Pre-Draft Team Needs: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers made the playoffs last season but lost in the first game to the New York Giants. What improvements must they make to take the next step in the playoffs? Details inside...

Players Added

Brian Griese/QB - He played fairly well the first time he was with the team before suffering a serious knee injury.

Warrick Dunn/RB - He's back where it all started and will vie for the No. 2 role at the position.

John Gilmore/TE - He'll handle the blocking role that Anthony Becht held.

Ben Troupe/TE - He fell out of favor with the Tennessee Titans but will look to revive his career with Tampa Bay.

Jeff Faine/C - He signed for big money to replace John Wade. Faine isn't seen as a Pro Bowler but he'll be an upgrade.

Marques Douglas/DE - He's played most in the 3-4 in his nine years in the NFL. However, he has the versatility to play in either scheme.

Jimmy Wilkerson/DE - He'll provide depth at end.

Teddy Lehman/LB - The oft-injured former second-round pick of the Detroit Lions will back up MLB Barrett Ruud.

Leon Joe/LB - He'll add depth to their special teams.

Eugene Wilson/S/CB - He's slated to compete for a starting job at cornerback against Philip Buchanon. Wilson probably is best suited for a nickel role.

Players Lost

Michael Pittman/RB - With the team signing Dunn, Pittman will have to find a job elsewhere.

Mike Alstott/FB - The well-liked veteran has decided to retire.

Anthony Becht/TE - He signed with the St. Louis Rams who were looking for a blocking tight end.

Jerramy Stevens/TE - The troubled player could have a hard time finding a job.

John Wade/C - He found a new home with the Oakland Raiders where he'll compete for a starting job against Jake Grove.

Matt Lehr/C-G - He signed with the New Orleans Saints where he'll compete for a starting job at center.

Greg Spires/DE - The veteran end was released and has yet to find a new home.

Jeremiah Trotter/MLB - He hardly played for Tampa Bay last season after getting cut by the Philadelphia Eagles.

Brian Kelly/CB - Here's yet another veteran defensive player that signed on with the Detroit Lions.

Kalvin Pearson/S - The underrated safety is expected to take over for Kenoy Kennedy with the Detroit Lions.

Pre-Draft Team Needs

Wide Receiver - Head coach Jon Gruden is leaving no stone unturned to find someone to play opposite Joey Galloway. It wouldn't hurt if they also found someone who will eventually replace the ageless receiver who turns 37 in November. By our count, the team has had at least seven receivers in for visits (Davone Bess-Hawaii, Lavelle Hawkins-California, DeSean Jackson-California, Arman Shields-Richmond, Donnie Avery-Houston, Limas Sweed-Texas, Andre Caldwell-Florida) and worked at least three out privately (Dexter Jackson-Appalachian St., Adrian Arrington-Michigan, Mario Urrutia-Louisville).

Quarterback - At some point, hopefully soon, the team will need to find out who the future starter is at this position. Despite having five quarterbacks on the roster with starting experience, none of them are considered to be long-term answer at this position. The team did have private workouts with Chad Henne and Brian Brohm who are viewed by league insiders as early to mid second round picks.

Defensive End - Other than 2007 first-round pick Gaines Adams, the team lacks enough true pass rushers. They do have some depth at the position but could use an influx of talent.

Cornerback - Key starter Ronde Barber turned 33 recently and they need to start grooming his eventual replacement who isn't on the team. Tampa Bay doesn't need to necessarily spend their first-round pick on this position but they need to select a player who they believe will be able to start down the road. They did have Charles Godfrey (Iowa), Brandon Flowers (Virginia Tech), Tracy Porter (Indiana), and Leodis McKelvin (Troy St.) in for pre-draft visits.

Other Issues to Address

Offensive Line Depth

Defensive Tackle Depth

Scout NFL Network Top Stories