Bucs should focus on defense with their first pick in the draft
Fresh off their Super Bowl win against the Kansas City Chiefs, the Buccaneers do not have any pressing needs to fill in the draft.
Every starter from the winning Super Bowl team is back. This will be a draft for the Bucs to take the best player on the board at number 32 or start drafting for the future.
The defensive line and offensive line are areas of concern for the future. The depth is especially thin on the defensive line with Jason Pierre-Paul, Ndamukong Suh, and Steve McClendon not signed beyond this year.
Ryan Jensen is a free agent on the offensive line, and Alex Cappa is due for a new contract.
There is also the thought of drafting a quarterback as Tom Brady will not be here long term. Brady could serve as a mentor for the quarterback the Bucs draft.
The defensive line, offensive line, and depth at linebacker and secondary should be the area’s of focus for the Bucs this draft.
Running back will also be an area of concern, but I don’t think the Bucs will take a running back since you can usually find a decent back via trade or free agency.
The Bucs are set at wide receiver for the foreseeable future and quarterback for the next year or two.
Defense wins championships, and I think that is the direction that the Bucs will go with the 32nd pick in the draft.
Who may be there at 32 when the Bucs make their selection?
Daviyon Nixon from Iowa and Christian Barmore from Alabama are two defensive tackles that could be available when the Bucs are ready to make their selection.
Both Nixon and Barmore could use some refinement as they are both a bit raw with loads of potential.
Nixon did not play against many great offensive linemen this past season as Ohio State and Iowa did not play. So it will be a big jump in competition for him.
Nixon is exceptionally quick for a defensive lineman and has excellent closing speed when in pursuit. He is good as a run defender and can hold his own while tying up multiple blockers.
Barmore is solid inside but could be developed outside as well.
He is quick off the snap and can get his hands into passing lanes to knock down some passes. He can be late locating the ball in the run game, but that could be fixed with more reps.
If the Bucs are looking for that next great edge rusher, Jayson Oweh from Penn State could be there at 32. Jaelen Phillips from Miami is another guy that could be there at 32.
Oweh has the explosiveness and strength to become a dominant edge rusher in the NFL. His pass rush moves need refinement, and his run game defense needs to be improved. But Owen has great upside and can be a dominant edge rusher in the NFL.
Phillips has been compared to a Chase Young/Joey Bosa-type player. Again a guy with great potential but does have some question marks.
Injuries have set him back in his career more than once. Wrist, lower-body injuries, and multiple concussions have kept him off the field at some point.
Phillips has good upper body strength, can blow by offensive linemen, and has a knack for getting in the backfield to disrupt the passing game.
I have these linemen ranked by who I would like to see the Bucs draft if they go defense the draft.