Tampa Bay Buccaneers

5 Buccaneers Quietly Poised for Big Seasons

Five under-the-radar players who could thrive in 2016.

1. TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins
Seferian-Jenkins has shown that, if healthy, he can be a highly productive tight end in the NFL. Through the first few games of the Buccaneers' 2015 season, he was the team's leader in both receptions and touchdowns. But injuries derailed his season, the same way they had during his rookie year. Seferian-Jenkins might be asked to split time, but the former second-round pick is expected to be the Bucs' starter. If he can stay healthy, there will be a lot more chatter about him this time next year.

2. DE Jacquies Smith
The majority of the offseason has been spent talking about players the Buccaneers need to add, with one of those positions being defensive end. But the Tampa Bay has a productive pass-rusher returning in Jacquies Smith, who picked up four sacks in his first three games a year ago. Smith was a starter for the Buccaneers for 11 games in 2015, but was in and out of the lineup with injuries. Like Seferian-Jenkins, Smith has proven to be productive if he can stay on the field.


A look at the Buccaneers' cornerback during spring workouts.

  1. CB Brent Grimes**
    Maybe "quietly" is a bad term to describe Grimes, who has been named to the Pro Bowl in each of the previous three seasons, but he's still a new face in Tampa Bay. So far during OTAs, Grimes has worked as a starter at corner alongside Alterraun Verner.

4. DT Clinton McDonald
The Buccaneers' defensive line is a better group when McDonald is on the field. Frankly, that could be said for the entire team. McDonald was a team captain a year ago and frequently found himself in the middle of pre-game huddles. Plus – he was a reliable starter alongside Gerald McCoy on the interior. McDonald appeared in just six games last season after suffering a shoulder injury. If he can pick up where he left off, both on and off the field, the Buccaneers will surely benefit.

5. OT Demar Dotson
Prior to the start of last season, Dotson was considered to be the Buccaneers' most reliable offensive lineman. But after he suffered a knee injury in the preseason, an injury which landing him on the injured reserve - designated to return list, some analysts were calling for the Bucs to bring in another player at right tackle. Look for Dotson to return to form in 2016.

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