The Buccaneers can round out their cornerback depth chart this week.
While no one wants to jump the gun on roster predictions before the final preseason game of the year, the Buccaneers are already in a position where we can make very safe predictions on who will round out the cornerback depth chart.
It has looked like the coaching staff knew who their corners would be from the start of the preseason, and this group could prove to be one of the best in years for the Bucs.
Starters: Carlton Davis, Sean Murphy-Bunting, Jamel Dean
This trio should surprise no one. The Buccaneers secondary took a quick turn in the right direction when this group started getting more reps, and they should continue to develop in the featured roles this year as well.
Role player: Ross Cockrell
Cockrell comes in as the CB4, but he has the talent to play a much more significant role this season. Cockrell was a monster during camp and should step into a prominent depth role as a corner and as a safety when needed.
Depth players: Antonio Hamilton and Dee Delaney
The first four corners are the ones everyone could count on, and there are realistically two players in competition for the final spots. The Bucs will likely keep six corners, and smart money is on Hamilton and Delaney rounding out this group.
Hamilton is a no-brainer as the CB5. With a history in the NFL as a special teamer and as a defender, Hamilton brings far too much to ignore as a veteran on a team that will play many games under the lights.
Hamilton will be the best bet by the Bucs to offset the loss of Ryan Smith.
Dee Delaney comes as a surprise, but his play in camp and the preseason games shows how much the coaching staff trusts him. Delaney has bounced around the NFL on practice squads for most of his career, but he has done well enough to earn some of his first regular-season reps, especially if he continues to produce on special teams.
Herb Miller has the best chance to beat Delaney out based on his previous time in Tampa, but Delaney still gets the nod based on playing time and production so far.
Unfortunately, draft pick Chris Wilcox will probably not make the final roster after some less than stellar performances in the preseason games.
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