FAB 4. Bucs Mock Depth Chart

The Buccaneers aren’t done adding players yet in free agency, and their roster is far from finalized as the team will have the chance to add seven more players in next month’s NFL Draft. But how and where do the free agent additions general manager Jason Licht and head coach Bruce Arians have acquired fit into Tampa Bay’s depth chart?

The Bucs won’t release an official depth chart for some time, but here is PewterReport.com’s best stab at one leading up the 2019 NFL Draft.

BUCS OFFENSE

Quarterback: James Winston / Ryan Griffin / Joe Callahan

Running Back: Peyton Barber / Andre Ellington / Ronald Jones / Shaun Wilson / Dare Ogunbowale

Wide Receiver: Mike Evans / Sergio Bailey

Slot Receiver: Chris Godwin / Bobo Wilson

Wide Receiver: Breshad Perriman / Justin Watson / K.J. Brent

Tight End: OJ Howard / Cam Brate / Antony Auclair / Tanner Hudson / Donnie Ernsberger

Left Tackle: Donovan Smith / Michael Liedtke

Left Guard: Ali Marpet / Ruben Holcomb

Center: Ryan Jensen / Evan Smith

Right Guard: Earl Watford / Alex Cappa

Right Tackle: Demar Dotson / Caleb Benenoch / Cole Boozer

Offense Analysis: The Bucs will likely add another legitimate quarterback to the roster to compete with Griffin for the backup job. If Tampa Bay can’t lure Mike Glennon back to town, the Bucs may wait to see if Drew Stanton, a former Cardinals QB under Arians, gets cut from Cleveland, or the team may turn to the draft and target a player like Buffalo’s Tyree Jackson in the middle rounds. The Bucs really like their running back stable more than I do, yet will likely add another one in the draft – possibly Penn State’s Miles Sanders or Memphis’ Darrell Henderson in the second or third round.

Bucs OL Alex Cappa

Bucs OL Alex Cappa – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

The Bucs are fine at tight end, but could add another developmental receiver in the draft after only adding Perriman while losing DeSean Jackson and Adam Humphries. Adding another speed receiver in the draft like UMass’s Andy Isabella or Ohio State’s Parris Campell or Terry McLaurin wouldn’t be a shocker.

Tampa Bay needs a long-term answer at right tackle behind Demar Dotson, and will likely turn to the draft with a player like Florida’s Jawaan Taylor or Kansas State’s Dalton Risner to provide competition for Cappa and Benenoch as Dotson’s heir apparent. The Bucs also need to solve the problem at right guard, and hope that Watford, Cappa or Holcomb can be the answer for 2019. Boston College right guard Chris Lindstrom is an option in the second round.

BUCS DEFENSE

SAM Linebacker: Carl Nassib/ Shaq Barrett / Devante Bond / Hunter Dimick / Farrington Huguenin

MIKE Linebacker: Deone Bucannon/ Kevin Minter / Riley Bullough / Kendell Beckwith (INJ) / Jack Cichy (INJ)

MO Linebacker: Lavonte David / Emmanuel Smith / Corey Nelson /

WILL Linebacker: Jason Pierre-Paul / Noah Spence / Demone Harris

Defensive End: Will Gholston / Patrick O’Connor

Nose Tackle: Vita Vea / Beau Allen / Stevie Tu’ikolvatu

Defensive Tackle: Gerald McCoy / Rakeem Nunez-Roches / Jeremiah Ledbetter

Cornerback: Carlton Davis / Ryan Smith

Cornerback: Vernon Hargreaves / De’Vante Harris / David Rivers

Free Safety: Justin Evans / Isaiah Johnson

Strong Safety: Kentrell Brice / Jordan Whitehead / M.J. Stewart

Defense Analysis: The Bucs will be in a 3-4 front in base defense with Minter in the MIKE role alongside David, Pierre-Paul and either Nassib or Barrett at the linebacker level. But since the Bucs will be in nickel defense at least 65 percent of the time, Bucannon will get more playing time than Minter will in what becomes the “moneybacker” role in nickel. Nassib and Pierre-Paul shift from 3-4 outside linebackers to 4-3 defensive ends in Tampa Bay’s nickel defense.

