It’s interesting to see what opponents of the Buccaneers think about the team and its players.
On Monday, Falcons.com managing editor Matthew Tabeek published his list of “12 Players Who Will Have the Biggest Impact on the NFC South Race in 2017”.
There’s no surprise here a member of Atlanta’s own NFL franchise was named number one. Matt Ryan expectedly took the distinction here.
However, of interest to Bucs fans is the placing of quarterback Jameis Winston, wide receiver Mike Evans, and one more member of Tampa’s roster which may be a bit of a surprise.
Of Winston, Tabeek wrote,
“If the Bucs can give Winston a little time in the pocket – and he makes better decisions with the ball – Tampa Bay could easily improve on their nine wins from a season ago and be in the mix for a division crown.”
We all know the Bucs’ gunslinger needs to make some better decisions with his passes from time-to-time.
What’s more interesting here is the fact Winston was listed behind Cam Newton with his impact coming in as the third highest.
This is up for debate of course, but I’ve already weighed in with my quarterback rankings earlier this off-season.
Coming in 8th on Tabeek’s list was Buccaneers receiver Mike Evans. The only receiver to come in on the list ahead of Evans was Falcons star Julio Jones.
While giving the Bucs’ tall receiver credit for his production is easy, he also mentioned the additions of DeSean Jackson and O.J. Howard.
So, it’s not just fans of the franchise who can see the impact these acquisitions could and should have on Tampa’s offense in 2017.
The Surprise Name
One defender from the Buccaneers made it on this list. You’d probably assume Gerald McCoy, Lavonte David, Kwon Alexander or maybe Brent Grimes to be the name.
Instead, it’s defensive end Noah Spence who landed on the enemy’s radar here.
As the 10th most impactful player in this year’s divisional race, Spence was praised for finishing the season strong despite a torn labrum among other issues in his shoulder.
Toughness isn’t the only thing Spence brings to the team, and Mike Smith will be hoping for some strong sack numbers out of his pass rushing specialist.
So, these are the three Bucs names which landed on Atlanta’s own list of impactful players this year.
How do you feel knowing the opposition is seeing Spence in much the same light our own staff is?
Check out the list and let me know if you think he missed anyone or improperly ranked one of them. Find me in the comments or on social media to discuss.
(Photo Credit: Bucs Nation)