Bucs draft strategy could change on draft day
A the Bucs prepare for the NFL draft coming up later this week, the most pressing need is depth along the offensive, specifically at the tackle position.
There are four offensive tackles that could all be off the board by the time the Bucs pick with the 14th selection.
I still think that the Bucs will be able to take one of the tackles at number 14, but I’m sure there is a contingency plan in place should the top tackles be gone, and that focus should be acquiring depth along the defensive line and acquiring some depth at linebacker.
The Arizona Cardinals, Cleveland Browns, and Las Vegas Raiders will all be looking for help along the offensive line.
Andrew Thomas of Georgia is the number one offensive line prospect, followed by Jedrick Willis Jr. of Alabama, Tristan Wirfs of Iowa, and Mekhi Becton of Louisville.
It’s possible that all of these tackles will be off the board by the time the Bucs pick at 14. Mekhi Beckton of Louisville could still be on the board, but if he is taken in the top 10 then the Bucs draft strategy could change.
Jason Licht said last week on his pre-draft conference call that they will still look at taking the best player on the board, should the player they want to draft is not there.
The Bucs have a need at running back along with depth issues at almost every position on defense.
The Bucs lost linebacker Carl Nassib, and defensive tackle Beau Allen in free agency and those players have not been replaced.
The Bucs did spend some money re-signing linebackers Shaq Barrett, Jason Pierre-Paul, and defensive tackle N’Damukong Suh, but still need to add some depth.
If defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw of South Carolina is there at 14, and the top four offensive tackles are off the board don’t be surprised if the Bucs take Kinlaw with that pick.
The Bucs could then target one of the second tier offensive tackles in the second round. Josh Jones of Houston and Lucas Niang of TCU are all possibilities for the Bucs at number 45.
The Bucs have to look at taking running back in the draft, and in the third round you could still pick up a pretty decent back.
JK Dobbins, Andre Swift, Jonathan Taylor and Clyde Edwards-Helaire should all be off the board when the Bucs pick with the 76th pick in the third round.
However Cam Akers of Florida state, and Eno Benjamin of Arizona State, along with AJ Dillon of Boston College should all be available in the third round.
A lot of people are clamoring for the Bucs to draft a quarterback. Get that guy that will be the future in Tampa after the Tom Brady era ends.
There is a huge drop off in talent after the first six quarterbacks are taken and Jalen Hurts of Oklahoma or Steven Montez of Colorado would not be a good fit for the Buccaneers.
In rounds four through seven, the Bucs still need to address depth issues at linebacker, defensive back and possibly wide receiver.
Although, Bruce Arians did say that he liked the young crop of receivers the Bucs have on the roster in Scotty Miller and Justin Watson, it’s possible the Bucs take a wide receiver later in the draft.
The Bucs should be able to fill all these needs through the draft, and if not, they can always still sign one of the available free agents that are still looking for work.