Bucs ILB Kevin Minter

Bucs ILB Kevin Minter – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

The Bucs have done a good job of addressing linebacker this offseason with the additions of Minter, Bucannon and Barrett and the re-signing of Bond, while losing Kwon Alexander in free agency. The team could use another inside linebacker from the draft, especially with Beckwith’s career in jeopardy and Cichy still recovering from his ACL tear last October. Tampa Bay could also use another pass-rushing outside linebacker as the contracts for Nassib and Barrett expire in 2020, Pierre-Paul just turned 30 and Spence has yet to prove himself as a pass rusher that can be counted on.

Tampa Bay also needs help at the five-technique defensive end spot where Gholston is just an average player and the three-technique defensive tackle spot as McCoy just turned 31 and is in the twilight of his career. A player like Boston College’s Zach Allen would be an ideal upgrade at defensive end, while Clemson’s Christian Wilkins would be the perfect heir apparent to McCoy.

The Bucs secondary needs a veteran cornerback to start opposite Davis and Hargreaves, who is likely better in the slot. Keep an eye on former Jets cornerback Morris Claiborne, who could be targeted in free agency if the price is right, or perhaps former Bengals cornerback Darqueze Dennard. Tampa Bay isn’t done at safety, either and while Eric Berry can’t be ruled out if his price tag is lowered, Washington’s Taylor Rapp might be an option in the second round.

BUCS SPECIAL TEAMS

Kicker: Cairo Santos / Phillip Andersen

Punter: Bradley Pinion / Hayden Hunt

Long Snapper: Zach Triner

Special Teams Analysis: While the Bucs have two kickers currently on the roster, the team is interested in finding a veteran to challenge Santos in training camp. If the price is right, that veteran kicker may be former Buccaneer Matt Bryant, who kicked in Atlanta for the last decade and played for current Tampa Bay special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong.

Share On Socials

About the Author: Scott Reynolds

Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: sr@pewterreport.com
Subscribe
Notify of
42 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
cgmaster27
2 years ago

Que buc ass slob complaining about everything from the weather in Tampa to not overpaying for any of those signed free agents. All while forgetting that punctuation is pivotal tonsentence structure.
Personally I think we all want a trade back unless one of those studs is sitting there. I’m also glad the bucs didnt overpay this gree agents. The money was absurd for those players. It’s clear that BA believes this team needs a few players and much better coaching. The draft should be exciting with all the talent on defense this year.

Brandonges
2 years ago

Hoping two QBs go in the top 4, which would push either Williams, Bosa, or Josh Allen down to the Bucs. If one of them is there, I think it’s a no brainer. If all three are gone, Bucs are in a great spot for a trade back.

Buc stops here
2 years ago

I like the strategy proposed by Scott Reynolds in the draft. Thought they should move down to get more picks and the fact he has a logical proposal it makes sense to me. However, to even think that Breshad Perriman is an improvement over DeSean Jackson he should have looked at Perriman’s tape. I love the fact it is one year contract for the reason of his HUGE problem – he drops the ball – a lot. You can find a lot of tape of him missing catches he should be making. Essentially, if Winston is “on the money” he… Read more »

cgmaster27
2 years ago

Buc stops here, the good thing is perriman wont have to do much outside of catching the ball to be as effective as mesean. In meseans last 9 years he has 3 1000 yard seasons. And averaged about 3 TDs a year as well. Hes a one trick pony who’s vastly overrated because of his ability to catch deep passes. we already know perriman will actually practice with Jameis to develop chemistry, which mesean had zero interest in doing. We shall see though, at least perriman womt be a locker room cancer.

e
e
2 years ago

Nice piece on White v. Bush. I see a bit of Brooks in Bush. In either case, I hope the Bucs are trading down. I still love to see either of them or Jonah in a Bucs uni with a few extra picks in tow. For all of the Meathead haters out there, here’s some food for thought; suddenly the Bucs are losing players to other teams with huge contracts. This hasn’t happened in yeeeaarrrs. Other GMs seem to like are talent. I think that a some real coaching-up of our current player is going to make a big difference… Read more »

Dubcity6
2 years ago

I hope they get Jawaan Taylor. Trade or not. Best player at a position of need. Fix the run game or all pressure will be on Jameis again.

