What to expect from Bucs’ newcomers

by Gary Shelton on April 30, 2018 · 0 comments

in general

Monday, 2 a.m.

By their natures, coaches love new toys.

They like players who have not failed them (yet). They like knowing of their past successes. They love the new energy they bring to the roster. They like personalties and potential and fresh starts.

And so Dirk Koetter will look upon the new roster of the Tampa Bay Bucs with a smile. This is potential in replacing roughly a third of the  roster. There is promise. Perhaps, there is a new deal.

Ah, but how will the new faces of the Tampa Bay Bucs fit in?

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According to Las Vegas oddsmakers (Westgate Superbook, according to USA Today), the Bucs over-under is 6.5, only 1.5 games better than last year. Elsewhere in the NFC South, the New Orleans are at 9.5 wins and both Atlanta and Carolina are at 9.

So how will the newcomers fit in?

A little guesswork:

1. Free agent Jason Pierre-Paul, defensive end, Giants: The writers I've talked to from New York agree to a man that Pierre-Paul can still play. For those of you who might have preferred  Robert Quinn or Michael Bennett, remember that Pierre-Paul drew a higher asking price than both. He'll be the starting right defensive end ahead of Noah Spence

2. Free agent Vinny Curry, defensive end, Eagles: Curry led the Eagles in quarterback knockdowns last year. He'll slot in as the starter at left defensive end ahead of William Gholston.

3. Free agent Ryan Jensen, center, Ravens: Jensen should start right off the bat, allowing Ali Marpet to move to guard. The Bucs have had some problems finding an anchor, but if they're right about Jensen, it's a start toward solidifying the offensive line.

4. No. 1 draft pick Vita Vea, defensive tackle: One of the boring questions of the draft was how Vea would split time with free agent Beau Allen. It shouldn't be. A team doesn't take the top-tackle in the draft to be a spectator. Vea will eventually start, although it might take a few games.

5. No. 2 draft pick Ronald Jones II, running back:
He's your starter.The front office is loyal, and Peyton Barber may start the season But Barber doesn't have Jones' skill set. He'll start.

6. Free agent, Beau Allen, defensive tackle: Allen is a good run-stopper, but he started just three games in each of the last two years. Still, a player can make a difference in a. playing rotation. He'll start until Vea is ready.

7. Free agent, Chandler Catanzaro, kicker, Jets: How many times can the Bucs miss on a kicker? Just a feeling, but I think Catanzaro will be better than most. He'll be the Bucs' kicker.

8. No. 2 draft pick M.J. Stewart, defensive back: Stewart will battle former No. 1 pick Vernon Hargreaves for the nickel back job. Hargreaves will have to be better because of the improved pass rush, but if he doesn't make some plays in the opener against New Orleans, Stewart could take over.

9. No. 2 draft pick Carlton Davis, defensive back: Davis will compete for time at right cornerback with Robert McClain. The Bucs will ease him in, but he could take over after a month.

10. Free agent Mitch Unrein, defensive tackle, Bears: Another player who may find himself in playing rotation if he makes the team. Will have to play well to make the team.

11. No 3 draft pick pick Alex Cappa, guard, Humbolt State: It's hard for an offensive lineman to make an impact his first year. Still, Cappa will be in the running for a guard position against Caleb Benenock. He has to adjust to the superior competition, but he's got a shot.

12. Free agent Cameron Lynch, linebacker, Rams: The Bucs signed their former practice squad player. That could be his destination again if he can stick.

13. No. 4 Draft pick Jordan Whitehead, safety, Pitt: Whitehead will try to stick as a backup safety in his first season. A potential practice squad player.

14, No. 5 draft pick Justin Watson, wide receiver, Penn: Watson can do some things, but he's competing at the Bucs' deepest position. Watson has a shot against the likes of Freddie Martino and Bobo Wilson. Still, a practice squad slot is more likely.

15. No. 6 draft pick Jack Cichy, linebacker, Wisconsin: Cichy is still recovering from surgery. If he isn't ready, he's an easy addition to the practice squad.

Probable Depth Chart


QB -- Jamies Winston        Ryan Fitzpatrick.       Ryan Griffin

RB -- Ronald Jones.            Peyton Barber            Jacquizz Rogers

Charles Sims

WR -- Mike Evans                Chris Godwin            Justin Watson

WR -- DeSean Jackson        Adam Humphries   Freddie Martino

TE -- O.J Howard                 Alan Cross

TE -- Cam Brate                    Antony Auclair

T -- Donovan Smith.          Larry Wester

T -- Demar Dotson.            Gardner Cole

G -- Ali Marpet                    Evan Smith

G -- Caleb Benenock          J.R. Sweezy                    Alex Cappa


DE -- Jason Pierre-Paul.       Noah Spence.               Will Clarke

DE -- Vinny Curry                William Gholston           Channing Ward

DT -- Gerald McCoy            Mitch Unrein                 Devonte Lambert

DT -- Vita Vea                      Beau Allen                       Stevie Tu'ikolovatu

LB -- Lavonte David          Adarius Taylor                Jack Cichy

LB -- Kwon Alexander.      Devante Bond

LB -- Kendall Beckwith.    Riley Bullough

CB -- Brent Grimes             Ryan Smith            Josh Robinson

CB -- Robert McClain.          Carlton Davis        Maurice Fleming

  S -- Chris Conte                    Isaiah Johnson.  Jordan Whitehead

  S -- Justin Evans                  Keith Tandy

NB -- Vernon Hargreaves.   M.J. Stewart

Special Teams

P -- Ryan Anger

K -- Chris Catanzaro

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