Tampa Bay Buccaneers Final 53-Man Roster Prediction

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On Saturday, September 5th, the Buccaneers roster will look drastically different than its offseason counterpart. Teams will have until 4 pm that day to trim their depth chart to 53 players from the current 80. In this article, I will predict the final roster included with my thinking and rationale, lets dive in.

Quarterback

Tom Brady
Blaine Gabbert
Reid Sinnett

I predict Bruce Arians to role with three quarterbacks this season. As you can see, Ryan Griffin does not make the final cut, and after a number of seasons, there is just no reason to keep holding on to him. The younger Reid Sinnet will take his place, operating as an emergency quarterback should Brady or Gabbert get hit with COVID19.

Running Back

Ronald Jones II
LeSean McCoy
Dare Ogunbowale
Ke’shawn Vaughn
Raymond Calais

There are not many surprises here. Ronald Jones will carry most of the workload with Dare Ogunbowale and LeSean McCoy eating up the rest of the carries. I’m not sure Arians trusts Vaughn or Calais enough to give them significant offensive snaps, but they should make an impact on special teams.

Wide Receiver

Mike Evans
Chris Godwin
Scotty Miller
Tyler Johnson
Justin Watson
Jaydon Mickens

Bruce Arians has sang praises to Jaydon Mickens recently and I think he is the front runner for the return job. Rookie Tyler Johnson has been injured for most of camp, so there is a decent possibility he lands on injured reserve. Scotty Miller’s stock has skyrocketed as well, and has made a strong case for the wide receiver three spot.

Tight End

Rob Gronkowski
O.J. Howard
Cameron Brate
Antony Auclair

The top three should come as no surprise here. But I elected to go with the stout blocker in Antony Auclair over Tanner Hudson. Hudson has a similar skill set to Cam Brate, and the Buccaneers need a true blocking tight end on the roster. Auclair fills that role perfectly, and will only see the field on goal line or short yardage situations.

Offensive Line

Donovan Smith
Ali Marpet
Ryan Jensen
Alex Cappa
Tristan Wirfs
Joe Haeg
A.Q. Shipley
Josh Wells

The Buccaneers were not happy with their interior line depth, and signed former Arizona Cardinal A.Q. Shipley as a result. He is the only true backup center on the roster should Ryan Jensen go down. The final spot was difficult to nail down, but I chose Josh Wells, as he has the most experience with the team. I wouldn’t be shocked to see him waived during the season for an upgrade at the position however.

Defensive Line

Ndamukong Suh
Vita Vea
Will Gholston
Rakeem Nunez-Roches
Khalil Davis
Patrick O’Connor
Kyle Love

The Buccaneers front seven is one of the best in football. Vita Vea and Ndamukong Suh are bullies at the point of attack, and Will Gholston is a stout run defender. Rakeem Nunez-Roches has had a solid camp, and Khalil Davis will look to carve out a larger role. Patrick O’Connor and Kyle Love only make the team as a last result, and are expendable pieces once the season begins.

Linebacker

Jason Pierre-Paul
Devin White
Lavonte David
Shaq Barrett
Jack Cichy
Anthony Nelson
Kevin Minter
Chapelle Russell

A 3-4 scheme requires teams to carry a large linebacker core. We already know about the top four, but the backup jobs are still largely up for grabs. Jack Cichy and Kevin Minter have the best chance to back up the inside jobs, as they have familiarity in the system. Anthony Nelson is expected to take a step forward in 2020, likely rotating for a limited number of snaps. Seventh round pick Chapelle Russell may just fill in that final slot, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he went to the practice squad first.

Corner Back

Carlton Davis
Sean Murphy-Bunting
Jamel Dean
Mazzi Wilkins
Ryan Smith

I originally had Parnell Motley making the final cut, but an injury that will sideline him the rest of camp complicates the matter. He should still land on injured reserve or the practice squad, but carrying an injured player, especially undrafted, on the 53 makes little sense. Depth here is a major concern, as Mazzi Wilkins and Ryan Smith are the only backups should a starter get injured. I wouldn’t mind an A.Q. Shipley type signing for this group.

Safety

Antoine Winfield Jr.
Jordan Whitehead
Mike Edwards
D’Cota Dixon

I have no idea what is going on with Justin Evans, but I won’t be surprised if he makes another trip to injured reserve. While Antoine Winfield Jr. may not start week one, I don’t think the coaching staff can keep him off the field for long. Like corner back, depth becomes an issue after one injury.

Specialists

Matt Gay
Bradley Pinion
Zach Triner

There are really no surprises here. Matt Gay has struggled in camp, but I don’t think it will be enough for an Elliot Fry takeover. Bradley Pinion will continue to punt, and Zach Triner will be the primary long snapper.

Practice Squad

Michael Divinity Jr. (Protected)
Parnell Motley (Protected)
Ryan Griffin (Protected)
Tanner Hudson (Protected)
Zack Bailey
John Hurst
Quinton Bell
Andrew Adams
Javon Hagan
Bryant Mitchell
Josh Pearson
Zack Shackleford
Kahzin Daniels
Herb Miller
Jeremiah Ledbetter
Nick Leverett

The 2020 practice squad rules are drastically different in 2020. Teams can protect up to four players, and the overall roster size has been expanded to 16. Even more important, veteran players can now be put on the practice squad, which opens up an infinite number of possibilities for roster construction.

The Deck Bar and Grille at Isla
The Deck Bar and Grille at Isla
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