BigSombrero
2 years ago

Defense, defense, and more defense in the first 3 rounds. Front seven only. So many players on 1 year deals and so many aging vets need to be replaced before or after this season. I think Arizona takes Murray and the Giants package #6 and #17 to move to #2 to get Haskins, a New Jersey native, but we’ll see. If only one offensive player goes in the first 4 picks, there may be a nice market to trade back. If two or more offensive players go in the top 4, Tampa should keep the pick and take a premiere… Read more »

drdneast
2 years ago

I actually expect Humps receptions to go up this year since the Titans have a concept of shorter and slant passes built into their offensive scheme.
Of course that all depends if he can survive going over the middle much more often.

DT25
2 years ago

If he gets a massive haul to trade down and can take Bush instead, I do that in a heartbeat (assuming Quinnen/Bosa/Allen are all gone). I just don’t see a huge amount of separation between Bush and White in terms of their abilities right now. White is just the more physically imposing specimen and because of that, probably has the higher ceiling. But Bush is really good in his own right, and realistically may be more advanced than White at this stage in his pass coverage. If the choice is between White or Bush and an extra 2nd, 3rd, and… Read more »

drdneast
2 years ago

Although I didn’t think Hump was worth 9 mill, I don’t think Jackson’s replacement was worth 4 mill.
No way was Kwon worth 13.5 mill either. The thing with Kwons contract is it is o my guaranteed foe one year and there are several other nuances built into it as well.
Peter King hasn’t liked the Bucs since they beat Philly for the NFC championship.
King must have lost a lot of money on that game.

macabee
2 years ago

Agree DT25, If the Bucs are looking for that hair on fire replacement for Kwon Alexander, LB Devin Bush may be the better get given the Bucs get two extra draft picks. No doubt White is the higher rated LB but not by much. White is 6-0 2.37, Bush is 5-11 234, both are lightning fast 4.42 and 4.43 respectively. White has a 6.20 NFL Draft Prospect rating while Bush is rated at 5.99. Bush is a Florida kid, grew up in Pembroke Pines, Florida. Since the ILB is the QB of the defense, the interview of both players and… Read more »

macabee
2 years ago

Corection: Todd Bowles is at DE/OLB Josh Allen/Kentucky pro day today.

EricNV
2 years ago

“The Humphries loss, even though slot receiver is not the most important weapon in a Bruce Arians offense”

Say that to Larry Fitzgerald, Peter. Why King is so highly regarded as a journalist is a mystery to me. Scott Reynolds and crew here at Pewter Report are far more enjoyable to read and far more correct on their assessments of all things Buccaneer than the Peter Kings of this world.

owlykat
2 years ago

Thanks Scott for your outstanding analysis. If Q. Wms. Is gone trade down as long as v

owlykat
2 years ago

Bush is available and take extra draft picks for a Guard and a Tackle.

BUC-ASS-BOB
2 years ago

Cgmaster . There is no need to call people names there’s more than one way to run a team and different people have different ideas. In the end we all want the same team to win it doesn’t matter who the quarterback is I still want the Bucs to win. As for the racist comments OJ Howard is my favorite buccaneer that’s because he’s the only Tampa Bay Buccaneer that’s in better shape than me and I respect that. Next pin chasers bowling event I will come and wear my tag Buc ass Bob. I personally would like to sit… Read more »

Bucsfan1983
2 years ago

I’ll take Bush over White.

michael
2 years ago

I 100% agree about drafting being more advantageous than ‘winning the offseason’. Little pick ups can go a long way in terms of building depth. But the Redskins used to ‘win the offseason’ every year. they have been mediocre at best.

