Photos of defensive linemen on the Buccaneers' roster prior to the start of training camp.
More roster updates: Quarterbacks, Running Backs, Tight Ends, Wide Receivers, Offensive Linemen.Players: DT Quayshawne Buckley, DE Ryan Delaire, DE Larry English, DE T.J. Fatinikun, DE William Gholston, DE George Johnson, DT Caushaud Lyons, DT Gerald McCoy, DT Clinton McDonald, DT Henry Melton, DE Lawrence Sidbury, DE Jacquies Smith, DT Akeem Spence, DE George Uko, DE Jamal Young.
Coach: Joe Cullen
1. Gerald McCoy's the best in the business.
According to Pro Football Focus, a website dedicated to providing high-level statistics and analysis on the NFL, McCoy was the best pass-rushing defensive tackle in the league last year. The Bucs' defensive captain has made three-straight Pro Bowls and earned the No. 28 spot on NFL Network's Top 100 countdown.
2. Jacquies Smith is ready to take the next step.
Smith worked as a starting defensive end during the spring and is a front-runner to hold onto that position throughout training camp. After finishing second on the team in sacks in 2014 behind McCoy, Smith believes he is just getting started; in an interview with Buccaneers.com earlier in the spring, he said he believed he was a "double-digit sack guy." He fell just 3.5 sacks shy of that mark last year.
3. Henry Melton is a freak athlete.
Whenever McCoy is asked about Melton, he mentions how his new teammate played running back in college. Melton brings that athleticism to the interior line with McCoy, and has experience playing in Lovie Smith's defense after spending time with Smith in Chicago and most recently playing in Rod Marinelli's system in Dallas. Melton and McCoy, good friends, met at the Pro Bowl in 2012.
4. This isn't the same George Johnson.
Johnson played with the Buccaneers from 2010 to 2012 after going undrafted out of Rutgers, and spent 2012 to 2014 with the Vikings and Lions. He returned to Tampa this spring a much more polished player, according to Head Coach Lovie Smith. Johnson put together the best season of his career in 2014 with the Lions, taking down the opposing quarterback six times.
5. Jamal Young has his chance.
To say Young is raw might be an understatement. He was signed by the Bucs as an undrafted free agent after a brief stint at a junior college, and had never played serious football prior to that. He has intriguing size and speed though; he's 6-4, 220 pounds and a former Division I sprinter. It may be a long shot for Young to make the 53-man roster, but an impressive performance at training camp could land him on the practice squad and provide him some time to develop.