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2016 NFL Draft results: Recapping the Buccaneers picks

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Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers walked into the 2016 NFL draft with seven picks, and walked out with seven players. They should have at least four immediate contributors in this group: cornerback Vernon Hargreaves, defensive end Noah Spence, kicker Robert Aguayo and fullback Dan Vitale. Whether they actually start remains to be seen (that really only means they line up for the first offensive or defensive snap of a game), but that shouldn't matter: all of these players will play significant roles on the 2016 Bucs team.

The team also added some valuable depth in safety Ryan Smith, tackle Caleb Benenoch and linebacker Devante Bond. Of these three, Smith has the biggest chance of making an early impact: he could line up in sub packages, and it's not entirely inconceivable he beats out Chris Conte or Bradley McDougald at some point this year.

Let's walk through the Bucs' picks one by one.

CB Vernon Hargreaves, Florida

Round one, pick eleven, 11th overall

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers opened the draft by trading down from number nine to number eleven, picking up a high fourth-round pick in the process. Dropping back two spots didn't hurt them at all: they still grabbed Vernon Hargreaves, the Florida cornerback they almost certainly would have picked at number nine as well.

Hargreaves is an explosive playmaker who gets his hands on a lot of balls. He's slightly undersized at 5'10" and not quite as fast as you'd like (he ran a 4.5-second 40-yard dash), but he makes up for those deficiencies with a refined understanding of route combinations and a feel for what an offense is trying to do.

Whether Hargreaves starts immediately remains to be seen, but he should at minimum get on the field in nickel situations -- which in today's NFL means he'll be on the field around 70% of the time. In the long term, he should be a starting cornerback opposite Brent Grimes -- another undersized but explosive playmaker at cornerback.

DE Noah Spence, Eastern Kentucky

Round two, pick eight, 39th overall

The Bucs have needed to find a competent edge rusher for a decade, and they keep failing. Spence may give them the best chance of doing that since the late Gaines Adams, 2007's fourth overall pick. Spence is the best pure pass rusher in the draft, though not necessarily the best all-around defensive end around.

The big question mark with Spence isn't on the field, but off it: he got kicked off Ohio State for abusing ecstacy, and had a public drunkenness incident last year. The latter seems extremely minor, but any drug issue is a concern for NFL teams. Spence has passed at least 20 drug tests over the past year, though, and he claims the abuse was just a result of being too into the EDM scene -- something some other Ohio State players are still doing. Spence says he's past that, and he was convincing enough for the Bucs to take him at the top of the second round.

On the field, though, he's outstanding. He needs to work on his run defense, and may never have the size to stand out there, but as a pass-rusher he's as good as any prospect in this draft. He has the rare ability to consistently bend the corner around the edge, and should provide an instant boost for the Bucs' defense. His limitations in the run game may prevent him from starting early on, but he should play a heavy role in the pass-rush rotation.

K Roberto Aguayo, Florida State

Round two, pick 28, 59th overall

This will be by far the most controversial pick of the Bucs' draft class, and maybe the entire 2016 NFL draft. The Bucs not only picked a kicker in the second rond, something that hasn't happened since Mike Nugent in 2005 (a pick that didn't quite work out for the New York Jets), they traded up to do so.

The Bucs gave up their third-round pick, and the fourth-rounder they received from the Bears to move up to the 59th pick. They got fleeced in the process, at least by the standards of modern trade value charts. They gave up a late fourth-round pick in pure value in this trade up, going by Chase Stuart's trade work.

In exchange for that, they did get an outstanding kicker. Dirk Koetter called Roberto Aguayo a "generational" talent, and Jason Licht and Koetter both emphasized that no one like him comes around maybe ever. Not only is he highly accurate -- he hasn't missed a kick inside the 40, ever -- he also has the ability to pin returners at the goal-line or to boot kickoffs through the endzone. That versatility is perhaps his most valuable trait, as the NFL now allows receiving teams to get the ball at the 25 on touchbacks.

There are a few questions about his drop-off in accuracy the last year, but Aguayo is an outstanding prospect on the field. The question is whether he was worth giving up what the Bucs gave up for him: a high third- and a high fourth-round pick. The Bucs now have a very good kicker, but could have had two impact players instead. Time will tell whether this was the right move.

S Ryan Smith, North Carolina Central

Round four, pick ten, 108th overall

While he was announced as a cornerback and played that position the last two years of his college career, the Bucs primarily see Smith as a safety. He's blazing fast, if the Bucs can be believed: they timed him running in the 4.3s in the 40-yard dash, though he managed just 4.49 seconds at the scouting combine. Smith was a playmaker in college, but obviously didn't play against a lot of quality competition. He did have two passes defensed on six targets against FBS competition, according to Pro Football Focus.

Smith should be a special teamer early in his career, but may be a starting safety before long. He has the athleticism to work there, he just needs to be able to adjust to the NFL game. In the mean time, he can make a living as a returner and possibly a sub package defensive back.

OL Caleb Benenoch, UCLA

Round five, pick nine, 148th overall

Benenoch is a massive lineman who played both guard and tackle at UCLA. He's a tremendous run blocker, though he can struggle as a pass blocker. The Bucs weren't clear on whether he'd play guard or tackle, but I'd expect him to get acclimated at both and be a swing backup early in his career. In the long term he might become a starter at right tackle, but at this point in the draft we're talking mostly about players who provide depth for a couple of years before moving on.

LB Devante Bond, Oklahoma

Round six, pick eight, 183rd overall

Bond's an interesting break with the existing linebackers on the roster. The Bucs mostly have athletic, speedy and somewhat undersized backers, but Bond's more of a stocky thumper who is athletically limited. He does have some short-area burst, though, and may be a future starter at strongside linebacker, after Daryl Smith retires. Until then, he'll have to make his money as a special teamer and an injury fill-in: the team has no depth whatsoever behind Lavonte David and Kwon Alexander.

FB Dan Vitale, Northwestern

Round six, pick 22, 197th overall

A fullback, but not just any fullback: Vitale was regularly used as a slot receiver and put up over 1,400 receiving yards in his four-year college career. The Bucs wanted to find a replacement for Jorvorskie Lane, but Vitale should be a bit of a weapon in the passing game as well -- someone who can function just as easily in pass-heavy as in run-heavy formations.