Player News - Buccaneers

Date: Team: Pos:

Bucs OC Todd Monken said sophomore WR Chris Godwin has earned the right to start.

Godwin showed out when given a shot as a rookie, turning 55 targets into 34 catches for 525 yards and a score. It would make sense for the Bucs to get him more work, but his path to targets is blocked by Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson as well as a quality duo at tight end. The coaching staff should find a way to get him on the field in three-wide sets, but it is unlikely Godwin returns redraft value this season without an injury. That said, he is a great hold in Dynasty formats, especially with Jackson potentially entering his final season in Tampa.
May 17 - 1:02 PM

Bucs DE William Gholston shed 15 pounds in the offseason.

Gholston signed a five-year, $27.5 million deal last offseason and recorded zero sacks after notching 10 in his first four seasons. Listed at 6'6/281 by the Bucs, Gholston figures to be closer to the 265 mark at the moment. He'll be fighting for snaps behind new Bucs DEs Jason Pierre-Paul and Vinny Curry and former second-rounder Noah Spence. Gholston is mainly a run-stopper.
May 16 - 12:14 PM

Bucs DC Mike Smith said third-year CB Vernon Hargreaves will likely be the team's slot corner this season.

The No. 11 overall pick in the 2016 draft, Hargreaves played just over 12.7% of his snaps in the slot last season, roughly the same amount he was there as a rookie. The Bucs haven't re-signed last year's nickel corner Robert McClain and appear ready to turn the gig over to Hargreaves. Veteran Brent Grimes and 2016 fourth-rounder Ryan Smith are the favorites to open the year in nickel packages, while the Bucs used 2018 second-rounders on Carlton Davis and M.J. Stewart.
May 16 - 12:06 PM

Bucs signed second-round CB M.J. Stewart to a four-year contract.

Tampa Bay also signed fourth-round S Jordan Whitehead and sixth-round LB Jack Cichy to four-year deals. Stewart played corner at UNC, but he tested more like a safety at the Combine. He could end up there or at slot corner for the Bucs.
May 10 - 10:26 AM

Buccaneers signed fifth-round WR Justin Watson to a four-year contract.

A top-five SPARQ receiver in this year's draft, Watson dominated the Ivy League ranks and offers NFL size at 6-foot-2, 215 with 4.44 jets and a 40-inch vertical. Although Watson presently looks buried on the Bucs' wideout depth chart, DeSean Jackson's contract is easy for the organization to move on from next offseason, and Adam Humphries is year to year. The Bucs do have Mike Evans and promising 2017 draft pick Chris Godwin signed long term.
May 9 - 9:08 PM

The Tampa Bay Times' Greg Auman expects Peyton Barber and second-round rookie Ronald Jones to initially "share the load" in the Bucs' backfield.

Tampa Bay entered the draft with one of the least-inspiring backfields and then used the 38th overall pick on Jones. Jones will likely get every opportunity to leap Barber, but Barber proved solid as both a runner and pass catcher in his 254 snaps last season, with most of those coming across the final five weeks. Jones is dripping with big-play ability in the Tevin Coleman mold but has his deficiencies. This is a backfield to monitor closely come training camp/preseason.
May 9 - 9:59 AM

Bucs TE O.J. Howard (ankle) is fully cleared for offseason workouts.

Howard missed the final two games on IR last year. His status for OTAs was never in doubt. After outsnapping Cameron Brate as a rookie, Howard's role should continue to grow in his second season.
May 4 - 7:04 PM

Bucs GM Jason Licht expects third-round OL Alex Cappa to see reps at guard and tackle.

Cappa was a four-year starter at left tackle for Humboldt State. He figures to open OTAs at right tackle with Demar Dotson coming off knee surgery. Cappa will also push J.R. Sweezy and Evan Smith at left guard.
May 2 - 7:05 PM

Buccaneers signed Western Michigan RB Donnie Ernsberger.

