Smith, who suffered a torn ACL during Week 1 of his brief 2016 campaign, continues to recover from the season-ending injury as training camp approaches. He'll be eligible to return to practice immediately upon being medically cleared. Through two NFL seasons before the injury, Smith racked up a total of 39 tackles, 13.5 sacks and four forced fumbles in 27 games with the Buccaneers.
Beckwith is now recovered from a torn ACL suffered in November, which ultimately caused him to fall to the Buccaneers in the third round of the draft. He'll be competing against Devante Bond for first-team reps at strongside linebacker throughout training camp, given he avoids any setbacks to his knee.
McNichols has recovered from offseason shoulder surgery and will be a full participant at the start of training camp,
McNichols has reported to the Buccaneers' camp and passed his physical, making him available immediately for the start of training camp. The Boise State product slipped to the fifth round of the draft due to concerns with his surgically-repaired shoulder, but it appears he'll be at full health when competing against Doug Martin (suspension), Charles Sims and Jacquizz Rodgers for playing time out of the backfield.
Howard has impressed Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston, NFL.com reports. "This is the fastest, most athletic 6-6, 255 guy I've ever seen in my life," Winston noted of the 19th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. "It's unreal."
Along with the addition of Howard, the Bucs further bolstered their passing attack by signing deep threat DeSean Jackson. The newcomers will complement last year's top wideout Mike Evans (who scored 12 TDs in 2016) and tight end Cameron Brate, who broke out last season with a 57/660/8 stat line over 15 contests. The continued presence of Brate caps Howard's statistical upside in the short-term, but down the road the rookie out of Alabama has a chance to parlay his elite athleticism and solid all-around game into fantasy relevance.
Brate scored all eight of his touchdowns from inside the 20-yard line last season, when his 57 catches for 660 yards also marked career highs. Despite that production, the Buccaneers opted to draft fellow tight end O.J. Howard in the first round, leaving questions over Brate's role. While Howard's presence, along with that of towering wideout Mike Evans, gives Tampa Bay another big-bodied target, Brate is expected to remain in the mix through regular two-tight end sets.