Despite a last place finish in the NFC South with a 6-10 record in 2015, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a bright future and fans should be hopeful for what lies ahead for the franchise. They followed up arguably their best draft class which consisted of quarterback Jameis Winston, offensive linemen Donovan Smith and Ali Marpet, and linebacker Kwon Alexander with a solid 2016 NFL Draft and a productive free agency period; ensuring this team move forward towards the top of their division and a playoff berth. Offensively, the Bucs will remain mostly the same, plus the addition of former Seattle Seahawk left guard J.R. Sweezy who signed a five-year deal with Tampa Bay worth roughly $32 million in the offseason. Winston looks to continue to build chemistry with talented wideouts Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson and a healthy Austin Seferian-Jenkins will also see his fair share of balls. Running back Doug Martin will seek to build on his near 1500 yard rushing season with Chris Simms carrying the rock in a change of pace role. The majority of the Bucs 2016 draft was focused on bolstering their defense, which is
ironic seeing that defensive minded coach Lovie Smith is now gone and replaced with offensive guru Dirk Koetter. A surprise to no one, their first round selection at pick 11 was cornerback Vernon Hargreaves from the University of Florida. This local kid should be a great fit with new defensive coordinator Mike Smith and Tampa Bay’s evolving defense. Depth at corner was the theme this spring as Pro-Bowl corner Brent Grimes also joined the team during free agency from the Miami Dolphins along with former Viking Josh Robinson and newly drafted Ryan Smith, a fourth rounder from North Carolina Central. The Bucs also added DE Robert Ayers and drafted Noah Spence, a super talented linebacker with off-field concerns to attempt to improve defensively in 2016.
The Buccaneers are certainly heading in the right direction with a brand new head coach and a young, talented roster. While most of the NFC South is rebuilding and changing, it is a good time for this team to get hot. Fans, be sure to secure all your Tampa Bay Buccaneers tickets for 2016 and support these guys all season long. You won’t want to miss out on all the exciting on-field action.