2014 Buccaneers Draft Picks:
Round 1: Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M
Round 2: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington
Round 3: No Pick
Round 4: No Pick
Round 5: Charles Sims, RB, West Virginia
Round 5: Kadeem Edwards, G, Tennessee State
Round 5: Kevin Pamphile, T, Purdue
Round 6: Robert Herron, WR, Wyoming
Darrelle Revis, Jeremy Zuttah, Erik Lorig, Donald Penn, Tim Wright, Mike Williams, Davin Joseph, Dejoda Watson, Conner Barth.
Josh McCown, Michael Johnson, Alterraun Verner, Clinton McDonald, Brandon Myers, Louis Murphy, Anthony Collins, Evan Dietrich-Smith, Patrick Murray and Logan Mankins.
New offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford has a lot of new weapons to play with including Josh McCown who new coach Lovie Smith named the starting quarterback. It was clear that the biggest improvement needing to be made was the offense when the Bucs selected all offensive players in the 2014 NFL Draft. The offense is finally healthier and a lot taller. This team has what they call the "Dunkaneers" who include Josh McCown, Vincent Jackson, Mike Evans and Austin Seferian-Jenkins. Doug Martin is back and looking to return to rookie form.
The Bucs have a surplus of other great running backs behind Martin including Bobby Rainey, Mike James and Charles Sims. The wide receiving group is also much improved. Vincent Jackson, the leading receiver in 2013, is back and looking to be the top target. Mike Evans is looking to be a threat along with Chris Owusu and Louis Murphy. The Bucs decided they have too many tight ends so they traded Tim Wright. Austin Seferian-Jenkins should be the top target. Brandon Myers could possibly be a threat and Luke Stocker has had a great preseason.
The Offensive Line has been completely revamped with Evan Dietrich-Smith as the new starting center. This offensive line had some serious questions which is why the front office brought in Pro-Bowler Logan Mankins from the Patriots. Overall, this should be a productive offense. The key is for everyone to stay healthy.
Former Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier is the new defensive coordinator. This defense should be using more of a Tampa-2 style. Look for that this season. Gerald McCoy is the leader of this defense and should be a candidate for Defensive Player of the Year as well as a Pro-Bowler. He's the heart and soul of the team. Adrian Clayborn, Michael Johnson and Clinton McDonald who all three had a great preseason start near McCoy.
Linebacker Lavonte David could also be a candidate. He is a key to the defensive success as well. The play caller on defense will be Mason Foster, a linebacker out of the University of Washington. Foster finished 2nd in tackles on the team with 92 in 2013. The Bucs also re-signed Jonathan Casillas; he'll be the other starting linebacker.
The Bucs parted with Darrelle Revis at the end of last season but costless-agent acquisition Alterraun Verner looks to fill that hole. He was injured during the preseason but was able to play some in the third game. Jonathan Backs will start opposite of him. Mike Jenkins has been injured throughout the preseason making zero appearances for the team. He probably won't be playing against the Carolina Panthers. Leonard Johnson won the job as the nickel-back. Finally, Dashon Goldson and Mark Barron will be the starting safeties. Goldson will try to avoid the fines and the suspensions this season. All in all, this defense should be one of the best in the league in 2014.
Kevin O'Dea is the new Special Teams Coordinator. This area is definitely the biggest question for 2014. The kick returner position is something the Bucs still haven't figured out. It was thought that Solomon Patton would be the guy but he ended up on the practice squad. There's a great chance however with Charles Sims being placed on the injured reserve that Solomon Patton may be the guy. Solomon Patton has done the best job so far in preseason with the return duties. Bobby Rainey is listed on the depth chart as the man though so who really knows what will happen.
Doing the punting this season will once again be Michael Koenen. He performed very well during the preseason and the Buccaneers are hoping he can be like that all season long. Connor Barth who missed last season with an ACL tear was set to be that guy. However he was in competition with the undrafted rookie Patrick Murray. When it was all said and done, Patrick Murray won the job. He could also serve as a punter if called upon.