Midway through the preseason, three Tampa Bay Buccaneers players who, before the start of the preseason were at risk of getting cut, are now forming the most explosive offense so far this preseason. I’m talking about running back Dare Ogunbawale, tight end Tanner Hudson, and wide receiver Spencer Schnell. All three have had two great weeks in a row, showing off their skill sets.
In all honesty, I believe the guy with the highest chance to make the team is the do it all running back Dare Ogunbawale. Dare has had 122 yards from scrimmage over the past two weeks while also being an excellent kick returner. He’s currently competing with former Cardinal Andre Ellington. Ellington previously worked with Head Coach Bruce Arians while Bruce coached in Arizona. So far, though, Bruce is high on Dare. For example, Bruce talked about the upside to Dare’s game, not shown in stats. “Oh, [his case] is really strong,” said Arians. “He’s probably our second-best pass protector”- Bruce Arians. Only time will tell if the versatile running back out of Wisconsin can earn that third running back spot.
Nevertheless, another player who’s shown up is big-play receiving tight end, Tanner Hudson. So far Tanner has racked up 13 receptions for 177 yards. Which lead the league for tight ends and receivers this preseason. Tanner had proven to be clutch during Week 2 against the Miami Dolphins. He caught two consecutive passes from quarterback Ryan Griffin that put Matt Gay in range to kick a game-winning field goal. At the moment, Hudson is trying to join one of the most talented tight end groups in the league. The current top three on the depth chart are OJ Howard, Cameron Brate and Antony Auclair. OJ and Brate are locked to make the roster. Unfortunately for Hudson, Auclair is more of a proven blocker while Tanner is primarily a receiving type. If Tanner can improve his blocking, I see him as a definite lock for that third tight end spot.
Last but not least is the short slot receiver, Spencer Schnell. Schnell is a recent addition to the team. He has already made an impact during the first two weeks of the preseason. Most of his production came in the fourth quarter of Week one against the Pittsburgh Steelers. In just one quarter, Schnell caught seven passes for 119 yards. He was a massive part in the comeback that never was as the Buccaneers fell to the Steelers 30-28. Regardless, Schnell or “Snelly” at 5’ 8 and 178lbs has shown that he can be a security blanket for any quarterback throwing to him. If he gets more playing time in the next two weeks, don’t be surprised if he upsets one of the higher touted receivers like Scotty Miller or Anthony Johnson and squeezes his way onto the Bucs roster once the preseason comes to a close.
All three of these guys have their strengths, weaknesses, and niches that they fill for the Bucs, but one thing is for sure. If the Buccaneers don’t see them fit enough to make the roster, then I’m sure that another team will turn our trash into their treasure.