Tampa Bay Buccaneers 53-man roster projection: Defense

LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 01: Tight end Mike Sellers #45 of the Washington Redskins is brought down by Elbert Mack #33 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half of a preseason game at FedExField on September 1, 2011 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

We already know three cuts on defense: Kyle Moore, Tyrone McKenzie and Frank McCargo. Given the fact that Raheem Morris essentially named his defensive linemen and omitted Al Woods on that list, we can also assume that he will be cut. But what will the roster look like on defense?

Defensive Tackles(4): Gerald McCoy, Frank Okam, Roy Miller, Brian Price

Brian Price playing a significant amount of snaps against the Washington Redskins should make the Bucs feel more comfortable going with just four defensive tackles for the regular season. 

Defensive Ends (5): Adrian Clayborn, Michael Bennett, Da'Quan Bowers, Tim Crowder, George Johnson

Technically Kyle Moore is eligible for the practice squad, but there's no way he passes through waivers to make it there. Besides him the Bucs are probably keeping all of their defensive ends. 

Linebackers (6): Quincy Black, Mason Foster, Geno Hayes, Dekoda Watson, Adam Hayward, Simoni Lawrence
Practice Squad: Derrell Smith

The Bucs have already released Tyrone McKenzie, so he's gone. I don't think McKenzie will last through waivers, but even if he does I don't know if he wants to be on the Bucs' practice squad. After all, he requested his release from the Patriots when he couldn't compete for a starting job. I still think the Bucs go with an extra linebacker, though, and Simoni Lawrence has had a pretty good preseason. He's quick, physical and he jumped out on tape a couple of times. The Bucs like Derrell Smith, but he hasn't shown me much so far. 

 

Cornerbacks (5): Ronde Barber, Aqib Talib, E.J. Biggers, Myron Lewis, Anthony Gaitor
Practice Squad: D.J. Johnson

Myron Lewis' injuries may prompt the Bucs to keep another cornerback, and they did have the room to do so in this roster projection. The first five are locks for the roster and I think Johnson has shown enough to make it as well, although there's a very strong possibility he gets cut once the Bucs add another player after the final cutdowns. 

Safeties (4): Sean Jones, Cody Grimm, Larry Asante, Corey Lynch
Practice Squad: Ahmad Black

The first four should be no surprise. Ahmad Black still has not played, and it's possible the Bucs kept him out of the fourth game to try to sneak him on to the practice squad. Devin Holland makes this team because of his special teams prowess and his strong performance in the fourth preseason game. Holland made some stupid plays on special teams, but he was always close to the play and that gets noticed. That might get him on the roster. 

Punter (1): Michael Koenen

You don't give a punter a $19 million contract to then cut him. It also helps he's looked very good so far. 

Longsnapper (1): Christian Yount

Andrew Economos still hasn't practiced, so Yount makes the roster. 

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