There’s a lot of excitement surrounding the 2020 Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It’s not hard to see why.
Of course, there’s the new-look offense, which now features Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski and LeSean McCoy, three star veterans who are joining the likes of Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, O.J. Howard, Cameron Brate and Ronald Jones II. But there’s also the young and hungry defense, which is led by a talented front seven that includes Vita Vea, Lavonte David, Devin White, Jason Pierre-Paul and Shaquil Barrett.
But what should have people really excited about the Tampa Bay defense in 2020 is the talented secondary, which includes a cornerback group that is ranked... DEAD LAST IN THE NFL?????
Yes, NFL.com’s Cynthia Frelund ranked all 32 units in the league and somehow Tampa Bay’s kicks things off at No. 32:
I’m sorry, but that just makes no sense. It’s actually puzzling. Anyone who watched the Bucs at the end of last year or has been following camp over the last few weeks can tell you there is no chance that this team’s corners are the worst in the NFL.
Down the stretch in 2019, the trio of Carlton Davis, Jamel Dean and Sean Murphy-Bunting was as good as any in the league. These guys really took off in the second half of the season, propelling the Bucs to a 5-3 record in the final eight games. Davis finished with the second-most passes defended in the NFL last year with 19 and Dean wasn’t far behind him, totaling 17 despite playing sparingly early in the year. And Murphy-Bunting ended up leading the team with three interceptions while finishing with eight passes defended of his own.
Now, I’m not here to argue that the Buccaneer corners have already arrived and should be ranked in the top 10. They still have some growing to do and the depth at the position isn’t great. I’m just here to say that having them ranked No. 32 is completely laughable. These guys not only have a lot of potential—they’ve already shown it. And without doing a deep dive into every team’s cornerback group, I’m confident that there are plenty that are less proven and less talented than Tampa Bay’s. Just think of all of the teams that are either rebuilding or downright bad. ALL of them have better cornerback situations than the Bucs?
For the sake of comparison, Pro Football Focus recently ranked every secondary in the league, and while that obviously includes safeties, it’s worth noting that the Bucs came in at No. 16. That’s right in the middle of the pack, and honestly if anything, the safeties may very well drag down that ranking. The disparity between No. 16 and No. 32 is truly wild.
Of course, rankings are arbitrary and everyone can have their different opinions. But I just find it extremely hard to believe that anyone out there would really rank the Bucs’ corners dead last in the entire NFL. I just can’t wrap my head around it. What do you think, Bucs Nation? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.