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August 14, 2013 @ 9:50 am
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The Top 10 Buccaneers In 2013

Written by Scott
Scott Reynolds


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Who are the best players on Tampa Bay’s talented roster? How many Bucs offensive players are in the top 10? Find out in this Pewter Report story.
Thanks to the hard work of general manager Mark Dominik, head coach Greg Schiano and the team’s front office, the Buccaneers have become a more talented team through the draft, free agency and trades. PewterReport.com takes a look at Tampa Bay’s star-studded roster and ranks the Top 10 Most Talented Buccaneers in order heading into the 2013 season.

1. Buccaneers CB Darrelle Revis
Revis, Tampa Bay’s star offseason acquisition, is a four-time Pro Bowler, a three-time All-Pro and a former AFC Defensive Player of the Year. There is not a more accomplished player on the Bucs roster than Revis, who is considered to be the league’s premier cover cornerback when healthy. Revis, who has 19 career interceptions, has successfully rehabbed a torn ACL injury that cost him the majority of the 2012 season and is poised to be ready for the start of training camp.

2. Buccaneers WR Vincent Jackson
Jackson nearly broke the Buccaneers single-season record for receiving yards with a career-high 1,388 yards on 72 catches and eight touchdowns. Jackson earned every penny of the five-year, $55.55-million contract that he signed in 2012 and earned a Pro Bowl berth, which was the third of his eight-year career. The 6-foot-5, 230-pound Jackson set a new team record with 216 receiving yards, including a franchise-record 95-yard pass against New Orleans last year.

3. Buccaneers LG Carl Nicks
Prior to coming to Tampa Bay, Nicks was a two-time Pro Bowler and All-Pro, in addition to being a Super Bowl XLIV champion in New Orleans. The massive, 6-foot-5, 350-pound road grader signed a five-year, $47.5-million contract with the Buccaneers in 2012 and was off to a Pro Bowl start before a season-ending toe injury occurred after the seventh game of the season. When healthy, Nicks is among the league’s best guards.

4. Buccaneers FS Dashon Goldson
Goldson, who was signed to a five-year, $41.25-million contract, including $22 million in guaranteed money, was a two-time Pro Bowler in San Francisco, where he was also an All-Pro performer last year. Goldson, who is entering his seventh year, is nicknamed “The Hawk” and considered to be one of the league’s best ballhawking free safeties. He has 14 interceptions and five forced fumbles in his career and is expected to make an immediate impact on Tampa Bay’s secondary.

5. Buccaneers RG Davin Joseph
Joseph, one of the most successful first-round picks in Tampa Bay history, was poised to have another outstanding year before he injured his knee in the preseason and missed 2012. Now fully healthy, the Oklahoma product is ready to dominate once again. Joseph, who had been to two Pro Bowls in 2008 and 2011, is the vocal leader on the offensive line and one of the most charitable players on the Bucs roster. Expect him to bounce back with a big season blocking for Doug Martin and Josh Freeman.

6. Buccaneers LB Lavonte David
As a rookie, David was one of Tampa Bay’s most consistent players, leading the team with 139 tackles, in addition to making several splash plays. David used his blinding speed to record two sacks, and his first NFL interception came against Denver’s Peyton Manning. David was so impressive as a rookie that he took over the play-calling duties on defense from middle linebacker Mason Foster. After a rookie season that was better than the legendary Derrick Brooks’ in 1995, David could be Pro Bowl bound in 2013.

7. Buccaneers RB Doug Martin
Martin had a rookie season for the ages last year, rushing for a Bucs rookie record of 1,454 yards and a franchise-record 11 touchdown runs. With 49 catches for 472 yards and a touchdown, Martin recorded 1,926 total yards, which was the fourth-best from scrimmage in the NFL last year. His 251-yard, four-touchdown game at Oakland also set Bucs records and earned him a Pro Bowl berth. Martin accomplished a lot without the benefit of rushing behind Nicks or Joseph, so bigger things could be in store for him in 2013.

