Defensive Lineman (6)
Another position group that seems to be pretty set and drama-free is the defensive line.
Much like at tight end, there never really seemed to be any big battles during training camp and the depth chart felt pretty set when the offseason began. First-round pick Calijah Kancey has spent the preseason getting back to full strength but is expected to start the season healthy. Vita Vea is the core of the group, while Logan Hall was endorsed by Todd Bowles earlier this week as a guy who he expects to take a big step forward in 2023.
There's also newcomer Greg Gaines who is expected to rotate in for Vea, as well as depth vets Pat O'Connor and Will Gholston.
Bowles has a defensive front loaded with run stuffers, but not a ton of question marks in terms of whether guys will make the final roster or not.
Earlier in the offseason it seemed like linebacker might be a group that was a total toss-up in terms of who made the roster, but that was more a reflection of the talent the group had. Assuming the Bucs carry nine linebackers into the season, the difficulty comes in trying to determine who slides in at the end of the depth chart as rotational help.
Lavonte David chose to re-sign in Tampa Bay this offseason rather than leave in free agency, and he'll return as the captain of the defense. Devin White requested a trade but that only means he's motivated to prove he was justified in doing so when the Bucs weren't willing to pay him an extension he thinks he deserves. On the outside Tampa Bay has two wild cards who are high-reward gambles: Shaq Barrett and Joe Tryon-Shoyinka.
Barrett is coming off an injury-shortened season and looking to get back to the guy he was in 2020 and 2021. Tryon-Shoyinka is entering a make-or-break phase of his career with the Bucs, as he'll be a starter until he gives Bowles a reason to take the role away. So far Tryon-Shoyinka has failed to make an impact, but his third year in the league could be the one where he turns into the first round prospect Jason Licht thought he was when he took him back in 2021.