Buccaneers player proves he is ready to take the next step in 2022

Anthony Nelson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
Anthony Nelson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images) /

Buccaneers edge defender Anthony Nelson ended the 2021 campaign on a high note, and it looks like he is picking up where he left off.

The first preseason game for the Buccaneers has ended, and one of the names that is starting to gain a lot of attention is edge defender Anthony Nelson.

Nelson is entering his fourth year in the NFL and looked really good in his reps against the Dolphins. These snaps in addition to the five sacks that he posted in 2021 as a depth guy are plenty of reason to follow Nelson’s name closely for the rest of the preseason.

Prior to the other night, it looked like the lack of depth at the position was going to be a weakness for the Bucs. An injury to Shaquil Barrett will leave the Bucs without most of their veteran reps at the position, but that doesn’t mean that the other players can’t carry their weight.

While Nelson shouldn’t keep the Buccaneers from making a home run signing if one becomes available, his five sacks and ten quarterback hits through 17 games and only two starts indicate that a breakout could be on the horizon.

The good news for Nelson is that it doesn’t look like the team is going after anyone else and is no stranger to using three pass rushers at once. Joe Tryon-Shoyinka got a lot of playing time last year in a third role, and it makes sense to think that Nelson could get the same treatment as an interior guy in a Jason Pierre-Paul role if the defense falls the right way.

Cam Gill got a lot of attention from the first game and rightfully so, but Anthony Nelson was right there with him, and the fourth-year player from Iowa should have a big season coming up as the Bucs look to make the most of every player on the roster.

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