The Tampa Bay Buccaneers know that the 2022 season is a huge opportunity for them. Superstar quarterback Tom Brady doesn’t have many years left in him, meaning that the window to add another Super Bowl is closing quickly. General manager Jason Licht has done a fantastic job of building the roster to reflect their championship ambitions, but there are a couple of moves that would help complete their title-contending roster.
With that said, here are two moves the Buccaneers must make to complete their team after the 2022 NFL Draft.
Two Buccaneers Roster Moves to Complete Their Team
1. Sign Carlos Dunlap
The Buccaneers are known for their ferocious front seven on defense. But that area of their team has regressed this offseason. Jason Pierre-Paul is no longer with the team, leaving second-year player Joe Tryon-Shoyinka to start at one edge position. Tryon-Shoyinka, a 2021 first-round pick, didn’t do much to inspire confidence in his rookie year. He only notched four sacks, and a couple of those were essentially handed to him. It doesn’t help that the Buccaneers don’t have any good options behind Tryon-Shoyinka on the depth chart.
That’s where Dunlap comes in. The former Cincinnati Bengals standout is coming off of an 8.5-sack season, one of his best in recent memory. Dunlap was easily one of the better defenders on the Seattle Seahawks last year, but he is 33. However, he wouldn’t have to play a big role on this Tampa Bay team. Tryon-Shoyinka deserves a starting shot, and the Bucs will give it to him. Dunlap would be able to play the role of a rotational pass-rusher while giving Tampa Bay a solid backup at a key position.
2. Sign Brandon Williams
This signing would be somewhat similar to the Dunlap one. Tampa Bay’s starting defensive line has been fantastic. The depth behind it is lacking though, particularly at defensive tackle. The Buccaneers are yet to re-sign DT Ndamukong Suh, which would be a big blow to their run defense.
Besides rookie Logan Hall, there isn’t a single solid player backing up starter Vita Vea. That’s especially important because Vea has dealt with injury woes his entire career. The University of Washington product has missed extended periods of time in years past due to a variety of injuries, including a broken leg and an MCL sprain. It’s extremely unlikely that Vea makes it through the season without missing some time.
Williams would provide the perfect backup to Vea. He’s obviously not the same caliber of player any longer. But, he fills the same role. Both guys are primarily run defenders who take on blockers so their teammates can make plays. Even at 33, Williams is completely capable of doing that. His game is based entirely on strength, so it’s hard to see him regressing all that much this offseason.
Williams also fills a bench role that the Buccaneers need. All the backup defensive tackles on the Bucs are more suited as 4-3 tackles, not nose tackles like Vea. Even Hall, the highly regarded rookie, is only 6’6″ and 283 pounds. It’s nearly impossible to replicate the size that Vea brings to the table, but Williams does a pretty good job in his own right. His presence would allow Tampa Bay to be sure their run defense ranks inside the top five in the NFL no matter what happens to Vea.