Updated Buccaneers depth chart on defense
While the Bucs only signed one new player on the defensive side of the ball, there are a lot of new faces all over the depth chart. Rather than using the NFL Draft to rebuild the offense in the wake of Tom Brady retiring, the Bucs retooled the defense and used all but three picks on defensive players.
That’s not even counting the slew of defensive players who were added as undrafted free agents once the draft concluded, as there is an influx of young players vying for a roster spot this summer.
- NT: Vita Vea | Deadrin Senat | Mike Greene
- DT: Greg Gaines | Willington Previlon | C.J. Brewer
- DE: Calijah Kancey | Logan Hall | Patrick O’Connor
Calijah Kancey was apparently who the Bucs were targeting all along with the No. 19 pick, and he fits perfectly next to Vita Vea. Greg Gaines came over in free agency from the Rams, and that trio makes up the replenished defensive front for Todd Bowles.
Logan Hall is a name to keep an eye on as the summer unfolds, as it seems the selection of Kancey might have been a referendum on him. Hall reportedly put on a lot of weight this offseason to perhaps slide into a rotation at defensive tackle, but even that seems to suggest he’s struggling to find a place on the roster and needs to have a big summer to prove his worth.
- LOLB: Joe Tryon-Shoyinka | YaYa Diaby | Cam Gill | Hamilcar Rashid | Brandon Bouyer-Randle
- LILB: Devin White | K.J. Britt | Ulysses Gilbert
- RILB: Lavonte David | SirVoccea Dennis | J.J. Russell | Jeremy Banks
- ROLB: Shaquill Barrett | Anthony Nelson | Jose Ramirez | Charles Snowden | Markees Watts
The newest face here is Markees Watts, who was the other player signed from rookie minicamp along with David Moore. It’s going to be tough sledding for Watts, as he joins a deep pool of talent in the linebacking corps. That being said, the Bucs knew they had a plethora of bodies at the position and still added Watts which seems to be a huge endorsement of what his potential impact could be.
- RCB: Carlton Davis III | Don Gardner | Keenan Issac
- LCB: Jamel Deal | Anthony Chelsey | Duron Lowe | Derrek Pitts
- NB: Dee Delaney | Zyon McCollum | Josh Hayes
PFF ranked the Buccaneers secondary as its biggest strength this offseason, but grouped in the safety unit to make that declaration. As a standalone unit, cornerback leaves a lot to be desired and there’s plenty of room for guys lower on the depth chart to leave their mark.
It’s a top-heavy position, as Jamel Dean and Carlton Davis III make up one of the finer secondary duos in the league. Beyond them, guys like Anthony Chelsey and Zyon McCollum can step up in big ways, as can rookie nickelback Josh Hayes.
- FS: Antoine Winfield Jr. | Nolan Turner | Kaevon Merriweather
- SS: Ryan Neal | Christian Izien | Kedrick Whitehead Jr.
It might seem like safety is in a similar position as the cornerback unit, but the depth chart is actually pretty solid here. Winfield is a stud and will almost certainly get a nice extension in the near future, and Ryan Neal could end up being one of the best steals of free agency.
What makes safety so interesting is that the Bucs didn’t add depth in the draft but loaded up with undrafted free agents. That makes this a hungry unit that could outperform by sheer will and need for survival, which could create a menacing secondary for Todd Bowles.