Pete Prisco gave the Buccaneers some credit in his top 100 players list in the NFL, but it is still not nearly enough.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the defending Super Bowl champions and the best team in the NFL, so any top-100 list of the players in the NFL should be filled with the players from the best roster, right?
In some ways, Pete Prisco was able to keep his recent list fairly accurate, but there are still various slights against the Bucs on this list.
Don’t get us wrong, it is nice to see some of the names from Tampa make this group, but the shortcomings of their positions on the list are quickly obvious.
The following players made Prisco’s list:
#4 Tom Brady
#33 Devin White
#44 Lavonte David
#56 Shaquil Barrett
#59 Chris Godwin
#62 Mike Evans
#82 Tristan Wirfs
Just missed: Ali Marpet
At first glance, having seven players make this list is very flattering. To have seven players out of 100 on a list like this in a league of 32 players shows that the Buccaneers are getting more of the attention they deserve, but as Prisco said in his tweet, he wants people to be critical, so we will.
Brady at #4 is spot-on. Even at this stage of his career, the reigning Super Bowl MVP deserves to be in contention amongst the best players in the NFL, so this was a good look from Prisco, and we’ll be just as fair with the critiques.
The first two issues are with Lavonte David and Devin White. David deserves to be much higher on the list when considering his presence on the verge of the Hall of Fame and overall body of work. Bucs fans are used to David getting a raw end of the deal on the recognition front, but he still deserves to be higher with White.
Khalil Mack and Nick Bosa being higher than both of the Bucs’ defensive captains makes little sense considering Bosa hardly played last season, and Mack and White had similar production despite playing different positions. As is a reoccurring theme, this tends to feel like a recognition simulator above being genuinely about player talent.
Godwin and Evans are the next issues as they were passed up by Justin Jefferson, DK Metcalf, and Michael Thomas. Jefferson and Metcalf are coming off great seasons with plenty of upside, but both are largely unproven and more the present based on name recognition rather than talent. The arguments against Thomas being higher than his division rivals are route tree and his 2020 season. They speak for themselves.
On the offensive line front, Tristan Wirfs belongs on this list, but so too do Ryan Jensen and Ali Marpet. We don’t buy “just missed” for one of the best guards in the NFL, and Jensen makes a similar case at center.
Prisco was close with his top names, but there are still several other players on the Bucs that deserved some recognition as well, such as the following:
Vita Vea, Rob Gronkowski, Antoine Winfield Jr., Jason Pierre-Paul
In the end, all that matters is making it to the Super Bowl, and the Buccaneers players on this list already have an advantage over the players that were unfairly placed above them. Tampa had the last laugh last season, and there are plenty of reasons to expect the same this year.
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