Do Bucs Have 3 Of The Best 8 Players In The NFC South?

May 17th, 2023

Joe is enjoying how rambling, uneducated types are convinced the Bucs will be back in the basement of the NFC South and challenge for next year’s top pick in the draft.

It’s so annoying it’s almost amusing. And that’s the sentiment through many corners of the nation, including a couple of angry bars in Largo and Bradenton.

Two thoughtful and intelligent NFL analysts, former Bucs QB Chris Simms and PFT Live co-host Mike Florida of, seem to think the Bucs have too much talent for that kind of chatter.

Simms and Florio engaged in an exercise to name the best non-quarterbacks in the NFC South.

Among their top-6 were Mike Evans and Tristan Wirfs, joined by edge rusher Brian Burns of the Panthers, beastly Falcons guard Christ Lindstrom and running backs Alvin Kamara and Bijan Robinson.

After saying they wouldn’t name more than six, Falcons cornerback A.J. Terrell was the next guy mentioned followed by Vita Vea.

So that’s three Bucs in the top-eight division players — yet so many folks somehow think the Bucs’ quarterback situation is so ugly Tampa Bay can’t compete with the likes of Falcons QB Desmond Ridder and rookie Panthers QB Bryce Young.

For the record, Joe would take Bucs safety Antoine Winfield, Jr. ahead of Terrell, who Joe doesn’t think is better than his Bucs counterpart, Carlton Davis.

Simms and Florio seemed to have three more honorable mention NFC South players firmly on their lost of best non-quarterbacks, including Chris Godwin, Panthers defensive tackle Derrick Brown and Saints receiver Chris Olave.

Joe wonders what Devin White thinks of this list?

34 Responses to “Do Bucs Have 3 Of The Best 8 Players In The NFC South?”

  1. Bill in Seminole Says:

    Yes, we have very good to excellent players on our roster; but, we still need someone who can lead the team on the field, and throw the ball to Evans/Godwin without throwing to the other team. The QB position is still a big question mark.

  2. sasquatch Says:

    Yeah, ummm, hey Devin, have you noticed how nobody thinks you’re as good as you do?

    Jeez, I wish we could trade this guy.

  3. Dewey Selmon Says:

    Not sure how you can select a RB who has never taken a snap in the NFL. I think Gibbs/Detroit will have a better statistical year than Robinson. I realize Gibbs isn’t in the NFCS.

  4. Pickgrin Says:

    Wirfs, Jensen, Evans, Godwin, Vea, Barrett, LD54, White, Winfield – that’s 9 Pro Bowlers. + Davis and Dean who are both Pro Bowl worthy…. = 11 really good players.

    HALF of our starting lineup are very good++ players.

    And so many are talking about 4 or 5 wins…. SMH

  5. Nicholas Carlson Says:

    The only only only only reason you shouldn’t be annoyed is a big one. Past performance is the best predictor of future performance. And Todd Bowles’s past performance is really bad. I hope he suddenly and miraculously becomes a winning coach. But all I’ve got is hope…

  6. Duane Says:

    Most outsiders view the loss of Brady as a net negative. People that follow the team are banking on addition by subtraction. The truthy likely lies somewhere in between. Even if we had all 8 of the best players in the division, not one of them is a quarterback, so what are we even talking about? Is there an award given to a mediocre team that exceeds expectations and still misses the playoffs? The fun and excitement should be in watching the actual games played, and not to carry water for a team in transition still trying to figure it out.

  7. Smashsquatch Says:

    Bucs will surprise. I see more than 6.5 wins this year. The loss of Brady is being factored too heavily. He looked bad, in a bad offense, with a shredded oline, and terrible play calling. Defenses will no longer be able to rush to a fix spot, and predict plays with certainty. This is being overlooked by many of the pundits.

  8. Buc king Says:

    I’m really hoping these rookies get their feet wet this year and contribute..
    If we can hit on the dline and fix that..and get a serviceable oline will be headed in the right direction.
    It’s not crazy to think we can win the south or wild card but I honestly have no clue if the qbs will play strong enough obviously I hope they do.
    Depends if we can develop a run gane to take pressure of the qb.
    I’m hoping a new o cord will make the offense harder to predict.

  9. Voice of Truth Says:

    Continue to ignore the past and you will be the victim of the future

    We had all those guys and TB12 and had a losing record

    The issue is the HC not the talent

  10. dmatt Says:

    Shame on those pundits who wish the worse for the Bucs. We have Pro Bowlers on both sides of the ball… Wirfs, Jensen, Evans, Godwin, Vea, Barrett, LDavid, DWhite, n Winfield n they still put us at the bottom of the barrel.smh We have a vet at qb who took his team to the playoffs n was in the running for rookie of the year n they still put us behind 2nd year n rookie qbs for Atlanta n Carolina.smh, again
    All Bucs players including rookies should play with a chip on their shoulder this year.

