Tonight will be the last chance for many Tampa Bay Buccaneers to crack the final roster, and make an NFL roster in 2013. Most of the Bucs’ starters will watch from the sidelines, and that means backups and fringe players get the spotlight tonight. Here are four guys I am watching closely:
- Sean Baker - I really think this guy has a good chance to make the roster, because he just seems to make big plays. I know that consistency is important, and he doesn’t play often enough to know how consistent he is, but ever since his college days, Baker has been a playmaker. With Mark Barron’s new role in the Buccaneers’ defense, I believe the Bucs could use a backup who can do similar things as Barron, and that comes down to either Cody Grimm or Sean Baker. Tonight will be Baker’s last chance to leap Grimm and make the roster.
- Peyton Hillis - Hillis appears to be squarely at the tail end of the running back depth chart, which is a position perilously close to the cutoff for a 53-man roster. It’s possible he could be kept as the fourth running back, but it’s unlikely considering his lack of versatility and special teams contributions. Hillis will need to impress tonight to earn himself a job, either in Tampa or with another RB-needy team.
- Deveron Carr - The Buccaneers paid a good chunk of change to sign this undrafted rookie free agent after the draft ended, and there was reason for optimism when considering his size and speed. But Carr has yet to show much this preseason, and yet remains in the battle for a roster spot due to multiple injuries at his position. He has been passed by fellow undrafted rookie Rashaan Melvin, who is his biggest competitor for a roster spot should the Buccaneers decide to cut the roster short at corner, or release a player when Danny Gorrer is fully healthy.
- Trevor Scott - There may be enough room on the roster to hold 5 or 6 defensive ends, and if so, Trevor Scott could improbably work his way onto the 53-man squad after being signed halfway through camp. The veteran defensive end still has a lot to prove, especially against the run, but if he’s able to get after the quarterback as well as he did against the Dolphins, there is almost certainly a spot for him on the Buccaneers’ team.
Which players will you be watching closely this evening? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.