Friday, September 8, 2023

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Week 1 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2023 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Below you will find a Week 1 roundup for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in our consensus 2023 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 30

On the hot seat: OT Luke Goedeke

Goedeke's rookie season as a left guard was a disaster. He surrendered 5.0 sacks in 10 games before he was benched in favor of Nick Leverett. But now the Bucs have given him an opportunity to go back to his college position as a starting right tackle, moving All-Pro Tristan Wirfs to the left side. With Cody Mauch, a rookie starting right guard, next to him, they really need Goedeke to step up here. -- Jenna Laine -- Rank: 28

What an interesting roster here, with some truly elite top-end talent (Tristan Wirfs, Lavonte David, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Antoine Winfield Jr.) but also six undrafted free agents making the opening 53. Evans' recent contract drama puts his Bucs future in doubt, and it's worth remembering starting QB Baker Mayfield is on a one-year deal. It's not a complete youth movement, but it's headed that way. If Mayfield wants more time in Tampa, his mission is clear: avoid turnovers. He's had the most interceptions (64) in the NFL since 2018, and the Bucs' defense took a step backward in takeaways last season, giving the team a turnover differential of -2 -- one reason the Tom Brady-led iteration of this squad had to scratch its way to an 8-9 mark. Operating in the red on turnovers again won't lead to more wins.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 20

If Baker Mayfield can play like he did in his best days with the Browns, they can push the Saints in the division. They have added a lot of speed to this roster.

USA Today -- Rank: 31

Losing C Ryan Jensen for a second straight season is another cruel blow for a team that probably couldn't afford it, especially on a line that needed some stability amid so much other offensive flux post-TB12.

The Athletic -- Rank: 28

Best-case scenario: Despite an offense that finishes last in the league in points scored, the Bucs' veteran-laden defense leads them to a 7-10 division title in the NFC South thanks to a handful of 6-3 wins.

Worst-case scenario: Not only does a Baker Mayfield-Kyle Trask quarterback room turn out as poorly as it should in 2023, but the locker room splinters as it tends to do when two sides of the ball are of such varying quality. Several franchise stalwarts such as Mike Evans, Lavonte David and Antoine Winfield Jr. are dealt away midseason, but the Bucs still find themselves out of range of the top two picks.

FOX -- Rank: 27

If Baker Mayfield has some magic left in him, the Bucs could be sneaky good. A lot of the guys that helped them win Super Bowl LV are still around, and most of them are still playing at a high level. If Mayfield can re-discover his form from 2020, when he led the Browns to a playoff win, then maybe Tampa can surprise some people. The problem is that we've seen a large sample size that suggests Mayfield isn't up to the task. If that's the case, things get could ugly quickly.

Yahoo! -- Rank: 28

Picking Baker Mayfield was the right call, and Kyle Trask becomes yet another absolutely wasted non-first round pick at quarterback. Mayfield had a good preseason and while that might not matter much, perhaps he can keep the Buccaneers' offense afloat. Tampa Bay still has some talented players around the quarterback position.

PFT -- Rank: 27

Even if Tom Brady hadn't re-retired, they'd be facing an uphill climb.

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