4 Buccaneers sleepers who could steal a key roster spot at training camp

Buccaneers training camp opens this week, and a few sleepers could use the opportunity to steal a roster spot and become impact players.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Training Camp
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Training Camp / Douglas P. DeFelice/GettyImages
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Merriweather. . . Kaevon Merriweather. Kaevon Merriweather. 3. 48. . Free Safety. player

There was a ton of speculation heading into the NFL Draft that the Bucs would be using one of its top picks on a young safety to pair with Antoine Winfield Jr.

Speculation centered on Alabama's Brian Branch at No. 19, a guy who ended up sliding into the second round and nearly back into Tampa Bay's lap. Ultimately the Bucs passed on guys like Jordan Battle, Jammie Robinson, and Antonio Johnson and didn't draft a safety at all over the course of the weekend. Instead, the front office went out and splurged at the position in the undrafted free agent market, adding three rookies who ended up not getting picked during the Draft.

One of those guys, Keavon Merriweather, is in a prime position to play his way onto the final roster.

Safety was one of the hardest-hit positions this offseason on the Bucs depth chart. Winfield is the only returning starter and Nolan Turner is the only other guy who was on the team last year at the position who is back. The Bucs signed Ryan Neal away from the Seahawks in free agency, but there appears to be a wide-open race for roster spots in the secondary at training camp.

He's listed as a free safety but is athletic enough to play either safety spot, which makes him a versatile rotational piece to use in various different coverage schemes. While he's not going to be stealing a starting role, Merriweather's physical profile combined with the chip on his undrafted shoulder fits the personality of both Todd Bowles' defense and the overall character of the Bucs this season.