The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in the final stages of setting their roster for the 2018 season. While the team did release the official 53 man roster yesterday evening, they are still signing players to the practice squad and finalizing those moves.
Every roster in the NFL has it’s strengths, but they also have weaknesses and the Buccaneers have plenty of both. In this article, we will look at a few position groups the team should feel great about.
- Wide Receiver
This is a no brainer. It is easily the best position group on the team and should help provide a big boost to the offense all season long. It will be weapons galore for whoever is playing quarterback for Tampa Bay. Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, DeSean Jackson, Adam Humphries and impressive rookie Justin Watson is a pretty dangerous receiving corps. Evans seems primed for a bounce back season, after struggling a bit last year, even though he still had a 1,000 yard season. Godwin is on the rise and should see his snaps and production increase. Jackson will be used in more ways this year, including from the slot, which will give defenses headaches. Humphries and Watson will perform when their numbers are called.
2. Defensive Line
After having one of the worst defensive lines in football last season, it was obvious that the position needed to be addressed in more ways than one, and it was. Outside of Gerald McCoy, William Gholston and Noah Spence, Jason Licht cleaned house and brought in fresh new faces all along the defensive line, not just at one specific position. The depth along the defensive line has always been an issue for Tampa Bay, but it could be a strong suit for them this season. It’ll be interesting to watch the growth of Vita Vea as well as the roles that Mitch Unrein, Beau Allen and Vinny Curry will play.
3. Tight ends
As a whole, from top to bottom, Tampa Bay has the best tight end group in the NFL. Cameron Brate is coming off another strong season in which he continued to prove he is a legitimate red zone threat, and O.J. Howard is on the cusp of becoming one of the league’s most feared tight ends from not only a receiving standpoint, but from a blocking standpoint as well. The two can become as dangerous as Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski were for the Patriots. The Buccaneers also have Anthony Auclair, who is heading into his second season and continues to make strides in earning playing time. During the preseason, you saw him getting a decent amount of snaps with the starters, so that’s something to keep an eye on. He is a better run blocker then Brate, so it makes sense to have him and Howard in the game on two tight end sets. Alan Cross is another guy who is extremely valuable to this team and can really do anything they ask.