It's tradition to grade a draft class immediately after it's finished. It's a little early, of course, and ultimately doesn't really matter, but it's a decent way to form opinions about how each team did. And it's fun to laugh at how off-base those judgments were, three years down the road. Sometimes they match up pretty well, even.
The Bucs ended up addressing all of their biggest needs, though perhaps not in the best ways. They left some depth issues unaddressed at defensive tackle and wide receiver, but it's a bit much to call those true need positions. Besides, the Bucs did a good job adding some key depth late in the offseason the past two years -- we're likely to see the same thing this season.
We collected all the grades on the Bucs' picks as voted on by our loyal readers. Here's how everyone graded the picks. You can click the links to see the relevant posts, and read the reader comments.
This pick really split Bucs fans right down the middle. While the vast majority liked it -- 66% gave the pick an A or B -- a sizable minority absolutely hated this pick: 22% of voters gave this an F. That's a lot for a pick that garnered universal acclaim from draft analysts. Still, there's some reason for concern: Hargreaves has some size and speed limitations that could hinder his development in the NFL. He'll have Brent Grimes to learn from, though, so maybe it won't be much of an issue.
Everyone loves this pick. It probably doesn't hurt that he fills the biggest need on the roster, and we spent months hyping him up.
A lot more people hate this pick than they do Hargreaves -- that's what happens when you draft a kicker in the second round, and trade up for him -- but nearly half of the voters are okay with this pick. That'll probably go up if he turns out to be just as reliable in the NFL as he was in college.
Most people seem to dislike Smith, which is slightly odd. Perhaps some of those votes came when folks thought he'd be playing cornerback instead of safeties. And perhaps some of those votes are a result of the Bucs passing on better-known -- but most of those are strong box safeties, while Smith is a rangy free safety.
We're getting into "lucky to make the roster" territory now. Benenoch gets solid grades, but then it's hard to really hate or love any pick at this point in the draft.
Thumping linebackers who will mostly play special teams aren't particularly sexy picks, but they're pretty important for depth purposes. It seems we all prefer sexy picks.
No one really likes fullbacks -- they aren't on the field much -- but Vitale may be an exception: he caught 102 passes for 1,427 yards in his college career. The Bucs plan on using him as a hybrid fullback/tight end with a lot of versatility in the passing game, so he should play a bigger role than most fullbacks. That's reflected in his grade.