Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Versatile Players Help Bucs Form Initial 53-Man Roster

The Bucs split their first 53-man roster evenly between offense and defense and were able to play with the positional numbers on defense thanks to versatile players like Deone Bucannon and Devante Bond

View photos of the Buccaneers' 53-man roster.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have formed their first 53-man regular-season roster under Head Coach Bruce Arians, making a total of 37 moves on Friday and Saturday. In between, the Buccaneers swung a trade with Pittsburgh to add offensive line depth in the form of fourth-year tackle Jerald Hawkins. The "final" 53-man roster is anything but final – changes could come as soon as Sunday as General Manager Jason Licht and his staff comb through the longest waiver wire of the year – but it is still the general shape of what Arians' first squad will look like.

The 53-man roster resulting from Saturday's moves includes only three running backs as the team went deeper at tight end and wide receiver. The deepest position is the offensive line, with nine players, unless one chooses to lump the inside and outside linebackers together, which would be a group of 10. Alternately, one could put the defensive linemen and outside linebackers together to comprise the front line, and that would also make a group of 10. Indeed, the versatility of such players as Devante Bond, Deone Bucannon and Patrick O'Connor gave the Bucs' some flexibility of numbers at several positions.

The oldest player on the roster is Demar Dotson, the 33-year old starting right tackle. He is one of just three players on the active roster aged 30 or more, joining defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh (32) and safety Darian Stewart (31). Jason Pierre-Paul, who is 30, is on the reserve/non-football injury list. The youngest player on the roster is rookie linebacker Devin White, who won't turn 22 until next February. White is one of eight rookies the Bucs' kept, including seven of their eight draft picks. The only undrafted rookie to make the initial 53-man roster is guard Zack Bailey.

Here's how the 53-man roster breaks down, with the players listed alphabetically at each position (rookies marked with an asterisk):

Quarterbacks (3): Blaine Gabbert, Ryan Griffin, Jameis Winston

Running Backs (3): Peyton Barber, Ronald Jones, Dare Ogunbowale

Wide Receivers (6): Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Scotty Miller*, Breshad Perriman, Justin Watson, Bobo Wilson

Tight Ends (4): Antony Auclair, Cameron Brate, O.J. Howard, Tanner Hudson

Offensive Linemen (9): Zack Bailey*, Caleb Benenoch, Alex Cappa, Demar Dotson, Jerald Hawkins, Ryan Jensen, Ali Marpet, Donovan Smith, Earl Watford

Defensive Linemen (6): Beau Allen, Will Gholston, Rakeem Nunez-Roches, Patrick O'Connor, Ndamukong Suh, Vita Vea

Outside Linebackers (4): Shaquil Barrett, Demone Harris, Carl Nassib, Anthony Nelson*

Inside Linebackers (6): Devante Bond, Deone Bucannon, Jack Cichy, Lavonte David, Kevin Minter, Devin White*

Cornerbacks (5): Carlton Davis, Jamel Dean, Vernon Hargreaves, Sean Murphy-Bunting, M.J. Stewart

Safeties (4): Mike Edwards*, Justin Evans, Darian Stewart, Jordan Whitehead

Specialists (3): Matt Gay* (kicker), Bradley Pinion (punter), Zach Triner (long-snapper)

The roster splits evenly between offense and defense, with 25 on each side and the final three spots going to specialists. As for that aforementioned flexibility, Bucannon can play safety as well as linebacker, which may have been part of the decision to only keep four safeties. Bond has shown he can rush the passer off the edge and might be better classified as an outside linebacker at this point, which would give the Bucs five each inside and outside. And O'Connor is listed as a defensive lineman but can also come off the edge.

Eighteen of the 53 players on the roster are new to the Buccaneers in 2019; the other 35 were either on the active roster, the practice squad or injured reserve at the end of last year. The newcomers include such veterans as Bucannon, Ndamukong Suh and Shaq Barrett. The two newest additions to make the team were Hawkins, obviously, and 10th-year safety Darian Stewart, who signed on August 13. The Bucs' entire trio of specialists – kicker Matt Gay, punter Bradley Pinion and long-snapper Zach Triner – is comprised of 2019 additions.

Besides Bailey and the seven 2019 draftees, there are 7 players who have made an NFL Week One roster for the first time: O'Connor, Demone Harris, Tanner Hudson, Dare Ogunbowale, Zach Triner and Bobo Wilson.

**

The countdown to season kickoff is on! The Bucs are kicking off the NFL's 100th season with a FREE Tim McGraw pregame concert for all fans with a ticket to the home opener on Sept. 8! Get your tickets today.

Advertising