Buccaneers: Gregg Rosenthal says cornerbacks are the biggest weak spot
The Buccaneers made some strides this off-season to get faster on offense and stronger on defense. One NFL mind still thinks there’s work to be done at the cornerback position.
With the Buccaneers entering 2017 with plenty of hype, there aren’t many people claiming the team is perfect from top to bottom.
In fact, much of the excitement is focused on how electric the offense could be with players like DeSean Jackson, O.J. Howard and Chris Godwin joining the party.
On defense, there have been some solid additions. Chris Baker was the first and perhaps the biggest move.
His presence up front should pay immediate dividends on the field.
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J.J. Wilcox was brought in at safety prior to the team drafting the hard-hitting Justin Evans from Texas A&M.
The team even traded into the back-end of the third round to get LSU’s Kendall Beckwith to help bolster a talented but shallow linebacker group.
Cornerback didn’t see much attention. In fact, the off-season mantra at this position may very well be addition by subtraction.
Alterraun Verner is the notable departure, but outside of some undrafted free agents, Robert McClain was the Bucs’ only attempt at improving at the position.
So, it should come as no surprise perhaps, that when Gregg Rosenthal looked at where the Bucs needed to improve still he looked to the group they addressed the least on defense.
In his article about the weak spots on each NFC team, Rosenthal wrote,
"“In the Grimes Media Power Rankings, Miko topped Brent last season for headlines despite Brent turning in one of the most randomly dominant seasons ever for an aging cornerback. Expecting Grimes to back that up at 34 years old is unfair, and the Bucs are very thin after their starters at the position. The team will be targeted in a pass-happy division.”"
I suppose some kudos are deserved for working the magnificent Miko Grimes into his writing, but I’m not sure how correct Mr. Rosenthal is here.
Not necessarily along the lines of corner being their biggest weakness; perhaps we can dive into that more at a later date.
McClain is an underrated addition and could really provide some support beyond just veteran advice. Javien Elliott is making some noise, albeit mostly local noise, but it’s still worth paying attention to.
Finally, Jude Adjei-Barimah has played splendidly in the past and Ryan Smith will look to bring all the athleticism he was drafted for in 2016 to the group as he moves back to perhaps his strongest position.
The team may not have aggressively sought out big names or high draft picks to bolster the cornerback position.
I’m not so certain this makes the Bucs weak there, and the younger talent may not be as thin as this NFL writer sees it.
What do you think? How are you feeling about the corners coming behind Vernon Hargreaves and Brent Grimes?
Send me your thoughts on Twitter, down in the comments or at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll address your thoughts on a future episode of the podcast!