Another young team
September 2, 2022
That’s good news for hopes that Tom Brady will return at 46 (!), or that the Bucs may lure another starting quarterback to Tampa Bay.
(Sorry, unless Kyle Trask makes meaningful progress by the end of the season working behind the scenes in closed Bucs-eyes-only practices, Trask won’t be your starter in 2023. He still has steps to take to beat Blaine Gabbert. )
Not only do the Bucs have a star nucleus under contract for 2023 (Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Playoff Lenny, Ryan Jensen, Tristan Wirfs, Antoine Winfield, Carlton Davis, Devin White, Vita Vea, Donovan Smith, etc.) the Bucs have one of the best collection of players aged 25 and under.
That’s what Scott Spratt of soccer strangerstied for BSPN, determined.
10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Ranking 2021: 8 | Ranking 2020: 20
Top notch players: Tristan Wirfs, occupational therapist; Devin White, LB; Antoine Winfield Jr., FS
Notable Graduate Players: Carlton Davis III, BC; Sean Murphy-Bunting, BC; Jamel Dean, BC; Jordan Whitehead, S; Ronald Jones, AR
…the team had an incredible knack for filling its few holes with top-notch prospects. For the Bucs title team, that player was Wirfs, who was an immediate positional leader with a blown 1.6% block rate in his rookie season. Wirfs played even better in 2021 and earned first-team All-Pro honors with a blown block rate of 1.2%.
Last year it was Winfield. As secondary teammates Davis, Murphy-Bunting and Richard Sherman took turns on injured reserve, free safety Winfield dramatically improved his coverage skills. He finished fourth in his position with a 69% coverage success rate and made his first Pro Bowl. This year, possible breakouts include tight end Cade Otton or rushers Joe Tryon-Shoyinka or Logan Hall, the 32nd and 33rd picks in the last two drafts. Otton should have an unusual opportunity for rookie playing time following the retirement of Rob Gronkowski this offseason. And while Tryon-Shoyinka found the field for less than half of the Bucs’ defensive plays in his rookie season, he produced 23 rushes, which put him on pace for a top-10 total with a full season of shots.
Boy, Joe would definitely like to see Joe Tryon-Shoyinka explode this year. Joe thinks the Bucs defense is very sloppy. If JTS can get to 10 sacks, this defense has a chance to stifle offenses.
And Joe will once again say this about rookie tight end Cade Otton: He’ll start next year and maybe by the end of this year. He seemed to get better and better with each summer training.
So yes, if the Bucs have to go shopping for the quarterback, they’ll be an attractive landing spot again — core stars surrounded by strong saplings.