clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2016 NFL draft supposedly has as many as 90 defensive starters

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers spent the past two years overhauling their offense in the draft, to good effect. They spent so many draft picks on that side of the ball, that they have a very solid core for the future -- with a lot of potential for improvement. Their next task: do the same thing on the other side of the ball.

The 2016 NFL draft may be the perfect tool for such a defensive overhaul. Peter King of The MMQB spoke to one "evaluator" who thought there'd be as many as 90 starters on defense in this draft.

Interesting analysis out of one evaluator, who sees 90 early defensive starters in this draft, and 40 offensive starters. "Ninety's a huge number," he said

Head coach Dirk Koetter said today that it'd be "unrealistic" to expect the Bucs to get four starters out of this draft, but three long-term starters has to be doable if that 90 starters estimate is accurate. We're unlikely to see as much early impact, in part because there are fewer holes on the roster, in part because it usually takes defenders a little longer to adapt to the NFL than offensive players.

The Bucs know they need to improve their pass rush, and they know they need to find long-term solutions in the secondary. They're almost certain to draft a defensive end and a defensive back early on, but don't sleep on defensive tackles: this draft is incredibly deep at that position, and the Bucs could use some depth if not necessarily an immediate starter there.

Regardless of who the Bucs pick, though, they should be able to find an immediate and long-term impact on defense. That's good news for a team that has struggled to produce a dominant defense for nearly a decade.