The 53-Man Roster Projection

August 30th, 2022

Bucs GM Jason Licht.

Yesterday the Bucs made a handful of cuts as they prepare to slice the roster down to the mandatory-53 by this afternoon. The roster has to be turned into the NFL at 4 p.m.

Jenna Laine of ESPN posted her projected roster and it has a surprise or two.

Yes, most Bucs fans are looking at the wide receiver group. Who stays? Who goes? Well, the Bucs, in the eyes of Laine, will have two new receivers by the time most folks make it home from work.

We all know about Julio Jones. That’s a no-brainer. But the second receiver? Laine has Deven Thompkins. Now this is an interesting pick. The undrafted rookie had a nice training camp. In the past week, maybe week and a half, Thompkins has really picked up his game and Joe actually believes Thompkins has nosed himself up the ladder to pass Jaelon Darden.

(But Joe still believes Scotty Miller had as good if not better camp than Darden. From what Joe hears, that is not a view shared by Bucs types.)

If this does happen it would be cool for Thompkins, who played for Utah State. Thompkins is from Fort Myers. And yes, if Thompkins stays, that means Breshad Perriman and Miller have to pack their bags.

Laine also has the Bucs keeping four tight ends so yes, she believes Ko Kieft makes the squad.

At linebacker Laine projects a bit of a surprise. She has Olakunle Fatukasi edging out Grant Stuard. Yes, Fatukasi, a Schiano Man (Rutgers), has flashed in camp, no question. Stuard is a damn good special teams player and the Bucs special teams aren’t special. As recently as Sunday, Bucs coach Todd Bowles was moaning about special teams. So bouncing Stuard would surprise Joe.

You can see Laine’s full 53-man roster projection right here.

35 Responses to “The 53-Man Roster Projection”

  1. lambeau Says:

    Jenna’s behind a pay wall.

  2. DG060 Says:

    Why is the special teams coach still employed by the Bucs? We have sucked bad for years. And this year looks like no exception.

  3. nick houllis Says:

    We’ve only had one good special teams coordinator, one Richard Biscaccia (hope I spelled it right) For those too young to remember, every Bucs game started out with a required mention “The Bucs have never returned a kickoff for a TD in their history… then we finally did in 2007 and did it a few times in 07-08. since then, were right back to infamous return stats.

  4. Defense Rules Says:

    Uhhh, I must’ve missed something Joe. When I clicked on the links for Jenna’s projection I got “Continue reading this article and more from top writers, for only $9.99/mo”. Hope they’re paying YOU for that, because Jenna’s projection isn’t worth $10 a month to me.

    As far as what you wrote, I hope that Bucs keep Thompkins, Kieft & Fatukasi, they’ve all shown excellent promise. Still think they’ll keep Scotty though (and go with 7 WRs).

  5. Joe Says:

    Uhhh, I must’ve missed something Joe. When I clicked on the links for Jenna’s projection I got “Continue reading this article and more from top writers, for only $9.99/mo”. Hope they’re paying YOU for that, because Jenna’s projection isn’t worth $10 a month to me.

    Some people subscribe to publications that Joe links to, some people don’t. There is no way for Joe to predict who buys what.

  6. lambeau Says:

    Greg Aumon also has Fatukasi, Darden, THompkins, and Kieft.

  7. Defense Rules Says:

    DG060 … ‘Why is the special teams coach still employed by the Bucs?’

    Wondered the same thing myself more than once. BA was very loyal to his long-time coaches; I get that. He (like Bowles) also didn’t let his starters play S/Ts (thankfully given our injury history).

    I’m not so sure though that Keith Armstrong & his assistants are bad coaches. He’s having to man our cover units with depth players who have very limited previous S/Ts experience it seems. And there’s been a LOT of turnover in the bottom of our roster these past 3 years. Not to mention that the really strong S/Ts’ leaders (guys like Russell Shepard & Ryan Smith don’t seem to exist right now). Put it all together and they spell … ‘Oh oh’.

  8. Joe Says:

    ‘Why is the special teams coach still employed by the Bucs?’

    Kacy Rodgers indirectly explained why back in the spring.

  9. B-Rad Says:

    She also has Bradley Pinion making the team as punter so not sure how much insight she has!

  10. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I have felt that Thompkins would make the team for a while……who he bumps is a bit more of a mystery.

  11. Hodad Says:

    Miller might have had a good camp, but he had two big drops in the games. Joe, Kieft made the team. They need his blocking, that’s why they drafted him, and he’s delivered on that front. He was brought in for that sole purpose, and hasn’t disappointed . He’s a lock.

  12. BucsFan81 Says:

    I don’t see how Darden stays he has not looked good during the pre season games.

  13. Joe Says:

    I don’t see how Darden stays he has not looked good during the pre season games.

    Unless it is a massive smokescreen, Bucs types have a hard (ahem) time walking straight in the morning they love Darden so much. Wish someone there would sit Joe down and demonstrate on film why they heavy pant over him so badly.

  14. SB~LV Says:

    Been banging his name for a while now, he was my annual underdog TC player this year.
    It would be a first if he makes it !

