Thanks @Nobody, stopped posting because of the shit show that is the Bucs and PR (Gruden! Gruden! Gruden! GUNS!!!) so thanks for pulling me back into THIS thread. There’s a special place in hell for you…
The fundamental problem is that this team is an organisational disaster. Layered on top of that, Licht is a bad (BAD, not mediocre) GM, and the coaching staff is mediocre. While I have very little faith the Glazers can even luck into building a successful organisation, Licht certainly cannot handle his duties competently. Suffice to say, this team is a mess with a veneer of talent (largely because of many high draft picks).
To your point I’d agree with your teams needs. The problem is that it will be very difficult to address all those weaknesses (never mind given Licht’s limitations). The most likely scenario is that you patchwork pieces together that are functional but not playoff-competitive.
For example, the team could end up with Chubb, Mcdonald, Grimes, EJ Gaines, Ryan Jensen (Marpet to G). On some levels this is an improvement, but not at a level that fields a team that will be competitive in the playoffs. This is further coupled with the fact that the Bucs are not a young team and have their young talent now needing to be paid further eating up cap room. As well, the deficit at edge rusher is significant enough that no rookie will have initial success. If you look at the rookie DEs who have good years in sacks, they always complement another strong, veteran edge rusher.
On top of which, much of the talent (or somewhat talented) players are getting older. I would not expect McCoy, Ayers, Mcdonald, Grimes, and Dotson to be healthy all season and their play will be further diminished. The Bucs had the 12th oldest team in the league last year and lack the young talent to replace their aging talent.
I don’t see a move to a 3-4 changing much (as I’ve been vocal with before). As Matt Patricia said during his press conference, almost all teams are “multiple”: https://twitter.com/smartfootball/status/969218063676727296
The Bucs will sit in nickel (mostly 4-2) on the majority of snaps. On top of which, they’ve already switched to some elements of a mixed front (pseudo “3-4”) by trying to get much bigger on the DL and use smaller rushers like Spence/Beckwith. But this doesn’t particularly free up the Bucs talent nor is more available in the draft/FA in this format. No matter what they play, the Bucs need more edge rushers, defensive tackles, corners and safeties.
The silver lining is that because of how competitive the NFL is, very few teams are TRULY far off. Hitting on a few key picks then elevates the play of other players. Calais Campbell is a perfect example, a very good (not great) DL who had his best year on the downside of his career because of the talent around him. That signing looks much superior because of all the other elite players on that defense. He would not have been that good on the Buccaneers.
Yet the Bucs need starters at positions even beyond those Nobody has highlighted. Yes, Tier 1 is: Edge, CB, Interior OL. Tier 2 is: 2nd Edge, 2nd CB, 2nd OG, S, DT, RB. Tier 3 is: LT, S, SLB, rotational DL. There are too many holes to create an environment like the Jaguars unless the Bucs get very, very lucky (this also means Winston take a very big step forward). The reality seems to be that many of the starters are replacement-level talents (Patrick Murray, Gholston, Kwon, etc).
The Bucs have too many holes at resource-heavy positions (particularly DE, CB) to become a team that is competitive in the playoffs this year. The team is further hamstrung because it was unable to have success when its young talent was cheap and now has to pay Evans, Winston, Marpet, etc. This will further pressure the front office to find cheap talent in free agency and the draft going forward. While all teams are competitive in the NFL and the Bucs may make the playoffs in 2018 they have too many holes to make a deep run.