BucRy
2 years ago

Im on board with taking Bush if we trade down..but we should only trade down if Bosa, Williams, and Allen are gone..if either of those guys are still there at 5 you take them.

cgmaster27
2 years ago

Dang buc ass are you bipolar? You call everyone names who disagrees with you. But I dont take it offensively. I see it as playful banter. And I dont remember anyone calling you racist, at least not me. But the oj comment had me rolling.

surferdudes
2 years ago

Scott, do you think Licht’s new free agent approach might have something to do with the fact he’s been so bad at it in the past? You mention some of his failures, like Baker. I’m sure the new approach has something to do with the fact the Glazers are tired of shelling out big bucks only to remain in the NFC south basement. The one year deals also might have something to do with the fact Licht is on a one year deal himself. Maybe the Glazers don’t want Licht to saddle the next G.M. with his poor choices. There’s… Read more »

Devasher
2 years ago

Funny that it takes Jason Licht his sixth off-season to realize that free agent signings are often fool’s gold exactly at the same time the team is cap strapped and doesn’t have the ability to make big money deals even if he wanted. Fun fact: If Jason Licht had avoided signing players like DeSean Jackson, Vinny Curry, Ryan Jensen, JR Sweezy and Chris Baker, the team would’ve been awarded compensatory picks over the years for losing players and also had the opportunity to roll the excess cap room into a year like this one when Winston, Evans and Donovan Smith… Read more »

76Buc
2 years ago

Let’s not forget Revis Island:)

EastEndBoy
2 years ago

Clearly team after team has tried to acquire big-names in the offseason and found out the hard way where that gets you….good luck Cleveland, you’re the latest. But, how exactly is Licht trying a new approach this year? Didn’t he just give $13m/year to a Free Agent? And further give $11.5m/yr to three guys to be backups/part-timers for us? Is that so different to 2018, when he signed Jensen to $10m/yr and Curry/Allen/Unrein to come be part-timers. Or, 2017 with DJax for $10m/yr, and a bunch of part-timers like Swaggy Baker and JJ Wilcox. Maybe 2016 was different’…not really: Grimes… Read more »

BucFan circa76
2 years ago

Licht doesn’t handle player contracts, which weakens your debate on Licht as a “bad GM”. Like all GM’s, he’s made his share of mistakes & bonehead decisions, but has scored big time on some as well – when is the last time we lost a player via free agency that we desperately needed to keep even if we had to pay a little over market price? Do you think Licht had big shoes to fill? Mark Dominick & Bruce Allen brought us 2nd round travesties like Jonathan Banks, Da’Quan Bowers, Brian Price, Arrelious Benn, Sabby Piscitelli, Dexter Jackson (not the… Read more »

stlbucsfan
2 years ago

The Bucs change in philosophy is due solely to Bruce Arians, please stop acting like Jason Licht has any idea what he’s doing. I don’t think he’s terrible bc he signed Michael Johnson year 1 to a bad contract, I think hes terrible bc he signed Vinny Curry to a terrible contract year 5. Both rotational players that he paid to do more and neither ever did. He acquired JPP who showcased his abilities over several seasons and guess what, he did the same here. You whiff on Verner in free agency bc hes too small and slow for the… Read more »

Buc-Up
2 years ago

If Haskins is still available when it’s time for the Bucs to pick, I’m telling the Giants that they need to trade up o e spot with us or we’ll trade it someone who wants Haskins. Give us their 3rd rounder. We can give them our 6th and/or 7th if we need to.

76Buc
2 years ago

I agree with the compensatory strategy. It works for N.E. Belichick, like his mentor Parcells, is not sentimental (unlike Koetter). Don’t retain star players like Kwon. Only keep perennial allstars. Mike Evans, Ali Marpet, Donovan Smith, and Winston are perhaps the only ones I would retain on offense after 4-5 years (the jury is still out on Smith and Winston). On defense, other than potentially Vita, I don’t see anyone who consistently plays at that level (JPP and McCoy would be keepers, but they’ll be gone in a couple of years due to age) However we have some young players… Read more »

76Buc
2 years ago

I hope John Lynch is in the HOF sooner than he is back in the broadcast booth:)

surferdudes
2 years ago

Buc76, your client has a worse record then both, Dom, and Allen. Maybe you should call another witness, or in Licht’s case, witless. The prosecution rests, but not comfortably while the perp Licht is still on the lose.

