Biggest off-season needs for the Buccaneers

As the Buccaneers prepare to begin putting the 2019 roster together, there are a lot of area’s that the Bucs will need to upgrade.

The defense was a mess most of the season especially the defensive backs. The offensive line was ineffective especially the run blocking as the Buccaneers have not had a 1,000 yard rusher Since Doug Martin in 2015.

The running back position is subpar. Peyton Barber is not the answer to start at running back Ronald Jones has much to prove in his second season.

The wide receiver position which was once a very strong position for the Bucs, may end up being just average. The Bucs will lose DeSean Jackson and may lose Adam Humphries as the Bucs may not want to pay Humphries the eight million dollars that he will command on the open market.

If you’re Jason Licht, what position group or groups do you want to fix first? Let’s start with the secondary.

The Bucs invested a lot in the secondary last year by drafting Carlton Davis, MJ Stewart, and Jordan Whitehead. This area was also hit hard by injuries as Chris Conte and Vernon Hargreaves suffered season ending injuries early on.

When you factor in that Brent Grimes was just collecting a pay check and didn’t really give a damn about his level of play, you can see why the defensive back play left a lot to be desired.

Offensive line would be the second area that I would target. This unit was the worst in the league at run blocking. Ryan Jensen was the biggest disappointment as he played no where near the Pro Bowl level we saw from him in Baltimore

Ali Marpet is solid and Donavan Smith is serviceable. Not great, but ok. His biggest attribute is his health as he has not missed any games due to injury since entering the league in 2015. The Bucs will probably slap him with the franchise tag, so expect to see him in Tampa at least one more year.

Coupled with the poor run blocking by the offensive line, the Bucs did not have much a running game. Peyton Barber is a good back up, but now that we‘ve seen him start the last year and half the Bucs need to look elsewhere. Could Ronald Jones be that guy? Right now the answer is an emphatic no, but we will see how OTA’s go and if the new coaching staff can get Jones game to where it needs to be,

The Bucs may be doing some wide receiver shopping when free agency opens. With Jackson all but gone and it’s looking more and more like Humphries may not be back, the Bucs will need to bring in at least one veteran wide receiver. The good news is there are some solid veterans available in free agency. John Brown, Tavon Austin and Cole Beasley just to name a few.

The needs at defensive back and wide receiver can be filled when free agency opens next month. The offensive line and running back areas of need can be filled in the draft.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports