Every year, every team has a few players that finally step into their roles and perform well. If a team doesn’t have a breakout player or two each year, it really speaks to the teams drafting and development skills. In the past, the Bucs have seen players like Jamel Dean and Vita Vea have those seasons, so who could be next?
This is a huge year for the former first round pick in JTS. After having four sacks in a limited role during his rookie season, the Bucs were hoping that with more opportunity and playing time, he would continue to progress. That simply has not happened as he again had just four sacks in 2022. Now sacks aren’t everything for a pass rusher and JTS was good at getting pressures, but he also had difficulty finishing tackles and he probably could have had three or four more sacks had he just been able to wrap up the quarterback.
Those pressures are the exact reason why I personally am not out on him yet. I understand the frustration that fans and the organization have with him right now, but I believe he can fully break out in 2023. He was drafted as an unfinished product and needed some seasoning, perhaps these past two seasons were the appetizers and now the Bucs will enjoy the main meal? Tryon-Shoyinka never struck me as a consistent double digit sack player, but eight sacks should be no problem for him and something he needs to do to prove that drafting him was the right decision.
Another player that was definitely not a finished product when they were drafted, Hall was largely a rotational player this year that flashed at moments but was super quiet at other times. The Bucs selected Hall with the 33rd overall pick in the 2022 draft in hopes of getting more athletic along the interior and while Hall is a solid athlete, the production wasn’t there enough in his rookie season.
It is not time to panic for Hall as he only has one season under his belt, but with the Buccaneers not re-signing veterans Will Gholston and Akiem Hicks thus far, it appears Hall will be in for a larger role in the defense this upcoming fall. If he puts the pieces together, don’t be surprised to see him break out.
White has become a fan favorite and he had a solid rookie season, but there is still a lot more to be seen from him before we can say he is someone they should be building around. White was so good in 2022 that he took away snaps from Leonard Fournette which is not something the Bucs planned on doing but White forced their hand.
With Fournette no longer in the fold, it is firmly Rachaad White’s backfield. White’s combination of pass catching as well as patience as a runner makes him a threat in any offense. The Buccaneers have not had a 1k yard rusher since Doug Martin in 2015 and there is a decent chance that White is the guy to finally do it again eight years later.
Hopefully these young players can step up and perform well for the Bucs this season. The players listed here are just some of the pieces that could shape the franchise’s present and future.