What changed for the Buccaneers? Click here
Jameis Winston had a very promising rookie season with Tampa Bay. He looked every bit the part of a franchise quarterback. Big, talented, athletic, powerful and had control of the huddle right from the beginning. He has completely stayed out of trouble and has worked hard to improve his shortcomings. He threw for 4042 yards as a rookie with 22 passing touchdowns against 15 interceptions. He also ran for 213 yards and 6 rushing touchdowns. At times as a rookie he had issues with accuracy which he will have to work on but not many rookies have had the success he did as a rookie and he is only going to get better. Franchise quarterback without question and the talent is there to be an elite NFL player for the next 15+ years.
I believe that Mike Glennon has starting potential in this league but he will have to wait until he gets an option somewhere else now. The former 3rd round pick has tremendous size at 6'7, a strong arm and has thrown for a total of
4025 yards, 29 touchdowns and 15 interceptions in just 19 games as a pro. He is going to be a very good starting quarterback somewhere in this league.
Welcome back to superstardom Doug Martin! Martin looked like the 2nd coming of Emmitt Smith in his rookie campaign during the 2012 season. He rushed for 1454 yards, caught 49 passes, scored 12 touchdowns and finished as the 3rd best fantasy running back. It appeared that Martin was going to rule the fantasy circle for the next decade or so but he has been wiped out with injuries in 2013 and 2014
and his numbers plummeting significantly. He only rushed for 950 total yards and 3 touchdowns in those two seasons combined and was a
fantasy afterthought. However, Martin came alive last season, staying healthy and rushing for 1402 yards on 288 carries with 33 receptions and 7 touchdowns. He looked powerful, elusive and at 27-years old can make an impact for a few more seasons if he can avoid the injury bug. It is always a caveat witih Martin though so when ranking him for fantasy football one must keep that in mind. He reminds me of Fred Taylor of the Jaguars in the past. Martin can be a fantasy monster or a fantasy bust.
Sims, a former 3rd round pick from West Virginia is a great player in his own right but he has become the 3rd-Down / receiving specialist for the Buccaneers. He caught 51 passes for 561 yards last year and scored 4 touchdowns. He also had 107 carries for 529 yards, proving his value. He has nice size and terrific quickness and is blessed with receiving hands. He will continue with his role unless injuries strike down Doug Martin. If he did get into the lineup, 20 touches per game could result in some very strong numbers for this talented player.
Let me start with the only negative in regards to Mike Evans. He really needs to work on his focus catching the ball as he had some unforgivable, awful drops last year and that MUST be corrected going forward. Now onto the positive. He is a freakish receiver with perhaps the most upside I have ever seen. He has amazing size, speed, runs great routes and is almost impossible to cover unless you roll coverage over to him. He has caught 142 passes for 2257 yards in his first two seasons and as Jameis Winston becomes a better pro quarterback, Evans could emerge as the next great wide receiver in the game today.
Vincent Jackson is now 33-years of age and has played eleven seasons in the NFL. He has 525 career receptions for 8907 yards and 57 career touchdowns. He has an excellent mix of speed, hands and size although I believe his speed has begun to dip over time. At 6'6 and 235 pounds, he really is a tight end with elite speed playing at the receiver position and he has a huge catch radius. Last season, Jackson had his struggles, finishing with 33 receptions for 543 yards over ten games. Perhaps age is catching up to him or maybe it wa a combination of a rookie quarterback and injury concerns. Time will tell
Tampa Bay is the fourth stop for Louis Murphy in his eight-year NFL career and he is a decent WR3. Last season he had 198 receiving yards in six games before a knee injury took him down for the season. He has great size at 6'3 and serviceable speed but his quickness and route running is average at best, limiting his value. If he is healthy to start the season, he is a veteran, experienced third option at receiver but he is unlikely to catch as many as 50 passes.
Donteea Dye, Kenny Bell and Adam Humphries will all compete for playing time.
Seferian-Jenkins is potentially an elite tight end and the 2nd round pick from the 2014 draft has all the tools to reach that level.
At 6'5 and 262 pounds he has terrific size, good quickness and body control to make the difficult catch in traffic. He has suffered through injury woes in his first two seasons, missing 16 of 32 games. However in the 16 games he has played he has caught 42 passes for 559 yards and scored 6 touchdowns and showcased terrific potential.
If Seferian-Jenkins continues to be plagued by injuries though, Cameron Brate emerged last year as a real option for the Buccaneers. The 6'4, 245-pound Harvard grad, caught a terrific 23 of 30 passes last year for 288 yards and scored three times. He appears very capable of pressed into duty.
Luke Stocker is a terrific blocker but not really an option in the passing game.
Brandon Myers had some solid seasons in his past including a 806-yard performance with the Raiders in 2012. He has good experience and can jump in and contribute if needed.
Projected Starters: LT Donovan Smith, LG J.R. Sweezy, C Evan Smith, RG Ali Marpet, RT Demar Dotson
Key Backups: Joe Hawley, Gosder Cherilus, Kevin Pamphile, Caleb Benenoch (rookie), Garret Gilkey
I wanted to rank this unit higher than I did and I think they can exceed the number 24 spot but I just cannot get too excited about how the pieces fit right now. I think the loss of Logan Mankins who retired may take them a year to settle and there will be some growing pains in 2016. I like the progress of young linemen Donovan Smith and Ali Marpet and if they continue their growth, this unit is capable of elevating in a hurry. There will be battles at the other three positions with several different combinations possible. There is potential here and training camp will be needed to sort this all out.
The Buccaneers picked up Connor Barth from Denver last season, returning home where he played from 2009 to 2012. He connected on 23 of 28 kicks last season.