Jameis Winston's stock rising

TAMPA, Fla. -- As the Tampa Bay Buccaneers begin a three-day minicamp Tuesday, it’s time for a look at whose stock is rising and falling.


Jameis Winston. The rookie quarterback finished OTAs (organized team activities) working with the first team. Winston has made huge strides since he was drafted. He has picked up the playbook well and is comfortable making calls at the line of scrimmage. He has started to build chemistry with wide receivers Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans. Winston still needs to working on not forcing throws into heavy coverage, but the Bucs are very happy with how he has progressed so far.

D.J. Swearinger. The safety was picked up off waivers two weeks ago. He already has been getting work with the first team at strong safety. The Bucs might have gotten a steal in Swearinger, who was a second-round draft pick by Houston in 2013. There is plenty of talent here and Swearinger might benefit from a fresh start.

Donovan Smith. The rookie left tackle has been working with the first team and seems almost a certainty to be the opening-day starter. Smith’s weight fluctuated in college, and he sometimes was heavier than his coaches wanted. But he seems to have his weight under control and is in good physical shape.


Chris Conte and Major Wright. With the emergence of Swearinger and steady play by Bradley McDougald, these two safeties appear destined for backup roles.

Mike Jenkins. A starter before he was injured last season, Jenkins is having a tough time climbing the depth chart. He’s behind Johnthan Banks, who had a breakout season last year.

Demar Dotson. The right tackle stayed away from the last two weeks of OTAs due to a contract dispute. He is expected to show for minicamp, while still hoping for a new deal. Dotson’s starting job isn’t in danger, but missing two weeks while a new offense is being installed didn't help anybody.