Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs' Depth Chart Breakdown: Defense

The Buccaneers have added several key pieces on defense and in the kicking game since the start of free agency, but some question marks remain.

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 2017 roster is a work in progress, and the official depth chart won't come together until August. Nevertheless, the team already looks substantially different than it did at the end of a promising 9-7 2016 campaign in January. In the months since, the Bucs have seen some key players come and go, particularly since the start of free agency on March 9.

The next big event that will help the Buccaneers' 2017 depth chart take shape is the NFL Draft, which begins on April 27. Prior to that, we're taking a fresh look at how the roster is shaping up after the first frenzy of free agency. Last week we looked at the offense; this week it's a position-by-position rundown of the defense.

DEFENSIVE LINE

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The Buccaneers have been working to build D-Line depth and a relentless pass-rush rotation for years, and it appears to be coming together nicely for the 2017 season. The latest addition is former Washington defensive tackle Chris Baker, whom General Manager Jason Licht referred to as an "elite defensive interior" player in terms of making plays in the backfield... READ MORE

LINEBACKERS

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The Buccaneers are not particularly deep in linebackers at the moment, although the top of the depth chart is very strong with weakside linebacker Lavonte David and middle linebacker Kwon Alexander. Those two occupy key spots in the Bucs' 4-3 front and have been an ultra-productive duo over the last two years. Since Alexander arrived as a fourth-round draft pick in 2015, he and David have combined for 472 tackles, 14.0 sacks, 28 stuffs, nine forced fumbles, 33 passes defensed and seven interceptions... READ MORE

CORNERBACKS

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Two weeks before the start of free agency, the Buccaneers let veteran corner Alterraun Verner go, but the team subsequently re-signed corner Josh Robinson after he had hit the open market. Robinson was a very valuable player for the Buccaneers in 2016 but almost exclusively on special teams; still, he has experience as a starter in the NFL and provides good depth at the position... READ MORE

SAFETIES

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The Buccaneers are not deep at the tight end position but they do have two players who have well-defined roles in the offense. The first is Cameron Brate, who like Humphries is a former undrafted player who surpassed 50 catches a season ago. Brate is also an exclusive rights free agent who received a qualifying offer, so he'll be back to build upon an effort that saw him tie for the NFL lead among tight ends with eight touchdowns... READ MORE

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