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Evaluating the Buccaneers by position: Any depth at defensive tackle?

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Currently on the roster: Gerald McCoy, Clinton McDonald, Akeem SpenceDavon Coleman, Derrick Lott

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had a disastrous year of defensive tackle play in 2015. Gerald McCoy struggled with various injuries throughout the season, which visibly limited him despite his missing only one game. Clinton McDonald played only six games, while Akeem Spence missed eight due to injury and suspension. The Bucs hoped that Henry Melton and Tony McDaniel could boost their interior group, but neither is on the roster anymore because neither of them delivered.

This season, the Bucs come back with McCoy, McDonald and Spence. That's actually a very strong group of players, McCoy being one of the best three-techniques in the NFL, Spence a pretty solid nose tackle, and McDonald capable of playing both positions and being disruptive. But there's not a lot of depth there, and injuries could hurt the Bucs significantly.

That depth problem will in part be solved by defensive ends Robert Ayers and William Gholston, both of whom can play inside -- especially on passing downs. In fact, Ayers' best trait might be his disruptive ability as a three-technique on passing downs.

Still, those two players won't solve the team's early-down problems if one or more of their defensive tackles gets injured. Moreover, Akeem Spence is scheduled to be a free agent next offseason. It's not particularly surprising, then, that the Bucs have brought in multiple defensive tackles for visits and appear poised to draft one in the top three rounds.