Each NFL season, every team has a player that bears a little added attention. So which performer could turn the corner for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in ’17?
Welcome to yet another 32-team series from End Zone Score. In recent months, we took the time to look at each club’s best offseason addition. We even dabbled into some pertinent and historical numbers.
Every NFL season features players that come into their own after a slow start to their careers. It’s tough to tell when each performer’s coming-put party will take place. Some are immediate successes. Others take longer due to numerous circumstances, but they prove to be worth the wait. Here we will try and pinpoint a player from each team in the league that we feel is on the verge of putting it altogether.
DE Noah Spence
This past season, we saw the Tampa Bay Buccaneers overcome a 1-3 start to win eight of their final 12 games to finish 9-7. During the second half of the season, it was defensive coordinator Mike Smith’s unit that helped lead the charge. A suddenly-opportunistic squad totaled 27 takeaways and 29 sacks during its last dozen outings.
Rookie defensive end Noah Spence was part of the second-half resurgence as well. He played in all 16 games and made three starts. The 2016 second-round pick finished the season with 22 tackles, 5.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and knocked down a pair of passes.
The Bucs added a pair of quality veteran defenders via free agency in the form of defensive tackle Chris Baker (Washington Redskins) and strong safety J.J. Wilcox (Dallas Cowboys). They join a cast that already includes perennial Pro Bowler Gerald McCoy, playmaking outside linebacker Lavonte David and cornerback Brent Grimes. If Spence and fellow defensive end Robert Ayers can bring additional heat from the outside, this is a unit that will scare a lot of teams this fall.