The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are stuck with the ninth overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft, and in most scenarios that means picking a player who either doesn't quite fit their positional needs, or who isn't quite good enough for what you'd want in a top ten pick. This year's draft has a sharp dropoff in talent after the top fie or six players. It's no surprise, then, that the Bucs are "very open" to trading down, according to Jason La Canfora.
Interesting dynamic at bottom of top 10, with the Browns and Bucs very open to drop. Teams could move up for Elliott/Rankins/Floyd there— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) April 28, 2016
This fits a report by Ian Rapoport, who said that the Cleveland Browns at number eight have talked to teams who want to trade up for Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott.
Finding a trade partner might be easier said than done, though. If the Bucs don't think any of the available players are worth a top ten pick, then why would other teams feel differently and give up assets to jump up? Teams do fall in love with specific players and have different positional needs, but I wouldn't expect the Bucs to come away with a haul in draft picks. Which may be why they're floating they're open to trading down: to drum up some interest and see what they can get. That's exactly what they did last year, when they repeatedly insisted they'd be open to trading down for an overwhelming offer that never came.
The Tennessee Titans may be the most likely trading partner, if they want to jump up for an offensive tackle. Few other teams have talked about jumping back up, though the New Orleans Saints might trade up for Sheldon Rankins. One intriguing scenario would involve the Denver Broncos, with the Bucs taking a long step down and giving up Mike Glennon in the process, while the Broncos come up to target a quarterback.
If the Bucs do trade down, they could target any number of players. Defensive ends like Kevin Dodd, Shaq Lawson and Noah Spence should be in play by the middle of the first round, as should cornerbacks like Vernon Hargreaves, Eli Apple and William Jackson. Even a wide receiver like Laquon Treadwell or Josh Doctson could work there.
This is shaping up to be a very interesting draft for the Bucs, who have been tied to multiple prospects and trade options. We don't know what's going to happen, but the ninth pick of the draft should go on the clock around 9:00 p.m. ET tonight. Stay tuned!