The Tampa Bay Buccaneers believe they've been stockpiling game-changing talent in the last few years. NFL players seem to agree.
For the third straight year, NFL Network is using the offseason to count down the league's current Top 100 Players, as voted on by NFL players themselves. Beginning on the evening of the third day of the 2013 draft, and continuing every Thursday since, the Network has been revealing 10 names at a time, getting from 100 through 61 so far.
Among those first 40 players revealed, three have already been three current Buccaneers: safety Dashon Goldson at #96, defensive tackle Gerald McCoy at #92 and cornerback Darrelle Revis at #67. Tampa Bay is one of five teams – also Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington – that has already placed three players on the list. Obviously, there are still 60 names to go, and some of the NFL's greatest stars still to be unveiled, but it's certainly an encouraging start for the Buccaneers.
And it's about to get better.
NFL Network is set to unveil the players ranked #51-60 on Thursday night, beginning at 8:00 p.m. ET. As usual, the Network is keeping the specific names and rankings under wraps until its show airs. However, it has shared this particular bit of news with the Bucs: Two of the next 10 players wear Buccaneer red and pewter. That means five of the first 50 men on the list will be Buccaneer players.
The list of potential candidates has grown shorter since the reveals of Goldson, McCoy and Revis. Still, the Bucs had the NFL's ninth-ranked offense in 2012 and the league's top-ranked run defense. That indicates that there is still a handful of Buccaneer players who might have drawn the attention and respect of their NFL peers last fall. Tune in Thursday night to find out who the next two Bucs on the list may be.
As the Top 100 list is revealed, fans can also get involved in the ranking fun. Here on NFL.com, you can vote for the better player in a series of head-to-head matchups and eventually come up with your own top 10 list.
The Bucs have been prominently featured on NFL Network this week. The sixth installment of the Project Revis series, with correspondent Andrea Kremer following Revis' progression through rehab, aired on Monday night on NFL Network. The seventh installment will air on Tuesday night during the Network's "Total Access" show, which begins at 7:00 p.m. ET.