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2019 NFL Roster Breakdown: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Roster Changes


Key additions

QB Blaine Gabbert, RB Andre Ellington, WR Breshad Perriman, TE Jordan Leggett, G Earl Watford, DT Ndamukong Suh, OLB Shaquil Barrett, ILB Deone Bucannon, S Kentrell Brice


Key losses

QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, RB Jacquizz Rodgers, WR Adam Humphries, DE Vinny Curry, DT Gerald McCoy, DT Mitch Unrein, LB Kwon Alexander, LB Adarius Taylor, CB Brent Grimes, CB Josh Shaw, S Chris Conte, S Andrew Adams


2019 draft class

ILB Devin White (1.05), CB Sean Bunting (2.39), CB Jamel Dean (3.94), S Mike Edwards (3.99), DE Anthony Nelson (4.107), K Matt Gay (5.145), WR Scott Miller (6.208), DL Terry Beckner (7.215)


Projected Starters



QB: Jameis Winston
RB: Peyton Barber
WR: Mike Evans
WR: Chris Godwin
WR: Breshad Perriman
TE: O.J. Howard
LT: Donovan Smith
LG: Ali Marpet
C: Ryan Jensen
RG: Caleb Benenoch
RT: Demar Dotson



DE: Ndamukong Suh
DT: Vita Vea
DE: William Gholston
OLB: Shaquil Barrett
ILB: Devin White
ILB: Lavonte David
OLB: Carl Nassib
CB: Carlton Davis
CB: Vernon Hargreaves
S: Justin Evans
S: Jordan Whitehead


Team Outlook


Notable depth

QB Blaine Gabbert, QB Ryan Griffin, RB Ronald Jones II, RB Shaun Wilson, RB Andre Ellington, WR Justin Watson, WR Scott Miller, TE Cameron Brate, TE Jordan Leggett, G Earl Watford, G Alex Cappa, C Evan Smith, DE Beau Allen, DE Rakeem Nunez-Roches, DL Terry Beckner, OLB Jason Pierre-Paul, OLB Anthony Nelson, OLB Noah Spence, ILB Deone Bucannon, CB Ryan Smith, CB Sean Bunting, CB M.J. Stewart, CB Jamel Dean, S Kentrell Brice, S Mike Edwards


Biggest strength: Inside linebacker

The Buccaneers looked strong enough at inside linebacker after signing Deone Bucannon to pair with Lavonte David in Todd Bowles’ 3-4 defense, but then they bolstered it even further by spending a top-five pick on Devin White, who projects to be an immediate impact linebacker. White and David will get most of the playing time, but the trio will be able to rotate if needed, and Bucannon has played the best football of his career under head coach Bruce Arians.


Biggest weakness: Secondary

Based purely on draft capital spent (one first-round pick, four second-round picks, two third round picks, and two fourth-round picks), the secondary should be a clear strength for Tampa Bay, but the team is still looking for the group to emerge. Carlton Davis—who I think is most likely to develop into a solid starter—has the size to match up with Julio Jones and Michael Thomas in the division, so we’ll see if he can provide solid play on the perimeter to hopefully stabilize things.


Position battle to watch: Running back

The Bucs will hope 2018 second-round pick Ronald Jones II is able to seize the starting job, but Peyton Barber isn’t going to just give it away, and the USC product needs to improve significantly after rushing 23 times for just 44 yards (1.9 yards per carry) as a rookie. Coming out of college, I thought Jones might have been better suited for a dynamic change-of-pace role, though, and earning 12-15 weekly touches might be a sweet spot for him in Bruce Arians’ offense.


One more thought

The former Cardinals duo of Arians and Bowles will provide a huge lift to the franchise, but this year will rest on Jameis Winston’s shoulders. If the former No. 1 overall pick is able to cut down on the turnovers and bone-headed mistakes, there’s no reason the Bucs can’t compete in a loaded division. That said, how much of Winston does the team need to see before moving on from him? Last season, Jameis threw 14 interceptions in 11 games (nine starts), and overall, he’s tossed more picks (58) than games played (56). I thought the Bucs should have made a run at Nick Foles when he hit free agency, as the former Super Bowl MVP would have been the perfect quarterback for jump-ball winners Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and O.J. Howard.


Early over/under: 6.5 wins (via CBS Sports)

Over. This is probably the pick I feel least confident about simply because it’s difficult to trust Jameis Winston, but the new coaching staff should be able to get the Bucs a couple more wins to finish at least 7-9. And if Winston finally reaches his potential, Tampa Bay could be a surprise playoff team.


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