Buccaneers’ Stat Prediction: EDGE/OLB

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Two years ago the Buccaneers won the Super Bowl on the backs of their EDGE rushers. After that dominating performance, they still went out and drafted Joe Tryon-Shoyinka in the first round of the 2021 NFL draft. The easiest way for a defense to disrupt an opposing offense is to bombard them off the EDGE. Let’s take a look at how the Bucs’ EDGE rushers will fair this season.

Shaq Barrett

The Shaq attack is back, and it’s better than ever. We are just a couple of years removed from Barrett having 19.5 sacks and even receiving some defensive player of the year votes. Barrett is a very fascinating player as he was never the fastest, strongest or biggest, but he has one of the best work ethics and is the definition of “scrappy”. He always stays healthy and is a “team first” type of guy who will always be there. Last season, he had 11 sacks and racked up 75 pressures, and this season looks to be more of the same. 

Stat line prediction: 13 sacks, 76 pressures, two forced fumbles

Joe Tryon-Shoyinka

Last season was essentially a “red-shirt” year for Tryon-Shoyinka, who spent the most of it rotating in for JPP and Shaq Barrett. Coming out of college, he had very little production and even opted out of the Covid-19 year before the draft. He was put into the dream situation as a rookie, with the ability to see the field, but the expectations being rather low. The season he had last year wasn’t spectacular, but that was expected from a “raw” player in his first year. He registered only 4 sacks and 40 pressures on 344 pass rush plays. That’s not great, but no one expected him to be lights out. Heading into his second year, he will take a more pivotal role on the Buccaneers’ defense. I expect a lot of growth, but not exactly a “break out year”. 

Stat line prediction: 8 sacks, 56 pressures, one forced fumble

Anthony Nelson

Anthony Nelson is the perfect rotational piece for a defensive line. He is a solid defender against the run and pass rusher. He’s a unique player, standing at 6’7 and weighing in at 270 lbs, he’s always a handful for opposing tackles.  Last season, he tallied up 5 sacks and 26 pressures on 237 pass rushing snaps. As a player who has gotten better every season he has played in, 2022 should be a career year for him. 

Stat line predictions: 6 sacks, 34 pressures, 

Cam Gill

In 2020, Cam Gill was a long shot to even make the roster coming out of Wagner college. Gill worked his way up the depth chart and even recorded a sack in the Super Bowl. Last season, his second in the league he struggled, but that’s expected with an undrafted rookie from an FCS school. The future for Cam Gill is bright, but he’ll most likely battle for playing time.

Stat line prediction: 2 sacks, 16 pressures 

Conclusion

EDGE rushers are a vital part of the defense and in the past couple of years the Buccaneers have seen high-level play from their EDGE rushers. With the departure of long tenured starter Jason Pierre-Paul, it may seem like the Bucs would see a decline, but the early planning and foresight from Jason Licht and the front office, the future looks bright.

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