As the off-season continues for the Bucs with the draft just about 2 weeks away, this has been the best off-season for the Bucs in quite some time.
The Bucs have taken care of really two areas on the team that needed improvement the DL and the OL.
It was a late start for the Bucs in free agency, but once Jason Licht entered the playing field, things started happening quickly for the Bucs. Vinny Curry, Mitch Unrein, and Beau Allen were all signed as free agents. Licht then traded a draft pick to the Giants for Jason Pierre Paul who has been a top 10 defensive lineman his career.
Licht also shored up the OL by signing C Ryan Jensen from the Baltimore Ravens. This move strengthened the OL because it will allow Ali Marpet to move back to guard his natural position with Jensen bringing a nastiness and physical presence to the line.
Give Licht credit as he cut some dead weight. Doug Martin gone. Chris Baker gone, Robert Ayers out of here. With the Baker and Ayers moves sometimes you have to admit that you made a mistake by bringing those guys on board. Licht did that and the Bucs are moving on with a revamped DL.
Now we all wait draft day and what Jason Licht and the Bucs will do. There are still some holes on this team. The defensive backfield and the CB position have not been addressed at all. Yes they signed Brent Grimes to a one year deal who was the Bucs best player last year. But other than his signing, they have done nothing to address the needs at this position.
That is why I am advocating the Bucs take a DB with the No. 7 pick in the draft. And there will be one available. I like Minkah Fitzpatrick, just from the aspect that he can play several positions in the secondary. If he is not on the board when the Bucs choose, I would select Derwin James of FSU or even Denzel Ward of Ohio State.
There are two other players that may be available that the fans are clamoring for. Saquon Barkley the RB from Penn State may be there at No. 7, then again there is talk of the Browns taking him at No. 1. Barkley is a phonomal talent who can do it all. Return kicks, return punts, and catch the ball out of the ball field. He is the complete package.
The Bucs have Jacquizz Rodgers and Peyton Barber on the roster at the RB position. This is a draft that is deep in RB’s and the Bucs can get a quality back or two later in the draft.
OL Quenton Nelson may also be available when the Bucs select at 7. Again I would pass on Nelson. I understand that he may be a futureHOF’er, and will solidify the line for years to come. Again you can find quality lineman in the later rounds of the draft and build depth that will help your football team.
The biggest need on this Bucs team is the secondary and that is why I am advocating the Bucs a take a DB with the 7th pick.
The Bucs are still around 15 million under the cap, so a DB from the free agent market could still be signed if the price is right. However with contract extensions on the horizon for Ali Marpet, Kwon Alexander and Jameis Winston, the Bucs need to save a lot of that money for those extensions.
–April 16th, the Bucs begin off-season workouts.
–Mini-camp for the rookies will be May 11-14th.