By Luke Easterling
The Bucs went into the offseason in desperate need of bolstering their secondary at both levels, and they spent premium draft resources to make that happen. In the second round, they double-dipped at cornerback with North Carolina’s M.J. Stewart and Auburn’s Carlton Davis. In the fourth round, they landed Pittsburgh safety Jordan Whitehead.
All three players are making a significant impact from the jump, starting throughout training camp and shining in their first exhibition game action. They each tallied at least one pass breakup, showing off the polish, intelligence and versatility they displayed at the college level.
With Vernon Hargreaves III expected to miss a few weeks with a groin injury, Stewart and Davis both have the chance to jump past him on the depth chart. While 2017 second-round pick Justin Evans has one safety spot locked down, Whitehead could easily unseat more experienced teammates for the other starting nod.
Watson’s performance in the Bucs’ preseason opener was feast or famine, with flashes of potential sandwiched around a costly fumble. Receiver is arguably Tampa Bay’s deepest position group, so Watson will have to impress in a big way throughout the rest of the preseason to make the...