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Finding a pass rush is the Buccaneers' top roster decision

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Over at ESPN, Field Yates tallied the top roster decisions for each NFL team. For the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the answer is apparently: defensive end.

Find a pass rush: The Bucs have their quarterback of the future in Jameis Winston, and the offensive line was addressed in the draft, too. But coach Lovie Smith's Tampa 2 defense is predicated in part upon a pair of upfield edge rushers. Right now, those parts are missing in Tampa Bay. The current depth chart is led by Jacquies Smith and George Johnson.

I'm not sure this will be a big roster decision, per se. The group of defensive tackles is more than good enough, so the big decisions will come at defensive end -- but they'll only come at the bottom end of the roster. Jacquies Smith and George Johnson are basically guaranteed roster spots. The rest is less certain, but none of those decisions are going to make or break this season: Larry English vs. William Gholston, or T.J. Fatinikun vs. Ryan Delaire are not going to be the difference between wins and losses this year.

Which is slightly depressing, because that means that beyond the top two spots, the Bucs have mostly interchangeable defensive ends. Or, in other words, a whole bunch of camp bodies and no one who really stands out. T.J. Fatinikun played well at the end of last season, but we have no idea whether he can keep that up. William Gholston is a quality run defender, but can he ever figure out how to consistently rush the passer?

I don't know the answer to that, and I'm actually fairly optimistic about the defensive line as a whole, but there's a shocking lack of depth at defensive end. So much so that we don't have a clue who's going to be on the roster beyond two names, even though we're only a few months removed from the first day of training camp. Shocking!