Newcomer OLB Shaquil Barrett is an interesting player to note for the Bucs this year. Undrafted out of Colorado State, Barrett stayed home and signed with the Denver Broncos his rookie year. After moving around from practice squad to active roster late in 2014, Shaq would learn quickly and develop in just his second season. Playing along a front seven that beat the Panthers in Super Bowl 50, Barrett excelled his sophomore year racking up 5.5 sacks, 4 FFs and 2 FRs.
To date Barrett has tallied 151 total tackles, 14 sacks, 7 FFs and 7 PDs. On tape coming out of his stand up rushing position, he looks spring loaded off the snap. Not to mention that for the majority of his career he’s had to play in the shadow of future Hall of Famer and solid starting LB, Von Miller and Shane Ray. Oh and I forgot….he’s only 26. 1 year, 4 million might end up being bargain money by December.
While he’s very durable (played in 61 of 64 total games), he’s only started just 15 of those 61 games. And he still put up numbers playing with that great defense. Barring any injury related issues and continued durability, Barrett may get the playing time and production he’s hoped for since entering the league.
Expect Vita Vea and Suh to completely open up gaps for Bucs LBs this year. White, David and Barrett will all have ample opportunity to bring down the quarterback on passing downs, but at 6’2 250lbs, Barrett’s skill set fits more of a stand up rusher on run blitz and passing downs. Don’t expect high tackle production, but don’t be surprised if Shaq flirts with double digit sacks this year.