No. 5: Riley Bullough
Buccaneers fans won’t love the No. 5 entry on this list, but it’s entirely possible that Hard Knocks star Riley Bullough ends up on the outside looking in come September. He comes in at No. 5 because at this point, he’s made a very good case for himself to be on the team. Count me in with the group that hopes to see Mr. “Don’t Call Me Joe Dirt” on the roster this fall. But will there be enough spots for the former Michigan State Spartan?
Kwon Alexander obviously occupies the starting middle linebacker position. He’s not going anywhere (hopefully ever, but that’s a point for another day). The backup spot is currently held by Adarius Glanton, who has been impressive this preseason in his own right. A couple of big plays and his presence on special teams has his spot looking pretty solidified. That leaves Bullough with the third-team spot, right on the roster bubble. His fate likely depends on how many linebackers the Bucs want to carry, as well as his special teams ability.
In one way or another, though, Bullough is great at grabbing the attention of his coaches. We saw Dirk Koetter single him out in a team meeting on the first episode of HBO’s Hard Knocks, touting his leadership ability. Bullough has displayed that ability in the preseason, making a few splash plays in game one before picking up five more tackles against Jacksonville. You can hear how vocal he is just by watching the television broadcast. His leadership and apparent knowledge of the defense has only helped his case, which makes the outlook pretty bright for the new fan-favorite. He is playing well, but that will have to continue if he is going to make the final roster.