NFL Network premiered the 2022 edition of their annual special counting down the Top 100 Players in the league. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had four players featured on the debut episode, with certainly more to come in future installments for the Buccaneers.
Since 2011 (yes 2011) NFL Network has revealed the top 100 players in the NFL entering that season. It’s voted on by the players, so in a way, it’s the one list of this type that holds the most merit. On Sunday night, the first 50 names were unveiled, and four Bucs were given the honor of being featured on the list. Let’s take look at who made the cut.
Number 86 – Buccaneers OLB Shaq Barrett
On a roster not exactly devoid of talent, sometimes it feels like Shaq Barrett gets slightly forgotten, which is ridiculous because he’s been so good for a long time now with the Buccaneers. It’s nice to see that his peers still recognize him as one of the game’s premier pass rushers, even if Mac Jones ended up clocking in at number 85. We don’t have to dwell on that though.
Number 75 – Buccaneers S Antoine Winfield Jr.
Antoine Winfield Jr. sure has seen his fair share of highs and lows during his first two seasons with the Buccaneers. The high of course was him chucking up the deuces in the name of revenge in Tyreek Hill’s grill during Super Bowl LV and the low being how the Bucs’ season ended against the Los Angeles Rams when Cooper Cupp got behind him. Granted, the Kupp play wasn’t entirely his fault, and his fellow players recognize that not punishing the young stud safety, as he certainly has earned his number 75 spot.
Number 64 – Buccaneers ILB Devin White
Devin White has become a bit of a lightning rod talking point among Buccaneers fans. When Lavonte David went down, some feel that White got exposed a bit, especially in coverage. However, few realize that his stats whilst in pass-coverage were actually better in 2021 than they were in 2020. White was also named to the Pro Bowl in 2020, so the talented linebacker getting some respect put back on his name is a welcome sight.
Number 53 – Buccaneers WR Mike Evans
Speaking of respect on their name, that brings us to Mike Evans. Perhaps the most slept-on to the point of blatantly disrespected player in the entire league, Evans is fresh off his eight 1,000-yard receiving campaign… in eight total seasons. The players know talent when they see it, and real recognizes real. Sure, number 53 is probably still way too low for the future Hall of Fame wide receiver, and while it’s not as high as his 48 ranking a year ago, there’s nothing wrong with a little bulletin board material.
One has to wonder what other players for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are to come, especially if Evans checked in at number 53. Tom Brady and Tristan Wirfs SHOULD be no-brainers, and it would make this writer very happy if Vita Vea gets a nod as well. It should certainly be interesting, and we can’t wait to see what these named top 100 players, along with the rest of this loaded roster, do in 2022.