8. Buccaneers QB Josh Freeman
Although he doesn’t have the Super Bowl ring or Pro Bowl berth that Brad Johnson possesses, statistically, Freeman is the best quarterback in Tampa Bay history. He has thrown for 12,963 yards in his four years since becoming the team’s first-round pick in 2009, and is 1,858 yards away from topping Vinny Testaverde and becoming the Bucs’ all-time passer. In 2012, Freeman became the first Bucs QB to top 4,000 yards in a season with 4,065, and his 27 touchdowns were the most ever in a single season. Freeman enters a contract year and needs to deliver the team to the playoffs for a big extension.

9. Buccaneers LT Donald Penn
The dependable left tackle hasn’t missed a game since entering the starting lineup six years ago, and despite turning 30 this year, Penn is in great physical shape. He entered the offseason weighing 330 pounds, which is Penn’s playing weight for the season and appears very motivated. He is anxious to get back to the Pro Bowl and achieve the respect that comes with being a top-flight left tackle.

10. Buccaneers DT Gerald McCoy
McCoy narrowly beats of wide receiver Mike Williams and kicker Connor Barth, the team’s leading scorer over the past four seasons, who was recently lost for the season with a torn Achilles tendon The third overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft finally stayed healthy for an entire season and lived up to his draft billing with a career-best five sacks, which earned him his first Pro Bowl berth. McCoy has taken on a leadership role on the defense in 2013 and looks to become a more consistent and productive performer in his fourth NFL season.

Last modified on Wednesday, 14 August 2013 10:00

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  • avatar

    I think every starter at the premier positions should be in consideration to be on this top 10 list. We still have some positions of weakness (TE, NT) where I don't think the players we have have that potential, but otherwise I think we have candidates at the rest of the starting offensive and defensive positions. I think we are in pretty good shape with the talent of the starters on our team, whether it be players who have done it or players with great potential. Ultimately you want your QB to be number 1 on this list, and I think Josh has the talent to be there. I'm looking for a big season from him. For what it is worth here is my list of players I want to see be the top ten by seasons end. 1. Revis 2. Freeman 3. McCoy 4. Jackson 5. Martin 6. David 7. Clayborn 8. Barron 9. Banks 10. Williams
  • avatar

    No, Dman, as the article lays out, I'm pretty sure it's based on what they think these guys are gonna do THIS season. Since this list pretty much comprises the most talented guys on the roster, it makes pretty good sense that they would be projected to have some of the best seasons on the team. I mean, who would you put against the guy who is pretty much unquestionably the best CB since Deion Sanders? What about the guy PFF rated as the #1 OG in the entire game prior to his injury last season? If you think these guys aren't as good as that, then you're entitled to your opinion. But if you're of the mindset that they shouldn't be considered because they had injuries last season...well, that just doesn't make sense, especially in a sport where just about everyone gets injured at some point.
  • avatar

    Not disagreeing with what they "could" be. Pretty tough to say these guys are the best of what we have when they haven't seen the field. I've been to a couple of the workouts. All of these guys are over to the side doing cardio. In one practice Revis was jogging around. Can't see them in the Top 10 until they actually play.
  • avatar

    Sorry - Revis, Davin Joseph, Carl Nicks haven't suited up since first quarter of last season. Putting them in our top 5 is nuts. I'd just like to see them on the field. Top 5 rating are based on their level of play almost 2 years ago. Think about it....
  • avatar

    No, Dman, as the article lays out, I'm pretty sure it's based on what they think these guys are gonna do this season. Since this list pretty much comprises the most talented guys on the roster, it makes pretty good sense that they would be projected to have some of the best seasons on the team. I mean, who would you put against the guy who is pretty much unquestionably the best CB since Deion Sanders? What about the guy PFF rated as the #1 OG in the entire game prior to his injury last season? If you think these guys aren't as good as that, then you're entitled to your opinion. But if you're of the mindset that they shouldn't be considered because they had injuries last season...well, that just doesn't make sense, especially in a sport where just about everyone gets injured at some point.
  • avatar

