TAMPA, Fla. -- Biggest post-draft questions still to be answered by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
Do the Bucs have enough insurance if Doug Martin's return doesn't pan out? This is, hands-down, the biggest question Bucs fans should have -- not just now, but for the foreseeable future. Re-signing Jacquizz Rodgers to a two-year contract worth $3.3 million was an important offseason move. They also have Peyton Barber and Charles Sims, whom they really like. They also now have Jeremy McNichols, whom they selected in the fifth round. Can any of those players truly replace Martin during his four-game suspension? What if he slips up again?
McNichols has a bit of a different skill set than Martin -- the Bucs really like his hands. He had 934 receiving yards his last two years at Boise State, sixth-most among all running backs and just below Stanford's Christian McCaffrey. McNichols also caught 103 of 115 targets (89.6 percent) in his last three years, third-most in college football, and his 11 receiving touchdowns were second-most among running backs.
Do they have enough help at edge rusher? Jacquies Smith is coming off a torn ACL. He also has yet to sign his tender despite joining the team for offseason workouts (players can do that by signing a release). Considering there were times when Tampa Bay struggled to put heat on quarterbacks, this is a concern. Having players who can move all across the line such as Robert Ayers and Chris Baker, certainly helps, and it will be intriguing to see Noah Spence in a more versatile role. It should be noted that the Bucs did draft defensive tackle Stevie Tu'ikolovatu in the seventh round, but he's more of a run-stopper.
Do they have enough depth along the offensive line? This was a weak draft for offensive linemen, and it was also an area hit hard by injuries last season for the Bucs. They were down to a third-string offensive tackle against the Dallas Cowboys in December, and adding even a developmental player here could have helped. The Bucs have maintained that they're happy with the offensive line they have. We'll see what kind of strides Caleb Benenoch and Leonard Wester can make heading into their second seasons.
Who replaces Brent Grimes down the road? Grimes will be 34 this season. He's still playing at a high level, but they need to start grooming his future replacement. Vernon Hargreaves III was thrown into the fire last season, and that was filled with some bright moments, but also some real struggles. It would be nice to not have to rely on a rookie to play every single snap and slowly bring one along.