  11. seth b Says:

    Top 7*

    Kamara getting the full season suspension

  12. Usfbuc Says:

    Agree with the other here who think the primary issue is HC and QB. I am hopeful that last season’s performance was more on the OC and replacing him resolves our issues but it’s tough to look past Bowels history.

  13. Usfbuc Says:

    He had one good season with the Jets in his first year there and then after that terrible.

  14. Rod Munch Says:

    If you don’t have a quarterback, you don’t have a chance – short of having the 2002 Bucs defense.

    Vita, if he was a full time player, would no doubt be one of the best players in the NFL. But can you really give that title to a part-timer? I still hope the team was smart enough to sit down with him and tell him to drop some weight so he can play more than half the snaps. Also, for the people that blindly defend Vita, his college weight was 350, just look at him, he’s not 350 anymore, he’s probably pushing 380-390, losing 50 pounds would make him a full-time player and probably a better pass rusher. I like Vita, I want to see more of Vita, which is why I want him to stop with the Octo-bacon hamburgers, just dial it back to a triple decker and that weight will fly off.

  15. Pickgrin Says:

    Voice of Truth Says:
    We had all those guys and TB12 and had a losing record

    The issue is the HC not the talent

    Actually No – we didn’t have “all those guys”. Jensen was lost for the season day 2 of TC. Barrett was lost for the season early on. That’s the Pro Bowl leader of your OL and Pro Bowl best pass rusher. Plus Godwin was not himself for the first half+ of the season coming back from the ACL/MCL injury.

    TB12 was unfortunately more part of the problem than part of the solution in 2022. Completely immobile and unwilling to hold the ball for more than 2 seconds doesn’t work very well in the NFL regardless of talent at WR….. With no running game and Leftboob calling the plays – 18 points per game is what you wind up with – goat or no goat.

    Bucs offense will be greatly improved this year. We will run the ball effectively and up our ppg to at least 23.

    That combined with a likely top 10 Defense means 9 or 10 wins, and probably a playoff birth – and Bowles stays…. much to the dismay of goatflucker and so many others….

  16. HC Grover Says:

    The Miracle Bucs of 2023. Even better than the famous Mets. If they open with 5 straight wins that will teach us a lesson. Never count out HC/DC Super Coach.

  17. teacherman777 Says:

    They chose Bijan Robinson.

    He has never taken a snap in the NFL.

    Therefore, there entire top 10 is null void.


    Because they are morons.

  18. Rod Munch Says:

    HC Grover – I like Bowles as DC, but as an HC, he’s terrible and in over his head. Some guys just aren’t cut out to be headcoaches.

    But hey, that’s why you play the games. I really do not want to see a boring, dull, run first team that goes 5-12 – and I think that’s exactly what we’re going to see. But if that doesn’t happen I’ll gladly, and happily, take the verbal beatdown from all the Bowles Backers for doubting him.

    But I feel extremely confident that I will not be eating my words. Out of the last 7-season I picked the Bucs exact record in 6 of those years, only last year was I wrong, when I OVERESTIMATED Bowles and picked the team to go 10-7, which was still lower than anyone else I saw doing predictions. This year I’m still going back and forth between 5-12 and 6-11, but either way it’s under Vegas’ 6.5 win line.

  19. SlyPirate Says:

    Vea is definitely #3. I may put him #2.

    I wouldn’t trade Vea for anyone they listed in the top 6, except Wirfs (he’s on our team).

  20. Christopher Schiefen Says:

    Nobody in the division and almost nobody outside Philly and San Fran have their talent…people just don’t believe in Baker or Todd. Thing is, before he got hurt Baker had a better passer rating the year before than Tom last year, and if Canales is as good as he seems (why was he never promoted in Seattle though?), Todd’s D has proven it can beat the best offense. The core of the Super Bowl team is still here, & the architect of that team now has 2 drafts in the pipeline.

  21. Wayne perez Says:

    Thier all f#*king idiots we are a good team

  22. zzbucs Says:

    Blijan RObinson???? Geeeeezzzzz, the guy never step on an NFL stadium and is already a top 10????

    C´mmon Joe, stop quoting Florio, he is a Joker and always been, and I don´t give a damm how millionaire he is…..Last several years hess been converted to a gossip tablois robot…..

    Give me a break Joe please!!!

  23. Dooley Says:

    All this talk about top players and not one mention of Jake Camarda, smh emotional damage

  24. Obvious Says:

    Uneducated types? Yeah, we’ll see about that.

