Buccaneers players who are on the hot seat after 2024 NFL Draft

Now that the NFL Draft is over, it's time for the Bucs to start re-evaluating the roster.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Houston Texans
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Houston Texans / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

Now that the NFL Draft is behind us, attention turns to how rosters will be set up as we head into offseason camp mode.

OTAs won't until May 21st and the Bucs won't open mandatory minicamp until June 11th, but when that time arrives we're going to start learning a lot about what the team will look like. The Bucs added seven new players in the draft, plus over a dozen undrafted free agents who will all come to offseason programs and fight for a roster spot.

Just like last year, the position battles are already starting to bubble up which means a few players currently on the roster might not be when the season officially rolls around in September.

3 Bucs players who are on the hot seat after 2024 NFL Draft

Sean Tucker, RB

Last year one of the best stories of the offseason was undrafted free agent Sean Tucker's rise to the 53-man roster. A heart issues caused his stock to plummet but the Bucs landed a steal in the UDFA period and that showed early on in camp.

Tucker didn't quite follow up the hype he created early on, and found himself back out of the picture in a running back room that wasn't exactly bustling. Outside of Rachaad White's success, the Bucs run game left a lot to be desired and there was no shortage of opportunities for Tucker to take advantage of.

Bucky Irving will now not only step in front of Tucker on the depth chart but might edge Chase Edmonds out of the RB2 role next to White. Edmonds was brought back in free agency, so it seems clear that the Bucs have designs on him being part of the plan this season, but the same can't be said for Tucker.

He's now battling for a roster spot with Patrick Laird, someone who might also find himself on the outside looking in much like he did last season when Tucker bumped him out of a roster spot.

Robert Hainsey, C

This one seems rather obvious, although things might not be as dire for Robert Hainsey as they otherwise appear.

It's never a good thing when a team drafts someone who plays your position, and it's even worse when it's a first round pick. Graham Barton projects to be Tampa Bay's replacement for Ryan Jensen at center, which is what Hainsey auditioned for last season but couldn't quite handle.

He played 37 games at center for the Bucs over the last two seasons, which was more than enough time for the team to see all that they needed to. There's a reason the interior offensive line was a major concern and Tampa Bay drafting Barton seems to indicate Hainsey isn't in the plans for whatever the new-look line is.

That doesn't mean he'll find himself ont eh wrong side of training camp roster cuts, but he's firmly been pushed out of the starting role and it's clear his future in Tampa Bay is as a backup. Hainsey is also in a contract year, which means while he probably won't be going anywhere this season his days with the Bucs certainly seem to be numbered.

Trey Palmer, WR

Unlike Tucker and Hainsey, it would be a shocker to see Trey Palmer not on the team in 2024, but his place on the roster seems to be in flux after Tampa Bay drafted Jalen McMillan in the third round.

McMillan is going to be the WR3 this year alongside Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. That's the role Palmer was played last year and did a reasonably fine job given the circumstances. Russell Gage's season-ending leg injury during the preseason pushed Palmer into the third receiver role, which he did the best he could in.

Things weren't terrible for Palmer, but he finished the season with less than 400 yards and caught just 39 passes on 68 targets in 17 games. He showed some flashes but had some brutal mistakes that made him look like a sixth round rookie.

McMillan could end up being one of the steals of the draft, and is absolutely taking Palmer's job as the third receiver. The question is whether Palmer can make the most of what will now be limited time to prove that he belongs in the picture long-term?

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