NFL Media columnist Adam Schein recently wrote an article outlining why the Buccaneers are poised to be sleepers this year. After years and years of rebuilding, the team finally has a good young core in place that can potentially lead them to long-term success, according to Schein. In 2014 and 2015, the team's drafting of such young studs as Mike Evans and Jameis Winston has given them a new offensive spark, while this year's defensive upgrades in the draft and free agency may allow them to finally have the breakout season fans have been waiting for over the past few years.
Despite sporting a nightmare of a schedule with games against teams such as the Broncos, Seahawks, Panthers and Chiefs this season, I think the Bucs will go 9-7. Adam Schein also gives them 9 wins this season in his prediction, and keeps them in his mix for a playoff spot, saying that the Bucs are "the second best team in the NFC South (behind the reigning NFC champion Panthers."
Schein also goes on to praise the work that GM Jason Licht has done in Tampa thus far in his piece, and in reference to the Roberto Aguayo pick, says that he "loved the move." Schein mentions the growing "competitive balance and parity" as being a huge part of why a team's kicking game is so crucial nowadays, and also points to the new point-after changes as a solid reason for the Bucs to have drafted the best kicker in NCAA history number 59 overall.
Strategically finding a way to scoop up one of the draft's best corners in Vernon Hargreaves, while taking one of the best pass rushers available in Noah Spence was brilliantly done by Licht, and according to Schein, it's gutsy moves like these that have the Bucs primed for sustainable success. Because the Bucs were able to land two players with first-round caliber talent in Spence and Hargreaves, I was fine with them taking Aguayo in the second round. Getting a corner, and an elite pass rusher to complement the ever so disruptive Gerald McCoy was paramount for the Bucs, and they got their guys.
Hopefully, after an abundance of defensive acquisitions, the team will be better suited to not surrender 24-point leads *cough* Redskins *cough*, and Mike Evans' germinating chemistry with Jameis Winston will soon be at a level that rivals any other QB/WR tandem in the NFL. If each player acquired over the past three years plays to his respective potential, the sky is the limit for the Buccaneers, and Schein thinks Tampa can be a serious playoff contender for years to come.
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