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How much "Luck" can Winston have as a rookie

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

In 2002 the Buccaneers did what all other 31 NFL teams want to do, they won the Super Bowl, however in 2015 they did the exact opposite, they were the worse team in football.  During the off-season following the 2013-2014 Season the Bucs tried to sign a veteran QB they thought could get them to the playoffs in Josh McCown, and it failed.  McCown had a QB rating of 70.5, and completed only 56.3% of his passes. In short, the McCown experiment didn't work, and the Bucs drafted a QB, who really likes crab legs, Jameis Winston.  Can Winston turn things around? It's worth an examination. 

Bucs Offense

On offense it wasn't all bad for the Bucs, they did have two 1,000 yard Receivers. One of whom was a rookie, Mike Evans.  Partnering with Evans is Vincent Jackson, giving the Bucs two 6 foot 5 WR's and more importantly big targets for Winston. I point this out because there was a difference in production in Winston's 2013 and 2014 college seasons. In 2013, he threw 40 Touchdowns and only 10 interceptions. In that 2013 season, he had a WR by the name of Kelvin Benjamin who was 6 foot  5. Benjamin had similar rookie stats to Mike Evans, leading me to believe Winston will enjoy throwing to Benjamin.  In 2014 Winston had 25 Touchdowns and 18 interceptions at Florida State, if he has those numbers as a rookie with Evans and Vincent Jackson he will probably be rookie of year, and he has a shot to do it because he has the talent, and plays in a weak division.  

Bucs Defense

On defense the Bucs have a stalwart player playing the defensive line in Gerald McCoy.  From his Defensive Tackle position he had 35 tackles, 7 for loss, and 8.5 sacks. Playing behind McCoy is one of the best young Linebackers in football, he's racked up 430 tackles in his first 3 years.  Despite those two, the Bucs still only ranked 25th in both scoring defense and total yards per game.  The Bucs made the decision to let go of former Pro-Bowl safety Dashon Goldson go, and while that may sound like a loss, it's not.  According to PFF Dashon Goldson never graded out positive in any game last season.  He was essentially the worse player on the defense.  There will be improved play in the secondary because he's gone, simply it's addition by subtraction.  A player to watch on the defense is Johnathon Banks who had 3 interceptions as a rookie in 2013, and 4 interceptions to go along with 11 Pass Break ups. I'm not saying he will remind Bucs fans and NFL fans alike of Ronde Barber, but he can play.  

Fantasy Players To Watch

If you take a Bucs player in the first 2 rounds, I hope your league performs some sort of torture on the last place finish who will likely be you.  There simply isn't a Bucs player who should go in the first three rounds.  Even if you play IDP (Individual Defensive Player) you'd be taking someone before JJ Watt goes for that role, and that's insane.  With that said, the Bucs aren't a complete disappointment for fantasy football players, one player who should be help Fantasy Players avoid being in the "Sacko Bowl" and that's Mike Evans.  As a rookie Mike Evans had 68 Receptions, 1,051 receiving yards, and 12 Touchdowns. This was after having zero Touchdowns during the first 3 games.  Plain and simple, Evans will score a lot of Touchdowns and score you a lot of points.  If no one reaches for him, and he's there during round 3 of your draft take him. 

Overall Outlook

Overall the Bucs are looking at a top 12 draft pick again.  On paper I see 6 winnable games for the Bucs, most of them at home.  Unfortunately for the Bucs, winnable doesn't always equal a win.  Now, if Winston can have a rookie year like Andrew Luck, then my outlook goes out the window and the Bucs might make the playoffs. Winston has the overall talent for it, and the Wide Receivers to get it done, but the rest of the supporting cast is very, well, Buccaneers like.




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