Bucs 53-Man Roster Projections

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With OTAs and minicamp now behind us, we can finally turn our attention to full contact football and the preseason. Players now have 7 weeks between now and training camp to stay in peak shape and come back ready to fight for roster spots. When it’s all said and done, only 53 men will make the roster by Week 1 when Tampa Bay takes on Kwon Alexander and the 49ers in a season opener showdown. Now that coaches have spoken a bit on which players have shown up and who needs more work, let’s look at some early 53-man roster projection:

Quarterbacks:

1st StringJameis Winston

2nd StringRyan Griffin

Overview- Although 3 QBs currently sit on the roster, I can only see Bruce Arians carrying two quarterbacks going into Week 1. Ryan Griffin out performs Gabbert in the preseason to snag the #2 spot.

Running Backs:

1st StringPeyton Barber

2nd StringRonald Jones

3rd StringBruce Anderson

Overview- It remains to be seen whether the Bucs will carry 3 or 4 RBs into the season, but I see Ellington and UDFA Bruce Anderson fighting for the last or two spots. Anderson might pull off the upset.

Tight Ends:

1st String: OJ Howard

2nd String: Cameron Brate

3rd String: Jordan Leggett

4th String: Antony Auclair

Overview- Considering Arians tendency to run 2 TE sets, it’s likely four TEs will be kept on the roster. Auclair nudges out the last spot due to improvements in both pass catching and as a in-line blocker.

Wide Receiver:

1st StringMike Evans

2nd StringChris Godwin

3rd StringBreshad Perriman

4th String– Scotty Miller

5th String– Bobo Wilson

6th StringJustin Watson

Overview: This is probably the most sure handed group on the roster. With Arians keeping 4 TEs, it’s likely the Bucs only keep 6 of their current 13 WRs so Watson and Wilson will battle it out for the final two spots.

Offensive Line: (T, G, C)

Left Tackle:

1st StringDonovan Smith

2nd StringMike Liedtke

Left Guard:

1st StringAli Marpet

2nd String– Zack Bailey

Center:

1st StringRyan Jensen

2nd String– Evan Smith

Right Guard:

1st StringEarl Watford

2nd StringAlex Cappa

Right Tackle:

1st StringDemar Dotson

2nd StringCaleb Benenoch

Overview: No huge surprises here, however I do believe Alex Cappa will initially sit behind Watford until he’s ready for NFL action later in the season. Also believe Benenoch will play RT this year backing up Dotson. Both Benenoch and Cappa will probably compete for this spot next year considering Dotson’s age. RG needs be addressed in early rounds next draft.

Defensive Line: (DL, Edge)

Defensive Line-

1st StringNdamukong Suh

2nd StringVita Vea

3rd StringBeau Allen

4th String– Terry Beckner Jr.

5th StringWilliam Gholston

Edge:

1st StringJason Pierre-Paul

2nd StringCarl Nassib

3rd StringNoah Spence

4th String– Anthony Nelson

Overview: As far as the DL goes, these spots are pretty much a lock. I do, however, see rookie Terry Beckner giving incumbent Bucs starter William Gholston a run for his money on the roster. The edge position will obviously be a bit of mixup with some interchangeable players considering the injury to Jason Pierre-Paul, but look for Anthony Nelson to silently climb that depth chart.

Linebackers:

1- Lavonte David

2- Devin White

3- Shaq Barrett

4- Deone Bucannon

5- Kevin Minter

Overview- With Bucannon playing more of a hybrid S/OLB role, Cichy and Minter will be the two to keep your eye out on coming into training camp. David, White and Barrett are all locks.

Cornerback:

1st StringVernon Hargreaves

2nd String– Sean Murphy-Bunting

3rd String– Jamel Dean

4th StringCarlton Davis

5th StringRyan Smith

6th String– MJ Stewart

Overview: Definitely the youngest group of CBs, perhaps, in the entire NFL with “veteran” Ryan Smith being the oldest at 25. The first four spots seem pretty secure at this point with Smith and Stewart fighting to secure the last two spots. Stewart hasn’t struggled severely of late, but definitely hasn’t stood out this offseason and with the possibility of a position switch, this may do him no favors.

Strong Safety:

1st StringJordan Whitehead

2nd StringKentrell Brice

3rd String– Mike Edwards

Overview: In my opinion this will be the most exciting position battle come training camp. All three of these players have shown something during mini camp. While I think Brice is the depth signing here, by Week 1 it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see Edwards beat out Whitehead to start at SS. Both having been making big plays early on.

Free Safety:

1st String: Justin Evans

2nd String: MJ Stewart

3rd String: Isaiah Johnson

Overview: Unless Evans takes massive leaps this year in terms of quality of play, which he’s capable of, this group may actually worry me the most. Now, players like Brice And Mike Edwards can take reps at both positions, but with no true cut leader it remains a position that’s razor thin. Depth should be addressed here.

Kicker:

1st StringMatt Gay

Overview- Lets hope Tampa didn’t draft another kicker just to cut him before the regular season.

Punter:

1st StringBradley Pinion

Overview- The Bucs just gave him a big money contract.

Long snapper:

1st String– Zach Triner

Overview: Current is the only LS on the roster.

Besides some training camp position shuffles and an added veteran, hopefully two, to the roster then this is what will likely be the Bucs squad for 2019. Who do you think will be sleepers to make the roster?

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