    Somewhat worrisome the top 4 players had to come from outside the organization (FA and trades), but at least we got them. I'm hoping Lavonte David tops this list next year!
  • avatar

    I know its been mentioned before but i gotta say it again: mccoy 10? is that a joke? he should be no lower than 3. He is literally the player that makes our D go. Just ask raheem
  • avatar

    My list, for what it's worth (which, I know, is not much), put together not only by considering how good the player is relative to his peers, but also the relative value of his position: (1) Revis - best CB since Deion, truly changes an entire unit. (2) Vincent Jackson - arguably the most irreplaceable player on our offense, Jackson changes the way defenses have to play us. He is a top 10 receiver in an age when everyone needs one. Maybe not QUITE as good as his contract, but still great. (3) Gerald McCoy - Not sure how he came in so low. Truly dominant player. (4) Lavonte David - expect him to be even better than last year, which is saying something. (5) Carl Nicks - Best G in football when healthy. The only question is: will he ever be healthy again? (6) Doug Martin - his abilities in the passing game, especially in today's NFL make him a top 5 overall back in the game. maybe top 3 by year's end. (7) Josh Freeman - expect a huge year from him, but can't count your chickens before they hatch. If he does what I think he'll do, he'll come in in the top 3 in next year's list. This is about where he belongs. (8) Davin Joseph - still an elite G. His abilities in the run game are truly special and, somewhat unbelievably, underrated. (9) Donald Penn - while unspectacular, you just can't find great LTs easily enough to discount Penn's steady play. (10) Johnthan Banks - going out on a bit of a limb here, but I've been on the Banks train since last fall, and I think he'll be great. Goldson may belong here, but he's not as good as either his resume or his contract.
  • avatar

    Quick news flash, PR: Josh Freeman made the PB in 2011. Now, this is the part where you say, "But that was as an alternate, so it doesn't really count. Au contraire - Josh may have been an alternate, but he was the 4th QB that year. There were only 3 taken. When Brad went, he may not have been an alternate, but there were an incredible 5 QBs taken. Ergo, Josh is more of a pro bowler than Brad Johnson (in my book, anyways).
  • avatar

    For me, VJAX #1. If The Douganator is as good as he looks, he's #2. We played without the Guards last yr, and the defense was a weakness not a strength, so not sure how any of them but maybe David makes that list. Revis post ACL, who knows. Goldson in our D, who knows? Free actually makes the list for me but only because of our lack of experienced, starting caliber backup. If you plugged Alex Smith in there, game manager that he is, would we really be that much worse off (the answer may be yes, but the fact the ? Even came to mind says something).
  • avatar

    McCoy is # 5, not #10.
  • avatar

    Thanks Horse. To clarify my earlier clarification when I say replaceable I don't mean this week. Some players are so good you only see someone as good as them every 5 or 10 years in the draft. I think Revis and V. Jackson are in that category. Freeman? I think with the exception of 2010 there's been someone as good as him in every draft since he was drafted. That's what I mean by replaceable: How many years would it take to replace "Player X" in the draft? That's just a testament to how many really good QB's are coming out of the draft nowadays.
  • avatar

    Freeman's also had the highest QB rating of any QB in his draft year 2 of the 4 years he's been in the league. And he's finally getting a 2nd year in the same offensive system for the first time in his career this year. And he's 23 years old. And we haven't even paid him yet because we want to see which Freeman he is in a contract year and with some actual talent around him. All bases covered here... I know we still don't have anything to talk about with the season still waiting to start but at this point all any of us can do is either hope he elevates the bucs to the playoffs if you like him or hope he ruins the season for an otherwise talented roster on paper and hits the road. I'm hoping to see some great Bucs football. He's got to be a part of that.
  • avatar

