View some select shots of the Buccaneer's running backs.
Just weeks before training camp is set to begin, Pro Football Focus has taken on the task of ranking each position group for all 32 teams. PFF has released three positions so far – offensive line, wide receivers and running backs – with the Buccaneers finding themselves near the top in two categories.
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The goal was to find the best group in the league, not necessarily the best player. Based on that criteria, PFF believes the Bucs have the NFL's No. 2 running back unit and No. 9 wide receiver unit.
Doug Martin, who finished No. 2 in the NFL in rushing with 1,402 yards in 2015, certainly helps the Bucs' case at running back. But Charles Sims' ability to catch the ball out of the backfield – he finished second on the team in receptions and receiving yards - has been key. Additionally, both backs were ranked in the top five in the league in elusive rating by PFF.
View some select shots of the Buccaneer's wide receivers.
At wide receiver, the Buccaneers have two big-bodies in Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans. Just once during his 11-year career has Jackson played all 16 games and fallen of 1,000 receiving yards. Evans has a similar streak, accumulating 1,000 yards or more in each of his first two seasons.
"As quarterback Jameis Winston grows, his ability to throw the ball to two big, talented receivers in Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans should be huge for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' offense." PFF wrote. "19th and 23rd in terms of 2015 overall grades, respectively, Evans and Jackson have impressed in consecutive seasons. Jackson struggled with injury in 2015, catching just 33 passes, but averaged 16.5 yards per reception to make the most of his targets.
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"Evans averaged 16.3 yards per reception himself, racking up 1,206 yards in his second NFL season. He'll want to improve on finding the end zone more in 2016—he recorded 12 touchdowns in 2014, but just three last season. Dropped passes is another area that Evans needs to mend, with 15 drops from 89 catchable targets in 2015. If he can fix those issues, he can really impress in 2016."