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Buccaneers 53-man roster prediction

With the first preseason game in the books, we try to project the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 53-man roster again. You can find our first try right here.

Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Offense (24)

Quarterback (2): Josh McCown, Mike Glennon

Last time I had three quarterbacks in here, but that may just be a waste of a roster spot. Mike Kafka should be available later in the year if necessary, anyway, so cutting him won't do much damage and it should allow them to keep another player at a different position.

Running back (5): Doug Martin, Charles Sims, Mike James, Bobby Rainey, Jorvorskie Lane(fullback)

Ultimately the Bucs are going to have to choose between keeping two of Bobby Rainey, Mike James and Jeff Demps. Rainey and James both have comfortable backup roles, being similar to Martin and Sims respectively. The odd man out here is Jeff Demps. Yes, he has the potential to play a unique role on offense -- but he barely got a chance to do so in preseason, and didn't look particularly good doing so either. He didn't get to play a role on special teams, either. The Bucs may want to keep him, but so far it looks like he'll fall to the wayside.

Wide receiver (6): Vincent Jackson, Mike Evans, Louis Murphy, Chris Owusu, Tommy Streeter, Robert Herron

No surprises here. Louis Murphy had a pretty good first preseason game and is a reasonably reliable veteran. Chris Owusu looked fairly good against the Jaguars, even if he didn't officially catch a pass (his one catch wiped out by a penalty). Streeter got a touchdown catch and significant playing time, and even Robert Herron got a few touches. Lovie Smith has remained pretty upbeat on Herron and his comments suggest he'll hang on to his roster spot.

Tight End (3): Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Luke Stocker, Tim Wright

Wait a minute, Brandon Myers is out? But his contract is guaranteed this year! And Luke Stocker is awful!

Well yes, but Brandon Myers hasn't done anything to stand out throughout this offseason, and didn't do much in the first preseason game either. Tim Wright and Austin Seferian-Jenkins aren't going anywhere, and Luke Stocker has one thing going for him: he's a pretty good blocker. Better than Wright, better than Seferian-Jenkins and better than Myers. If they want a blocking tight end, Stocker sticks.

Offensive Tackle (3): Anthony Collins, Demar Dotson, Kevin Pamphile

Two starters, one draft pick as backup with Jamon Meredith also being able to shift over to play tackle. Nothing to see here.

Guard/Center (5): Jamon Meredith, Evan Dietrich-Smith, Kadeem Edwards, Patrick Omameh, Jace Daniels

Meredith is no longer starting, but he sticks around as a versatile veteran who can also play tackle. Edwards and Omameh get the start at guard for me, with Cousins once again off the roster. I refuse to give him a spot. My projection, my rules dammit! Daniels is currently getting some play with the first team, so he gets the final backup spot.

Defense (26)

Defensive End (5): Michael Johnson, Adrian Clayborn, Steven Means, William Gholston, Scott Solomon

Johnson, Clayborn, Gholston and Means are almost certain to make the roster at this point. Scott Solomon is a little more surprising, but he's been making some noise in training camp so I think this works.

Defensive Tackle (4): Gerald McCoy, Clinton McDonald, Akeem Spence, Da'Quan Bowers

McCoy, McDonald and Spence are going to make the roster regardless of what happens. The big thing here is Da'Quan Bowers joining the fold as a defensive tackle, which is primarily what he's been playing in preseason and training camp. He can still play defensive end, but this may be his big spot.

Outside linebacker (4): Lavonte David, Jonathan Casillas, Ka'lial Glaud, Danny Lansanah

One fewer linebacker this week, mostly because Nate Askew really hasn't done much. Everyone else here is either a starter or has stood out in training camp. Lansanah has done surprisingly well, even making a name for himself in the first preseason game. He should be a core special teams player as well.

Middle linebacker (2): Mason Foster, Dane Fletcher

Nothing to see here, honestly. This is what's going to happen.

Outside cornerback (5): Alterraun Verner, Johnthan Banks, Mike Jenkins, Rashaan Melvin, Danny Gorrer

An extra cornerback instead of linebacker, in part because the cornerbacks have been overrun with injuries. I gave Rashaan Melvin a roster spot instead of Deveron Carr, as both players are very similar. Danny Gorrer gets the final spot as an outside cornerback who can kick inside as well.

Slot cornerback (2): Leonard Johnson, Quinton Pointer

Slot cornerbacks! These two guys have been the main slot guys so...that will probably continue.

Safety (4): Mark Barron, Dashon Goldson, Major Wright, Keith Tandy

Keith Tandy just makes plays, I guess? I don't know. I don't really like him. But he does keep showing up on tackles, even if he blows other plays. I don't know. I'm giving him a backup spot here, for now.

Special Teams (3)

Patrick Murray (P), Connor Barth (K), Jeremy Cain (LS)

Patrick Murray because at some point, the Bucs have to say goodbye to either Michael Koenen or Connor Barth. I don't genuinely think it's going to happen, but it's a real possiblility.

Practice squad bonus (8)

C Josh Allen, T Matt Patchan, DT Euclid Cummings, DE Chaz Sutton, TE Cameron Brate, WR Skye Dawson, CB Keith Lewis, LB Nate Askew.

Bonus round! I'm just going to throw a bunch of players I like but who will struggle to make the roster in here, and who aren't quite good enough to get picked up by another team instead. Limiting my options here is the fact that players who have been on an active, game-day roster for more than eight games in one season or have been on a roster for six games in each of two seasons are not eligible.

Lots of linemen on the practice squad because they need those for practice, and because finding them can be hard. Nate Askew has talent but hasn't played well enough to get a roster spot, in my eyes. Cameron Brate because they need a tight end they can call up quickly, Skye Dawson because he has some experience and Keith Lewis because there always seems to be a cornerback on any practice squad.