As we get ready for the NFL season, it’s easy to sit around and speculate on which players will make the roster, and which will fall short. It’s fun to pick through depth charts to find players on the rise, and players whose stock has fallen. So in the weeks leading up to the naming of the Buccaneers’ roster for week 1 against the New York Jets, we present Buc-etology, a Bracketology style prediction of the Buccaneers’ roster, including last four in, last four out, and players whose names are rising up or falling down the depth chart.
So without any further introduction, here are my picks:
|WR||Vincent Jackson||Kevin Ogletree||Eric Page|
|C||Jeremy Zuttah||Ted Larsen|
|RG||Davin Joseph||Jamon Meredith|
|RT||Demar Dotson||Gabe Carimi|
|TE||Tom Crabtree||Nate Byham||Danny Noble|
|WR||Mike Williams||Tiquan Underwood||Derek Hagan|
|QB||Josh Freeman||Mike Glennon|
|RB||Doug Martin||Brian Leonard||Peyton Hillis||Mike James|
|LDE||Da’Quan Bowers||Daniel Te’o-Nesheim||William Gholston|
|DT||Gerald McCoy||Derek Landri|
|DT||Akeem Spence||Gary Gibson|
|RDE||Adrian Clayborn||Steven Means|
|SLB||Dekoda Watson||Jonathan Casillas|
|MLB||Mason Foster||Najee Goode|
|WLB||Lavonte David||Adam Hayward|
|LCB||Darrelle Revis||Danny Gorrer||Rashaan Melvin||Deveron Carr|
|RCB||Johnthan Banks||Leonard Johnson||Anthony Gaitor|
|SS||Mark Barron||Cody Grimm|
|FS||Dashon Goldson||Ahmad Black|
There were some really tough decisions to be made in this list, especially given the amount of fringe players who would be useful in some way or another. The next two preseason games will be key in figuring out just who will make it out of these roster battles.
|Last Four In||Last Four Out|
|Danny Noble||Jacob Cutrera|
|Derek Hagan||Michael Adams|
|Deveron Carr||Luke Stocker|
|Steven Means||Keith Tandy|
The obvious big decision here was the choice to keep Danny Noble ahead of Luke Stocker. Stocker was not very good during his brief appearance last night against the Patriots, and has been injured and on the sidelines for much of training camp. Noble seems to provide a good set of hands and enough athleticism to get open, which sets him apart from Nate Byham and provides better, more well-rounded depth on the tight end depth chart.
It was also tough to keep Cutrera, Adams, and Tandy off of the roster, but there were some shortcomings for each player that kept them outside of the 53. Cutrera is stuck behind proven veterans and an impressive Najee Goode, Adams is one of a handful of decent backup corners, so his age my reduce his appeal, as he’s in his prime now rather than having room to grow. And Tandy had a better week 2 than he did week 1 in the preseason, and provides a good amount of versatility, but just he’s not able to backup as well as Cody Grimm. If the Buccaneers opt to keep five safeties, Tandy would be the guy.
|Stock Rising||Stock Falling|
|Tom Crabtree||Da’Quan Bowers|
|Akeem Spence||Anthony Gaitor|
|Johnthan Banks||Leonard Johnson|
|Mike James||Eric Page (WR)|
The good part about this section of the projections was how difficult it was to fill out the “stock falling” section. Bowers has obviously been a bit of a disappointment lately, although he had flashes of brilliance on Friday evening. Gaitor was injured, but that’s not the reason for his fall, as I have seen him caught out of position a couple of times this offseason. Same with Leonard Johnson, but the main reason for his presence on the “falling” list is the rise of Johnthan Banks. And Eric Page has yet to get a chance to show anything as a wide receiver, but he has proven to be a great special teams player as a returner.
Tom Crabtree has been the biggest stock riser of the past couple of weeks of the preseason. He has proven to be a reliable option in the aerial attack, and his blocking has been good enough at times. His blocking will need some work, but he’s the best tight end on the roster at the moment.
Any other comments? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.