Camp is finally here and with that comes position battles
With Training Camp finally opening for the Bucs, it is time to take a look at some position battles that the team will be having this camp/preseason. Every year, there are a few positions that have spots up for grabs and this campaign is no different.
Starting QB Battle
This one is obvious and has been and will continue to be talked about a ton so I won’t get too much into it but everyone will have their eyes on quarterbacks Baker Mayfield and Kyle Trask this summer.
While it appears that Mayfield has the upper hand in the competition at the moment, I believe the Bucs will start the best player for the job. If Trask plays better than Mayfield in camp and the preseason, Tampa Bay could have a tough decision on their hands.
The top three spots for Tampa Bay when it comes to the wide receiver position is pretty straight forward with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Russell Gage all having solidified spots for themselves but what about behind them?
In the offseason, the Bucs lost Scotty Miller in free agency and they also did not re-sign Julio Jones. That leaves some open spots in the receiver room. Tampa Bay signed veteran David Moore who is familiar with offensive coordinator Dave Canales from their time together in Seattle so he could have a solid case to stick on the roster. They also have young players with some experience like Deven Thompkins and Kaylon Geiger, but keep an eye on 6th round draft pick Trey Palmer who has a great size to speed combination.
These three guys could fill out the rest of the receiver room, but the team also has undrafted free agents with some upside like Rakim Jarrett and Kade Warner. It’s safe to say that the receiver room is going to look a lot different in 2023.
Battle for the Starting Guard Spot
The Bucs have a logjam of sorts at the guard position and while that means there is solid depth at the position, it also means there will be a lot of players battling for the same position.
With Ryan Jensen back in the fold at center, Robert Hainsey moves back over to guard and joins the likes of Matt Feiler, Nick Leverett, Aaron Stinnie and Cody Mauch as names vying for starting positions. That is five players battling it out for two spots along the interior of the offensive line. It will be interesting to see how things shake out with this group in training camp and the preseason.
Who will be the 3rd Corner?
This offseason, Tampa Bay said goodbye to Sean Murphy-Bunting and with that, there is now a hole in the defense at the third cornerback spot. With Carlton Davis and Jamel Dean holding down the fort as the top two corners, the Bucs will need to find a solution to their third corner question.
Zyon McCollum is a name to watch here as he is entering his second season after being a 4th round pick in last year’s draft. He got some time at corner last season but struggled at times. He was an impact special teamer, but Tampa Bay is likely hoping he can develop a bit more and take the reins as the third cornerback.
Other than McCollum, players like Dee Delaney, or 2023 6th round pick Josh Hayes figure to be in the competition for that corner spot but regardless of who it is, the Bucs will be gambling on a young player taking a step forward in 2023 at the cornerback position.
Camp battles are always fun to watch and see how they progress. The practices surely matter, but the big tests for these competitions will be the preseason games. Whoever is able to shine the most during those games are the ones most likely to earn a starting spot for this upcoming season.