Starting cornerback next to Brent Grimes
Vernon Hargreaves III was drafted in 2016 in the hopes of becoming the number one corner for the Buccaneers. However, in the last two seasons he has struggled mightily while playing on the outside with just one interception. After starting every game at outside corner in his rookie season, he was relegated to the slot/nickel corner after about a quarter into last season.
Second-year cornerback Ryan Smith took his try at playing the outside corner last season opposite Brent Grimes after Hargreaves was moved to slot, and had his own struggles as the Buccaneers ended last season with the worst pass defense in the NFL.
After not signing a cornerback at all in free agency the Buccaneers knew that they needed to address the position and drafted two in the second round of the draft. M.J. Stewart and Carlton Davis will enter the cornerback fold.
At the moment, Grimes is a lock to play on the outside. There is no telling who will be playing opposite him entering camp.
Many, believe that Davis is the current favorite for the second corner spot but Buccaneers coaches say that it will be an open competition. Meaning that Hargreaves III, Smith, Stewart and Davis will all be given a shot to win that spot.
Then, the rest of the depth chart will fill out accordingly. For there to be so many spots up for grabs is rare. This will be a closely watched unit throughout August.
I do believe that Carlton Davis wins the second corner back spot with Grimes and that Vernon Hargreaves wins the slot spot, but it will be an interesting competition.