ESPN ranks Buccaneers roster one of the worst in the NFL heading into training camp

It's ridiculous the amount of hate the Buccaneers are getting despite how things went last season.
ESPN ranked the Tampa Bay Buccaneers roster near the bottom of the NFL.
ESPN ranked the Tampa Bay Buccaneers roster near the bottom of the NFL. / Julio Aguilar/GettyImages

As a new NFL season is being ushered in, some things annoyingly haven't changed.

Namely, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers continue to get disrespected by the national media despite how well things went for them last year. We all know how things went, as the Bucs were predicted to be among the worst teams in the league and ended up making it all the way to the NFC Divisional Round.

That same narrative is presenting itself again, as the Bucs are getting cooked in national rankings as we head into training camp. The latest annoyance is ESPN, which ranked the best rosters in the NFL heading into training camp.

Unfortunately, to the surprise of nobody, it was a list that was rather unkind to the Bucs.

ESPN thinks the Bucs have one of the worst rosters in the NFL

Tampa Bay ranked No. 22, and was the second-to-last NFC South team on the list. Only the Carolina Panthers were lower, clocking in at No. 29, with the Falcons and Saints leading the division in that order.

Here's how the NFC South stacked up:



Atlanta Falcons


New Orleans Saints


Tampa Bay Buccaneers


Carolina Panthers


Neither the Falcons nor the Saints ranked much higher than the Bucs, which isn't exactly a glowing endorsement of a division. It seems experts think will be just as bad next season as it has in previous years.

Keep in mind this isn't a traditional power ranking in terms of predicting how well the team will do, but it's pretty close. In fact, ranking the Bucs this low might be even more insulting since it serves as an indictment of the entire roster.

Not everything was negative. The safety room was a notable standout, with the position as a whole getting touted as the strongest part of the roster and Christian Izien getting shouted out as well.

Izien was mentioned as the "Non-starter to Know", even though he was a starter last season. He was the cream of the undrafted rookie class, ascending to an important role in the defense and making some impact plays at important times.

He's been sort of pushed out of that starting role heading into training camp, but everything we've seen out of him suggests he'll very much be in a position to win it back. As for other positives, the offensive line was mentioned as an X-Factor and a group that has improved.

It's not hard to see why the Bucs are getting overlooked -- again. Experts have ben foaming at the mouth over Atlanta signing Kirk Cousins as though it's a missing Super Bowl piece, while the Saints seem to always be the popular pick over Tampa Bay.

What it really does is prove that no matter what the Bucs do they'll always be fighting an uphill battle. Contrary to what experts are arguing, the NFC South runs through Tampa Bay until it doesn't, and the crown needs to be taken before the Bucs can rightly be tossed down the power ranking well like they have been so far this offseason.

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