Bucs 2022 training camp preview: Defensive Line

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers head into the 2022 NFL season with sky-high expectations for the third straight year, following back-to-back playoff appearances, their first NFC South title in more than a decade, and their second Super Bowl victory.

As the Bucs prepare for this year’s training camp, we’re taking an in-depth look at each position group.

Here’s how things look along the defensive line for Tampa Bay heading into this season:

Depth Chart

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

50 | Vita Vea

92 | William Gholston

96 | Akiem Hicks

90 | Logan Hall

56 | Rakeem Nunez-Roches

79 | Pat O’Connor

91 | Benning Potoa’e

95 | Deadrin Senat

71 | Mike Greene

94 | Willington Previlon

State of the Position

Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay’s dominant defensive front is anchored by Vita Vea, arguably the best nose tackle in the NFL. Longtime starter Will Gholston is back on a one-year deal, and is still one of the league’s most underrated players at the position.

Familiar depth is back, as well, with key reserves like Rakeem Nunez-Roches and Pat O’Connor. Nunez-Roches, known in the locker room as “Nacho,” is a high-energy performer who has played some big snaps in injury relief, while O’Connor is a core special-teamer who plays on every unit.

Those returning names are joined by some heavy-hitting new additions, too. Ndamukong Suh has been replaced by another quality veteran in Akiem Hicks, while the Bucs spent their top pick in the 2022 NFL draft on a versatile, explosive interior rusher in Logan Hall.

Position Battles

(Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)

This group shouldn’t see much of a battle, but it’ll be interesting to see how the rotations work coming out of training camp. Vea and Hicks will give the Bucs a pair of massive run-stuffers for early downs, while Gholston and Hall should be freed up to get after the quarterback in passing situations. Nunez-Roches and O’Connor already have defined roles as depth pieces and special-teamers. Don’t be surprised if every defensive lineman who makes the final 53-man roster sees the field plenty on game days.

Final Roster Projection

(AP Photo/Zach Bolinger)

Vita Vea

William Gholston

Akiem Hicks

Logan Hall

Rakeem Nunez-Roches

Pat O’Connor

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