Pictures of the Buccaneers' safeties.
One of the best position battles in this year's training camp will be at the back of the secondary, where four obvious candidates will be vying for two spots. It would not be a surprise to see the Buccaneers end up with any two-man combination from the foursome of Chris Conte, Justin Evans, Keith Tandy and J.J. Wilcox. The good news – for the team if not necessarily the two strong-willed competitors who do not win those starting spots – is that this competition will also spit out some very good ready-made depth.
The Buccaneers commonly carry four safeties on the 53-man roster, though that number can go up or down by one depending upon special teams duties and corner-safety positional flexibility. To that latter point, the Bucs were seen giving cornerbacks Josh Robinson and Cody Riggs some snaps at safety during the recent mini-camp.
The Bucs could go deeper than four at safety without much trouble, either with a corner conversion like Robinson or with first-year man Isaiah Johnson. The Buccaneers were obviously high on the former undrafted free agent out of South Carolina – they kept him on the practice squad for all 17 weeks in 2016, and Koetter spoke highly of him near the end of the season. It wouldn't be a surprise to see Johnson make the leap from the practice squad to the 53 in his second year. Rounding out the safety position is Appalachian State's Alex Gray, an undrafted free agent who certainly looks the part at a solid 6-2 and 220 pounds.
The starting lineup at safety might be a mystery right now, but the overall depth of the position is very easy to see.