I can’t believe I’m saying this, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the defending Super Bowl champs. And I can’t believe I’m saying this either, they brought the whole team back. Okay, apparently salary cap has gone out the window. Next thing we know unicorns are going to start running around. Because everyone came back, the draft wasn’t really necessary for them, so they just drafted whoever they felt like. But, could that come back to bite them later on? Could Tampa Bat actually repeat, or is it too good to be true? Let’s break it all down.
The Exact Same Offense
The greatest quarterback of all time plays for Tampa Bay. However, his successor could have been drafted. In round two, Kyle Trask came off the board from Florida. He’s a great story and a great quarterback, but he’ll have to wait his turn. Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones remain the backfield that carried them to a championship. Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown, Scotty Miller, and Tyler Johnson are still the main group of receivers. Insert Jaelon Darden, a fourth round pick from North Texas. Good luck cracking that rotation.
Gronk may not be his dominant self anymore, but he still a very good tight end. O.J Howard got hurt and should be good to go for the season. Can’t help but think it may be may or break time for him. Don’t expect Cameron Brate to do much either. Guess what? The offensive line is exactly the same too. From left to right – Donovan Smith, Ali Marpet, Ryan Jensen, Alex Cappa, and Tristan Wirfs aren’t done yet. To add depth, Robert Hainsey was drafted from Notre Dame in round three. A potential replacement for the aging Marpet.
Same Core, Same Coordinator
Todd Bowles is locked up for the next three seasons to lead the defense. The 3-4 front is running it back with the same defensive line of Ndamukong Suh, Vita Vea, and William Gholston. Rakeem Nunez-Roches slides to the backup/subpackage role. Next up, the linebackers. The Bucs drafted three. Joe Tryon from Washington in round one, K.J Britt from Auburn in round five, and Grant Steward from Houston as the final pick in the draft. Jason Pierre-Paul, Devin White, Lavonte David, and Shaquil Barrett will do doubt remain the starting four backers. Tryon is JPP’s backup, Stuard is third string behind White, and Britt is right behind David. Each one will fight for a role as a subpackage player and will likely play a lot of special teams to get things started.
FInally, the secondary. The Bucs drafted corner Chris Wilcox in round seven from BYU. He has an uphill battle to just become a backup. Right now Carlton Davis, Antoine Winfield Jr, Jordan Whitehead, and Sean Murphy-Bunting make up the core four like last season. Jamel Dean is the frontrunner to remain in a nickel role.
You know what they say, if isn’t broken, don’t fix it. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers took that same approach. They are the clear favorites in the South. However, they now also have the biggest target on their backs.
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