76Buc
2 years ago

If two or more offensive players go in the top 4, Tampa should keep the pick and take the BPA.

SenileSenior
2 years ago

“This new strategy can work as long if Licht can produce better drafts and if Arians’ coaching staff lives up to its billing and develops that drafted talent. ________________ Arians said that the scouting staff and coaching staff opinions will be merged in some sense. This will be be reflected in personnel decisions (trades/free agency/ the draft). This is what is what I think I heard in his in his introductory remarks before the coaching staff was completely assembled. This was before they all plunged into the process of evaluating what the Buccaneers already might have. The remarks also strongly… Read more »

SenileSenior
2 years ago

Dubcity6, Here is a crazy improbable scenario for you. Suppose we were able to trade down to 15 and took Devin Bush. Then Jawaan Taylor tumbled out of the top twenty somehow. Suppose we were then able to trade back up and snagged him somewhere between picks 21 and 32. That would be smashing to me. We would get two needs addressed in a big way, good for at least 4 or 5 years. Though extremely improbable nothing is totally impossible in the draft. I was elated when O J Howard fell to us at 19 a couple of years… Read more »

scubog
2 years ago

Nice to see CGMaster and Buc Ass Bob warming up to each other. Strange bedfellows indeed. I suspect most of us would get along very well if we were neighbors……….. even if some of you are a bit grumpy. There’s little sense in rehashing Jason Licht’s dismal free agency and rather ordinary Draft record. The “you are what your won-loss record says you are” is really all one needs to know. I’ve never been a fan of building a team through high-priced free agency. I think it’s much more effective focusing on the “lunch pail” types that began last off… Read more »

matador
2 years ago

Surfer, Devasher and East End are on it. It’s not new news that you can’t build a team through FA but Bust Licht had to keep trying because his drafting is so poor. For example we’re talking about drafting a RB after blowing the Sims pick (69th overall, egad) on a RB whose only skill was catching passes out of the backfield and RoJo (38th overall!!!!!!) a who may not be able to catch nor pass block, but we can’t tell for sure because he was a zero in year one. I personally think Bust Licht’s date is sealed and… Read more »

matador
2 years ago

Give Arians a clean slate not Licht

drdneast
2 years ago

Gee BucAssBob, what happened? Did you just come off a 3 day wine and glue bender and decide to sober up.
Your tone was absolutely conciliatory.
I hope your new found sobriety is permanent.
Keeping in the spirit of the moment I won’t rehash old arguments with you but just agree with you that everyone has a different perspective of how the Bucs can be a winning organization.

yohohoandabottleofrum
yohohoandabottleofrum
2 years ago

IMO I believe we could trade down with Washington and get multiple picks….Miami and Denver are potential trade downs also… If QB’s go 1 and 2 Denver is in love with Drew Lock and will wanna grab him before someone else does. Desperation creates a plethora of draft picks lol

yohohoandabottleofrum
yohohoandabottleofrum
2 years ago

cant we have both Devins LOL

fredster
2 years ago

I’m so excited about having a proven coach and staff, but Figures as Bucs fans we got the coach and staff and now for first time in years have cap issues. Always something! Anyways Licht has made plenty of mistakes, but I think there is a steep learning curve and he’s changing his method. I agree with all recent moves. Letting Kwon and Hump walk sucked, but was absolutely necessary as neither was worth the price tag. Licht needs a great draft now. It’s going to be very interesting to see how things play out this season so many changes!… Read more »

plopes808
2 years ago

As the time grows closer, I find myself feeling that we’re better off trading down no matter who’s on the board. I just can’t see any one of the big targets being better than a Devin Bush + picks scenario

Ron Potter
2 years ago

If we get a trade down offer that gives us another 2nd rounder and we’re still able to land Devin White or Devin Bush, then I’d be happy. Both Bush’s seem like they fit an important piece of our puzzle for the defense. They’re fast, can be on the field all three downs and both can be the QB of the defense.