The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have primarily focused on the offensive side of the ball the past two years. With a struggling defense, it’s time to address that.
Instead of introducing its newest members in a traditional format that sounds like an A.A. meeting, TheBayCave.com is introducing our new writers differently. They share what they think the Bucs should do when April 28 rolls around. And it’s pretty unanimous, whether short and to the point or elaborate.
Denver Mortensen (@) – I would like to see the Bucs go DE-DB-DB in their first three rounds. Ideally, the guys I really want them to get are Noah Spence in the first, Kendall Fuller, Eli Apple, William Jackson III or Darian Thompson in the second, and Jeremy Cash or Keanu Neal in the third.
Spence is my second favorite player in this class behind Jalen Ramsey. I would love nothing more than for the Bucs to get Ramsey, but obviously that seems unlikely right now. I think Spence is the best pass-rusher in this draft and Von Miller showed time and time again on his way to a Super Bowl how important that is.
My alternate scenario, if Spence is already gone or the Bucs pass on him, is to take Vernon Hargreaves with the first pick, then maybe Kevin Dodd or Robert Nkemdiche with the second. My choices for the third remain the same.
Michael Horan (@) – I think that priority one, two, and three has to be finding a pass rusher. Missing that on defense is like missing a quarterback on offense. Beyond that I’d really like to see the Bucs acquire more picks in rounds 3 through 5 so that Licht and company can work their magic to greater extents. Oh, and draft Roberto Aguayo, too.
T.J. Pittinger (@) – I think the Bucs clearly need to work on the “other” side of the ball, this draft (and offseason.) This isn’t groundbreaking. Tampa Bay has focused heavily on the offensive side of the ball in recent history, and it has worked out well, to start. The Bucs have a solid, young core on offense. On defense, the obvious positions of need are defensive end and corner back. The Bucs lacked the ability to rush off of the edge and the ability to cover literally anyone in 2015. I think you have to be open to being flexible when you pick anywhere but the top 2 or 3 spots.
Last year, the Bucs knew who they were taking because nobody was drafting before them. This year, with the ninth pick, they’ll have to see 8 other guys come off their board before making a selection. I think the addition of a guy like Mackensie Alexander makes a lot of sense. Vernon Hargreaves from UF would be another solid selection, if Alexander isn’t around. If the Bucs choose to go with a defensive end, I like DeForest Buckner from Oregon.
Fun times coming, draft Lovers. We’ll see how it all shakes out.