Usually we start hearing from anonymous scouts when draft season starts, but Sports Illustrated decided to get started a little early. They asked some random, unidentified, anonymous NFL scout to give them some underrated and overrated players for every NFL team, while also talking about the team's outlook.
Why some random scout would be worth listening to more or less escapes me, as there are plenty of good and bad scouts in the NFL -- as we can see every offseason. So mostly, this is just a "what a random dude thinks" article, with added pretense of having some kind of inside information and reflected authority.
For the Bucs, he picked Lavonte David as underrated (shocking selection), and Roberto Aguayo as overrated. Who overrates him, other than Jason Licht and a handful of over-enthusiastic Bucs and FSU fans, isn't exactly clear. He's a good kicker who likely wasn't worth what the Bucs gave up to pick him. That's basically the league-wide consensus.
In any case, the interesting bit is that the scout believes the Bucs are ready to win. Right now. Not next year. Not when their roster is better. They're ready to turn the corner.
This is a team that can make the playoffs right now. They aren’t a year away. Licht has done a good job adding talent. He’s had a clear plan—he’s spent time around some great people in New England and then in Arizona with [Cardinals general manager] Steve Keim. Usually I don’t expect much from a first-year head coach but Dirk Koetter is able to effectively communicate with his team, and he’s a guy who’s held in high regard by all the players and coaches he’s been around.
A playoff spot, or a winning season without one, would be a nice change of pace. The Bucs have said that they want to win right now in basically every offseason for the past two decades, with the arguable exception of 2009 and 2010 -- and 2010 was, ironically, the last time they actually had a winning season.
The preseason was mostly promising, though the offense stuttered a little more than I'd be completely comfortable with. We'll see on Sunday whether that will hold into the regular season, or whether the Bucs can be real contenders. Or at least, we'll get a first real indication of where the Bucs stand this season.