With free agency and the draft now in the rear view mirror and the hope of NFL training camps on the horizon, Pro Football Focus recently released their complete, 32-team roster rankings heading into the 2020 season.
Going down each roster, each team’s biggest strength and weakness was listed, in addition to an X-Factor, with Tampa Bay coming as PFF’s fifth-best roster across the league.
Unsurprisingly, the Bucs’ wide receiver duo of Chris Godwin and Mike Evans landed the receiver position as Tampa Bay’s biggest strength. With a PFF grade of 90.7 in 2019, Godwin was the highest-graded eligible player at the receiver position, with Evans trailing just behind him with a grade of 85.7, a mark good for sixth in the league. Tampa Bay is the only team to have two receivers graded in the top-10.
As for the biggest weakness, that comes at the safety position.
Ben Linsey, the author of the article, claims that while the Bucs have a number of intriguing players at the safety position, none of them have a sure-fire starting spot locked up heading into the new and none have particularly flashed high-end play at the position. No safeties currently on the Bucs’ roster have have recorded a PFF grad higher than 70 in a single season.
As for Tampa Bay’s X-Factor? Look no further than newly-acquired tight end Rob Gronkowski.
“Several months ago, Rob Gronkowski won a WWE title,” Linsey said. “A year and a half ago, he was making a pivotal catch to put the Patriots in striking range for the only touchdown of Super Bowl LIII. Although the tight end wasn’t quite the same dominant force in 2018 as he was in the eight seasons prior, Gronkowski still put up seven consecutive seasons with a 90.0-plus overall grade from 2011-17. Gronk is one of the most dominant players ever to play the position, and what he looks like in his return to the NFL will be one of the biggest storylines of the season.”
Even at the fifth-best roster in the league – coming in just behind the defending Super Bowl champions, the Kansas City Chiefs – it still doesn’t put Tampa Bay at the top of the NFC South with the New Orleans Saints landing at the No. 2 spot.