Training camp is in full swing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. There are many storylines to follow this year as we rev up to the regular season. From a new offensive system to a quarterback competition, there is plenty to talk about.
However, the biggest thing we can speculate on is who exactly will actually make the final roster. And while we know many of the familiar faces returning for the Buccaneers, there will also be many new additions to the team this year. Guessing today, here is my prediction as to who will make the 53 man roster.
The pecking order here is pretty straight forward. Mayfield, although flawed, I’d obviously the best quarterback on the roster. Although he is technically competing for the starting job, I would be shocked if Mayfield wasn’t the starter. He’s the most experienced with the highest upside.
Trask will likely be the backup. The team invested a second round draft pick in him and the coaching staff has been singing his praises for a months. The Buccaneers want to give him this opportunity.
I expect Wolford to make the team. He is the most familiar with this type of offense and is an experienced depth veteran.
If you couldn’t tell by his number change, Rachaad White is running back one. He looked good as a rookie and has earned his chance to secure the long term starting job. He’s a well rounded, every down back who can do some of everything at a reasonably high level.
After that things are wide open. I’m putting my money on undrafted rookie Sean Tucker to win the primary backup job. He’s incredibly explosive and runs tougher than his size may indicate. He might be the best pure ball carrier on the team.
Between Edmonds and Vaughn, I’d be lying if I said I had strong feelings one way or another. Both are depth players who ideally don’t see the field often. If one of these two can establish special teams value then that guy will have the edge. For now I put Edmonds slightly ahead in this race.
I won’t spend too much time on this top three. Evans and Godwin are one of the best duos in the league and Gage is a very good third option. They are locked in and the driving force of the Buccaneers’ offense.
Moore is a veteran who has familiarity with the new coaches, so I like him as a solid fourth option for now. I’m very interested to watch the two young guys at the bottom of the depth chart. Both Thompkins and Palmer bring big play speed, which is extremely valuable.
It’s also worth mentioning understated free agent Rakim Jarrett. The rookie out of Maryland brings a good combination of size and speed. He needs to be refined and could be an ideal practice squad target, but he has the raw talent to make the 53 man roster.
The tight end group has a lot to prove this year. Otton is getting his opportunity to be the full time starter after showing a lot of positive things as a rookie. I feel confident that he can be a security blanket for the quarterback and a very solid receiving option.
David Wells is probably the biggest surprise so far. He has been a journeyman practice squad player for his entire career which began in 2018. He is getting an opportunity in this tight end heavy offense and has taken advantage so far.
Kieft is a blocker first and foremost. On the line of scrimmage or in the backfield, his job is to make defenders’ lives miserable. He’s a niche role player, but he brings value with what he does.
Note that rookie Payne Durham doesn’t make my final cut. The tight end out of Purdue needs to continue to add strength and develop as a blocker to make the team. Considering he is only a red zone target anyway, I believe he is in danger of not making the team.
The offensive line comes with some questions, but looks pretty clear on paper. The left side of the line is very strong. Wirfs, Feiler and Jensen are all veterans who have proven to be guys who can take you to the playoffs.
The right side is a very different story. Mauch is a rookie who is making a position change as he moves to the NFL level. Goedeke is moving back to right tackle, after playing left guard as a rookie last year. These two have everything to prove this year, but seem penciled in as expected starters.
Hainsey filled in admirably last season in Jensen’s absence and Leverett played better than expected in the starting role at left guard. Both will very likely be the first off the bench when looking for extra beef upfront. Walton also showed well last year in limited time. While the Buccaneers are thin at offensive tackle, he looks like the best of the bunch with some untapped potential.