    And if All of us uneducated types (say like the ACTUAL GENIUSES in Vegas INCLUDED) are right and You’re WRONG…. What will that say about you?
    Get a good laugh now but with this coach and the qb situation, YOU are in for a Very Possible rude awakening concerning your education…

    BESIDES, I thought the goal was SUPER BOWLS! Not what you’re pitching.

    NOW. There is ONE possibility to your vision coming true. And that would be Kyle Trask! You’re backing Mayfield though and everybody knows that. So if that’s the case (Trask and not Mayfield), it’ll come with an ***.

    So for you Joe it’s Bowles and Mayfield. Sorry bud, I believe you’ve backed the wrong horses…
    We will see.

  25. 1#bucsfan Says:

    Seeing how they left out windfeild LVD n Godwin says it all right there. let people say what they want. I think the Bucs surprise many and end up being in the dance(playoffs) way to much talent. Yea we need a QB but we might have em.

  26. Defense Rules Says:

    Rod Munch … ‘Vita, if he was a full time player, would no doubt be one of the best players in the NFL. But can you really give that title to a part-timer?’

    And there-in lies the problem Rod: Vea isn’t nearly as impactful as he COULD BE, because he spends too much time OFF the field. And that’s got me really concerned for this year’s defense.

    Assuming that we don’t add any more DLinemen (but we might), here’s what our defensive front guys will probably look like (and their listed size):

    o (DL) Vea – 6’4″ & 347 lbs
    o (DL) Gaines – 6’1″ & 312 lbs
    o (DL) Senat – 6’1″ & 305 lbs
    o (DL) Kancey – 6’1″ & 281 lbs
    o (DL) Hall – 6’6″ & 283 lbs

    o (OLB) Barrett – 6’2″ & 250
    o (OLB) Nelson – 6’7″ & 271 lbs
    o (OLB) JTS – 6’5″ & 259 lbs
    o (OLB) Diaby – 6’3″ & 263 lbs
    o (OLB) Ramirez – 6’2″ & 242 lbs

    Maybe it’s just me Rod, but my impression is that our ‘beasts in the defensive trenches’ will be a LOT smaller than most of our opponents ‘beasts in the offensive trenches’. That’ll be important when it comes to them running the ball on us … as at least half of our opponents this year really like doing (and the other half will try to mimic).

    If we lose Vea (like in 2020), or if he can’t give us at least 70% def snaps, we’ll get chewed up in the middle. And if we can’t successfully stop the run, opponents will run on us all day long.
    As goes our run defense, so goes our win-loss record.

  27. BucaneroJim Says:

    I like the way the general team is shaping up – lots of solid talent… it comes down to our QB and OC… and the HC sticking to defense.

  28. JeffreyLane77 Says:

    That’s exactly why this team can be hard to watch. Tampa has individual talent all over the field. Unfortunately against bad teams they tend too play down to their opponents talent level. They play like 3 quarters of mistake filled crap football. Fall behind then try to rally for the win. It’s like all the individual players secretly decided to let somebody else carry the load. Because they expected an easy win. . But they didn’t know they all had the same idea.

  29. Simeon97 Says:

    Statically, they should have 2 of 8. And the division is terrible.

  30. Rod Munch Says:

    Defense Rules – Vita being 347 was his in-perfect shape getting ready for the combine weight, I have zero doubt he’s easily clearly 380 by now. The guy just needs to lose some weight so he can play more.

    As for the Bucs being undersized? I don’t give two cents. The 2002 Bucs defense is the best in the history of the league, and they too were ‘undersized’. I’d much rather have a ‘undersized’ defense that can run and not let the opponents pass at will.

    Bowles needs to get back to being a blitz heavy team. Injuries to the secondary in 2021 caused him to have to back off that, because he couldn’t trust anyone to play man-to-man on defense, but last year, he had no excuses. Hopefully this year, with all these young guys who can run, he looks a calendar and realizes it’s 2023, not 1973, and you win by stopping the pass, not the run.

  31. Tiny Dungy Says:

    They forgot the Head Coach Toad Bowels, who is simply marvelous and a certain first ballot Hall of Famer. Ira won’t need to do any convincing of his fellow electors. Toad for HOF!

  32. garro Says:

    Resign Golston and Hicks please.

  33. Capt.Tim Says:

    Its a QB driven league
    ButI think Mayfield can be ok. Meybe even good

    We have a new QB,a horrible coach, and no Left tackle.
    Dont take your money to Vegas. Youll go broke betting on this team

  34. BoricuaBucfan Says:

    The fact that Lavonte David doesn’t make this list discredits it, immediately!