The Buccaneers offense was ranked near the bottom in every statistical category for the 2014 season. They were a unit that was extremely difficult to watch and a big part of the 2-14 record.
However, there were a couple of bright spots. Mike Evans appears to have the talent to emerge as a top level wide receiver in the NFL. Vincent Jackson is still a very reliable big target. Even Charles Sims showed a little flash when he healed up late in the season.
The Buccaneers' brass has spent a majority of the past two drafts on the offensive side of the ball. Heading into the 2015 season, more than half of the Bucs' offensive starters will probably have been drafted within the past 400 days.
Here is my early projection of the Bucs' offensive starters:
Quarterback: Jameis Winston
Sorry, Mike Glennon. Jameis Winston should get the starter reps from the first full minicamp and never relinquish them.
Running Back: Charles Sims
Doug Martin is an extremely average back in the NFL. Sims at least provides a spark, some speed, and the ability to make plays in the passing game.
Full Back: Jorvorskie Lane
Lane will probably get the start early on, but I'm not ruling out a potential replacement over time. I'm interested to see how 7th round pick Joey Iosefa transitions from running back to full back.
Wide Receiver: Mike Evans
Mike Evans quickly emerged as a special player in 2014. I expect him to become the top receiver for Jameis Winston in the Bucs' new offense.
Wide Receiver: Vincent Jackson
The 32 year old receiver is still a legit threat in the passing game. Jackson does not have the speed he once possessed, but his big body makes him a matchup nightmare for defenses. Jackson also still has the ability to make some spectacular catches.
Slot Receiver: Louis Murphy
As much as I'd love to see Kenny Bell win this job, I still think the more reliable target is Murphy. Don't forget, Vincent Jackson can slide inside and play the true slot receiver, allowing Murphy or Bell to line up on the outside in 3-WR sets.
Tight End: Austin Seferian-Jenkins
If Seferian-Jenkins can stay healthy, he could become the most important weapon in Dirk Koetter's offense. A rookie quarterback's best friend is a reliable tight end, and that's something Seferian-Jenkins can become.
Left Tackle: Donovan Smith
I think the competition between Smith and Kevin Pamphile could be pretty fun to watch. In the end, a high 2nd round investment wins out. The biggest concern with Smith is whether he can protect Winston against speed rushers.
Left Guard: Logan Mankins
Mankins showed his age a bit in 2014, but the hope is that his experience can make up for some diminishing talent. Mankins is still plenty talented enough to be solid at left guard.
Center: Evan Smith
Smith was not very good last year, and I think the Bucs would like to replace him. The only issue is that there is no one to replace him with. Ali Marpet has the potential to move to center eventually, but look for Smith's experience to help him cement the center job down for himself The only way Smith sees himself losing out on a starters job is if Kadeem Edwards and Ali Marpoet are just too good to keep on the bench. Edwards would then play right guard and Marpet would be the Bucs center.
Right Guard: Ali Marpet
Yes, the jump in competition is substantial, but his natural ability is too valuable to keep on the bench. Hopefully, Logan Mankins can help groom Marpet into an elite interior lineman. I'm also anxious to see Kadeem Edwards development.
Right Tackle: Demar Dotson
I think this needs to be a big year for Dotson. He will be 30 years old in October and is slated to be a free agent in 2017. Maybe not in 2015, but the Bucs could look to roll with Pamphile and Donovan Smith at tackles for the future, or invest another high draft pick in an offensive tackle next year in an attempt to build a very young and talented offensive line.Subscribe to The Commish Online Podcast on iTunes!
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