The Tampa Bay Buccaneers released their first depth chart of the season Monday, and the biggest surprise is possibly at left defensive end, where veteran Michael Bennett is ahead of rookie Da'Quan Bowers.
Bowers was the Bucs' second-round draft pick, a starter at Clemson last year, but had off-season knee surgery. The depth chart is an indication he has is not quite ready to take over as a starter in the NFL.
First-round draft pick Adrian Clayborn is listed as the starter at right defensive end.
Other notables who have emerged as starters are rookie middle linebacker Mason Foster, right tackle Jeremy Trueblood and second-year wide receiver Arrelious Benn, who is recovering from offseason knee surgery.
Trueblood, a former second-round draft pick with 68 career starts, lost his starting job while injured last season to James Lee. Trueblood re-signed as an unrestricted free agent. Lee is listed as the backup.
Kregg Lumpkin is listed as the top backup to starting running back LeGarrette Blount, but that could change if backup fullback Erik Lorig can prove himself worthy of a starter's role at fullback. Veteran Earnest Graham is the starter at fullback, but if Lorig can take over there it would allow Graham to work more at running back.
Below is the complete depth chart. Starters are listed in boldface, with backups listed in order.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers depth chart – Aug. 8
WR – Mike Williams, Sammie Stroughter, Micheal Spurlock, Ed Gant, Raymond Webber
LT – Donald Penn, Demar Dotson, Cory Brandon
LG – Ted Larsen, Brandon Carter, Marc Dile
C – Jeff Faine, Jeremy Zuttah, Matt Allen
RG – Davin Joseph, Derek Hardman, Thomas Claiborne
RT – Jeremy Trueblood, James Lee, Will Barker
TE – Kellen Winslow, Luke Stocker, Daniel Hardy, Ryan Purvis, Nathan Overbay, Jose Cruz
WR – Arrelious Benn, Dezmon Briscoe, Preston Parker, Jock Sanders, Detron Lewis
QB – Josh Freeman, Josh Johnson, Rudy Carpenter, Mike Coughlin, Jonathan Crompton
RB – LeGarrette Blount, Kregg Lumpkin, Allen Bradford, Mossis Madu, Armando Allen
FB – Earnest Graham, Erik Lorig, Rendrick Taylor, Nick Reveiz
LDE – Michael Bennett, Da'Quan Bowers, Kyle Moore, Alex Magee
DT – Gerald McCoy, Frank Okam, E.J. Wilson
DT – Roy Miller, Brian Price, Al Woods
RDE – Adrian Clayborn, Tim Crowder, George Johnson, Brandon Gilbeaux
SLB – Quincy Black, Dekoda Watson, Brandon Heath
MLB – Mason Foster, Tyrone McKenzie, Derrell Smith
WLB – Geno Hayes, Adam Hayward, Simoni Lawrence, Victor Aiyewa
LCB – Aqib Talib, Myron Lewis, DJ Johnson, Vince Anderson
RCB – Ronde Barber, E.J. Biggers, Anthony Gaitor, Elbert Mack
SS – Sean Jones, Corey Lynch, Dominique Harris, Devin Holland
FS – Cody Grimm, Larry Asante, Ahmad Black
P – Michael Koenen, Robert Malone
PK – Connor Barth, Jacob Rogers
KO – Michael Koenen, Connor Barth
H – Michael Koenen, Robert Malone
LS – Christian Yount
PR – Micheal Spurlock, Preston Parker, Sammie Stroughter