The Buccaneers can’t justify keeping Grant Stuard
Stuard was a fan favorite during the start of the preseason, but his play on defense and special teams hasn’t done enough to show a level of confidence that he belongs on the 53-man roster.
The final pick of the draft is always a long shot, and this selection mixed with his personality and work ethic made it easy for fans to support Stuard. Still, the main priority of the front office needs to be level of play above personality.
Stuard is young and could have a future on special teams, but K.J. Britt and Joe Jones outplayed him on the defensive side of the ball by a substantial margin. Britt should lock up the fourth linebacker role after several monster plays in key situations, while Stuard always seemed to be one or two steps behind on defense.
Stuard’s primary path to making the roster was through his special teams performance, and even that did not do enough to convince us that he is worth keeping over someone else. The work ethic and effort were absolutely there, but they weren’t enough to put him in the right position to make plays.
Stuard is a player worth keeping your eye on, as he should clear waivers and serve as a great practice squad option for the Buccaneers going forward. We have likely not seen the last of him.