Joe Tryon-Shoyinka tops list of five Tampa Bay Buccaneers primed for a breakout season

Russell Gage and Keanu Neal seem ready to breakthrough, too.

click to enlarge Joe Tryon-Shoyinka is such an athletic monster with a huge motor that it’s difficult to imagine a scenario where he doesn’t burst onto the scene this year in his first season as a starter. - PHOTO BY KYLE ZEDAKER/TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
Photo by Kyle Zedaker/Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Joe Tryon-Shoyinka is such an athletic monster with a huge motor that it’s difficult to imagine a scenario where he doesn’t burst onto the scene this year in his first season as a starter.
Despite being just under 100 days away from the regular season home opener against the Dallas Cowboys, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 2022-2023 campaign certainly seems far away. To ease the pain and help make the wait worth it, let’s look ahead and predict which Buc is going to take a huge step forward in his production.

Joe Tryon-Shoyinka

JTS is by far and away the runaway choice for the biggest breakout guy for this season. His linemate Jason Pierre-Paul is gone. It’s just JTS and Shaquil Barrett, and while Shaq is certainly going to get his because he’s one of the best pass rushers in football, JTS is such an athletic monster with a huge motor that it’s difficult to imagine a scenario where he doesn’t burst onto the scene this year in his first season as a starter. He was a first-rounder for good reason, and he’s certainly going to get the chance to show why this season.

Russell Gage

Gage was considered to be one of the steals in free agency this past season, and with guys like Chris Godwin and Mike Evans running routes with him, he could have a huge year catching balls from TB12 as part of this electric Bucs offense. The 26-year-old had some mildly productive seasons in Atlanta despite being on some pretty mediocre teams, racking up over 1,500 yards over the past couple seasons. Certainly not going to break any receiving records but he could be an interesting name to watch.
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Keanu Neal

Neal was trying his best last season in Dallas when they moved him to the linebacker position, but the 26-year-old just wasn’t cut out for it. Neal is a safety, through and through, and he’s going to be back to his original position here in Tampa—I think the Bucs will be incredibly happy to see it, and we hope he gets to show out in the regular season opener against his old team. Neal was a Pro Bowler in 2017 and while he might not quite get back to that form, he can certainly get back to being productive.

Ke’Shawn Vaughn

Vaughn has not quite lived up to his third round billing that the Bucs gave him in 2019, but in his defense, Leonard Fournette has been fantastic. And while Fournette should continue to be as good as he was last season, Vaughn could see an increased role as the no. 2 guy with now former Buccaneer Ronald Jones heading to Kansas City. The drafting of Rachaad White may spell less touches for Vaughn in the passing game, but Vaughn is still a quality power back and he will certainly be a productive member of the backfield.

Mike Edwards

Antoine Winfield, Jr. is very well-entrenched as the starting free safety, but Mike Edwards has proven in spurts to be a talented young defensive back. Last season was a bit awkward with the vaccination suspension, and after Jordan Whitehead departed for the Jets I’m sure Edwards was hopeful that he’d be allowed the opportunity to start alongside Winfield. Alas, the Bucs signed Logan Ryan and Keanu Neal, and those dreams were dashed. But perhaps the slight will light a fire under Edwards and push him to prove to the Bucs why they made a huge mistake not running it back with their original safety room. It’s certainly a possibility.
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