmage. Add in Logan Ryan and his twin roles at security and nickel and you’ve got a well-rounded unit. If the Bucs determine to maintain 5 safeties, Troy Warner might be a reputation to observe.
This cornerback room might be good. Actually good. Nonetheless, that’s if everybody stays wholesome and takes their projected leaps. Carlton Davis is aware of he wants to return down with extra interceptions. Jamel Dean is aware of he must proceed his development. Sean Murphy-Bunting is aware of he wants to remain wholesome and be extra constant. If these three gamers can take their sport to the following stage, they might make up one of many prime models within the NFL.
There’s plenty of “ifs” there, however the Bucs have constructed good depth on the again finish. After experiencing one (or two… or three…) too many accidents on the place final season, the staff has some intriguing gamers at nook. Rookie Zyon McCollum’s mix of dimension and velocity is uncommon. Relying on how shortly he picks up the protection, he may contribute early on. Dee Delaney was the MVP of OTAs and continues to get higher. Plus, Ross Cockrell provides the room a flexible veteran presence.
9 – Operating Again
Leonard Fournette returns because the starter, however behind him, there are some questions. Fournette isn’t going to return off the sphere because the staff’s third-down again. Behind him is Giovani Bernard, who we didn’t get to see a lot of in 2021 as a result of lack of utilization and accidents. Ke’Shawn Vaughn has improved however doesn’t seem like a participant who is able to carry the load if accidents happen. There’s additionally rookie Rachaad White, who in fact has but to play a down within the NFL. Fournette is a three-phase operating again, however the depth behind him is questionable.
10 – Tight Finish
This group was presupposed to be close to the highest of the record, however Rob Gronkowski’s retirement threw a wrench in that.
Look, this nonetheless has the makings of a good place group. Cameron Brate continues to be a red-zone risk and a security valve as a receiving choice. He’s not a lot of blocker, so these obligations will fall on rookie Cade Otton, as lengthy he can grasp the playbook fast sufficient. Fellow rookie Ko Kieft additionally may take blocking snaps if he makes the roster as nicely. Another choice is longtime apply squad presence Codey McElroy, who faces an uphill battle to make the staff.
The Bucs may add to this place as nicely with a veteran free agent or via commerce, which may vault them up the record.
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