    Tired of hearing supposedly buccs fan about freeman like he's the worst qb ever... May I remind u guys of the Shaun king rob Johnson Chris simms granskowski... Brad Johnson won us a super bowl but come on we all know it was the defense and Grudens 27 hr shifts that got us that... Josh freeman is young up and coming qb and would take him over any of our past qbs any day... Everyone will praise him after this yrs pro bowl and I'll laugh at all the bandwagon people who act like they were behind him all along! Let's go buccs we only go as far as freeman takes us and that's to the playoffs this season
  • avatar

    Westsidekidx, just to be clear which side I'm on if you've read many of the posts on this site I've always supported Freeman. I'm wearing his Jersey in my profile photo. I just think there are 9 players on this team better than him, which is a great thing. I think there are 9 players on this team that would be harder to replace than Freeman, which is also great. Who says your QB has to be the best player on your team?
  • avatar

    pinkstob; next to the DL, Freeman would be my next concern. I do believe that right now he is irreplaceable and we sink or swim with Josh pertaining to the Offense. For me the next most important person on that OL is Zuttah because the Center and the QB have got to be in sync. I believe that Josh is giving us his best which is neither good nor bad. I hope we resign him, but right now he is not consistent enough to pay him as much as the Top 10 QB's get. I do enjoy your inputs because you are usually spot on.
  • avatar

    West side, we all HOPE Free can get it together, play consistent football and improve his accuracy. It's not about being in the bandwagon. I'd venture to say that EVERYONE own this board is ON the bandwagon. Perhaps because of the team's abysmal history with QB play you mention, we are all (present company possibly excluded) sensitized to the critical importance of QB play. As one of the 'supposedly buccs fans' (sic) you're tired of hearing from, all I am doing is objectively looking at Free's play and expressing heartfelt concern about the impact it will have on the team if it doesn't improve. Excuse us, traumatized as we have been by poor QB play (let's not forget Dilfer and Testeverde, who did the real damage to the franchise), for being fearful of wasting more yrs and cap space on yet another erratic QB who underachieved his draft spot, physical skills and salary. We are all on the same team. Sorry if we put the pom-poms down to discuss our fears sometimes. It's because we care.
  • avatar

    Dy-nasty D how can you say the three probowl lineman have less value than the other players on your list?!? How do you think the skill players succeed? It all starts up front. Nothing is more important than a good O-line. Even if you have the best QB in the league if he doesnt have time to throw the ball it wont matter or the best RB in the league if he doesnt have lineman paving the way for him it wont matter.
  • avatar

    Flip McCoy and Freeman on this list and you've got it. Freeman is the closest person on this list to being replaceable. If Nick plays averagely due to his toe than it should be him at #10, but we won't know that until we see him play. Yes, I said averagely. I heard Steve Young use that word once and I kinda like it.
  • avatar

    60 percent of the top 5 are coming off of injury and have done little to nothing to contribute to the team thus far this year. I do like our talent, just wish it were healthy.
  • avatar

    Power rankings for our players, what useless chatter this will give us fans to talk about
  • avatar

    Top ten for me is the 4 DL, Freeman, David, Goldson, Barron, Zuttah, Jackson. We have replacements for all other positions that are adequate. The chances of Revis, Joseph, Nicks, Clayborn all being healthy after major surgery is wishful thinking.
  • avatar

    How do Nicks, Joseph and Penn get ranked higher than McCoy? In terms of pure value: 1. Revis 2. McCoy 3. Freeman 4. V. Jackson 5. Martin 6. MW 7. Goldson 8. David 9. Barron The old timers on the OL have lost value.
  • avatar

    Not sure how you can put Freeman over anyone in this list. He's really done nothing but break an unspectactular franchise record for passing yards in a season. Big deal. McCoy i think should be much higher.
  • avatar

    Nothing to complain about this list. I liked that you put David ahead of Martin. I love the muscle hamster but you can't let people forget just how good David was last year. He was our best rookie and also should have won defensive rookie of the year. Having said that, both of these guys should be on this list for years to come.
  • avatar

    I would put Doug Martin a lot higher, but this is still a better list than I've seen on the Bucs nation website. They are jokes.
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