  15. SB~LV Says:

    Agree with the Grant Stuart thing too, he is great on ST but could never be a legitimate LB back up

  16. #8 Says:

    Sorry, Joe doesn’t believe in publishing more than a small percentage of someone else’s work in this space, like a paragraph or two. –Joe

  17. Maniac Buc Says:

    Joe still beating the “Scotty had a better camp than Darden drum” that literally no one else who has been at training camp, or literally no one else on Earth who knows even a lick about football shares. Joe just doesn’t like Darden for what ever reason. We know why people don’t like Darden. It’s because the emergence of actual good players mean a guy who is no good like Scotty can no longer be gifted a roster spot by default. For the first time, he has had to actually earn it. Suggesting Scotty had as good or a better camp than Darden is literally insane.

  18. D Says:

    Although Stuard looked lost on a couple plays in preseason, I thought he looked faster overall. His prowess on special teams is too valuable for such a weak group. I think he stays.

  19. Maniac Buc Says:

    Joe said “ Unless it is a massive smokescreen, Bucs types have a hard (ahem) time walking straight in the morning they love Darden so much.”

    So are you suggesting that something I been saying for months, well ahead of the folks who actually cover the club, is actually true, even when people here was telling me I didn’t really know what I was talking about???

  20. lambeau Says:

    OJ Howard available!

  21. D-Rome Says:

    OJ Howard available!

    It’s no surprise. He’s a bust.

    Scoot should be off the roster. It makes so sense that the Bucs would smokescreen for the 5th and 6th receivers on the roster. They like Darden better for good reason. Thanks for the memories, Scoot!

  22. Marine Buc Says:

    Darden and Thompkins can return punts and KOs… Miller is a one trick pony.

    Fatukasi is better than Stuard on defense and just as good on special teams…

    No big surprises for me. But I hope both Miller and Stuard can still be brought back on the PS.

  23. PassingThru Says:

    I didn’t think OJ Howard was going to survive in Buffalo either, that was predictable the day he signed. Though it can take time (easily one year) to recover from an Achilles tear, and even then you lose explosiveness. I didn’t get the impression that he was hard at work rehabbing. Those picture of him working out with wooden weights at Tulum, Mexico were a dead giveaway. Tulum is where you go to party and hangout with the Instafamous crowd.

  24. August 1976 Buc Says:

    Scotty stepped up on the Frozen tundra of Lambeau field, in the NFC Title Game, and made a massive play, that shocked GB and they never recovered.
    Is Scotty great, no, but he performed well in the biggest moment. Darden has not shown anything close to that and the way he was talked about last year by the Coaches.
    We all saw the “deer in the headlights” kind of play from Darden last year.
    His kick returns looked like someone running in the mud so many times, not good when you were drafted to return kick returns, and to take the top off of defenses.
    Me like many other Buc fans were wondering what was going on with him last year.
    So if anything Scotty stepped up and proved to be trusted on the way to the Super Bowl Championship, and Darden has only shown in real games, that he could not be trusted.

    To be continued. I hope Darden can step up, time will tell.

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  25. John Sinclear Says:

    Interesting – Thompkins is from Ft. Myers, but the Ft. Myers Snooze-Press has written not one single word about him! Probably because he’s not a Dullphin!

  26. PassingThru Says:

    Thompkins made an unwise play on Special Teams during preseason game #3 by not calling for a fair catch. He got absolutely clobbered. While that was a poor decision, what impressed me is that he didn’t cough up the ball despite his diminutive size. That part impressed me quite a bit.

    From what I’ve seen, I’d take Thompkins over Darden. He’s a better receiver and despite that play, possibly a better return man.

  27. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Is Ron Jones next?

  28. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Marine Buc Says:
    August 30th, 2022 at 8:55 am
    Darden and Thompkins can return punts and KOs…
    Darden made that Dare O guy look like Devin Hester last year.

  29. Coburn Says:

    Yeah I remember that passing thru.. was like why isn’t he doing a fair catch! And then wow how did he manage to hold on?

  30. SOEbuc Says:

    Darden and Thompkins over Miller and Perriman. Scotty and Perriman are in contract years and that shouldn’t be resigned and free up some cap space for OL depth or possibly Gronk if Tom asks for help to make a playoff run.


    Maniac Buc,

    No offense, i know you see to be a huge fan, I just don’t happen to ever see anything special with Darden. But I am certainly fine with him staying, and root for him to succeed.

    Scotty Miller?…. I am sort of ok either way. I appreciate his big moments with us, but have been rather frustrated with his performance since then, other than as a gunner.

    For me personally?…. the guy I really like is Deven Thompkins. That is who I would choose to keep, of the 3.



  33. Dooley Says:

    Tyler Johnson cut, and Grant Stuard traded, hold on to your butts!

  34. Brandon Says:

    $9.99 a month to read ESPN’s plant based slop? Not in a million years.

  35. BucsFanSince1976 Says:

    If you are looking for a lack of elusiveness, not much burst , and no power to break tackles-Darden is the right guy for that job.