Ernsberger (6’3/241) played fullback, special teams, and tight end for the Broncos, logging just one career carry but a 45/528/11.7/5 receiving line and earning second-team All-MAC as a senior. Ernsberger ran 4.78 at the Combine with 32nd-percentile SPARQ results. A jack of all trades but master of none, Ernsberger should compete for special teams snaps right away and offers enough versatility to eventually carve out a minor offensive role, likely as a situational lead blocker and checkdown option.
Apr 29 - 11:16 AM

Buccaneers signed Arkansas QB Austin Allen.

Allen (6’0/209) was a two-year starterc for the Razorbacks, completing 59.1% of his career passes at 8.3 yards per attempt with a 36:21 TD-to-INT ratio. Allen is the younger brother of fellow ex-Arkansas QB Brandon Allen, who has spent time with the Jaguars and Rams. Undersized with a troubling history of shoulder injuries, Allen struggled mightily as a 2017 senior, missing four games and wilting under heavy pressure. Brother Brandon is entering his third year in the pros; Austin would do well to last that long.
Apr 29 - 11:14 AM

Bucs selected Wisconsin LB Jack Cichy with the No. 202 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft.

Cichy (6’2/238) made only 11 career starts for the Badgers due to injuries, missing half of 2016 with a torn pectoral and all of 2017 with a torn right ACL. Cichy was a disruptive inside linebacker when healthy, tallying 15 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks over his final 20 games. Essentially this year’s version of 2017 Saints draft pick Alex Anzalone, Cichy is a known NFL-caliber talent with a worrisome lack of durability who could overachieve if he somehow gets better injury luck.
Apr 28 - 4:50 PM

Bucs selected Pennsylvania WR Justin Watson with the No. 144 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft.

Watson (6’2/215) was snubbed for a Combine invite despite graduating as Penn’s all-time leader in catches (286), receiving yards (3.777), and receiving TDs (33). Watson caught NFL attention by torching his Pro Day with a 4.44 forty and 40-inch vertical, good for top-five SPARQ results in this year’s wideout class. Plus sized, physical, and more athletic than anyone expected, Watson offers some Eric Decker-like traits as a sleeper.
Apr 28 - 2:11 PM

Buccaneers selected Pittsburgh S Jordan Whitehead with the No. 117 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft.

Whitehead (5’10/198) turned pro after starting all three years for the Pitt Panthers, logging 15 career pass breakups and three interceptions and even dabbling on offense, where he averaged 8.4 yards per carry with three TDs on 43 rushing attempts. Whitehead never hit his ceiling in college due to later-career injuries and a three-game 2017 suspension, and battled a hamstring injury before the draft. Whitehead was a decorated recruit who underachieved in college, and an undersized strong safety with minimal cover skills. He’d do well to forge a Jahleel Addae-like career path.
Apr 28 - 12:55 PM

Bucs traded up with the Vikings to select Humboldt OG Alex Cappa with the No. 94 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft.

Tampa Bay gave up Nos. 102 and 180 to move up. Cappa (6’6/305) was a four-year starter on the Jacks’ front five, earning Offensive Lineman of the Year in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference all four seasons. Cappa tested as a lowly fifth-percentile SPARQ athlete before the draft, raising concerns on what’s already certain to be a major transition in competition. Ultimately, Cappa’s ceiling is likely a low-end starting guard or swing guard-tackle reserve.
Apr 27 - 10:41 PM

Bucs selected Auburn CB Carlton Davis with the No. 63 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft.

Davis (6’1/206) made 32 starts in the Tigers’ secondary, tallying three career interceptions and earning first-team All-SEC from the conference’s coaches as a senior. In 2017, PFF College credited Davis with an anemic 48.1% completion rate allowed. Davis showed average athleticism at the Combine, running 4.53 with a 34-inch vertical. A big, somewhat stiff press-coverage specialist with plus arm length (32 ¾") and a knack for disrupting routes, Davis offers No. 2 cornerback potential if used correctly.
Apr 27 - 9:12 PM


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