The Tampa Bay Buccaneers came out of the 2016 NFL draft with seven new players, at least four of which should turn into immediate contributors. Getting Noah Spence in the second round was almost universally seen as a coup, with Spence generally seen as one of the very best pass rusher in the entire draft. But the post-draft conversation is mostly about the decision to trade up for Roberto Aguayo in the second round -- and that's reflected in the grades we see from draft analysts.
Personally, I'd give the Buccaneers a B for the draft as a whole. I'm not a fan of drafting any kicker in the second round, no matter how good, let alone trading up for him. But getting the best edge rusher in the draft at number 39 is a coup, and Vernon Hargreaves should flourish under defensive coordinator Mike Smith. With Dan Vitale as another early contributor, and Ryan Smith as a potential eventual starter at safety as well, the Bucs got a lot out of their seven draft picks.
Most of you seem to agree with me. 60% of you gave the Bucs' draft a B, 22% and A and 16% a C. Overall, it seems Bucs fans are overwhelmingly positive about the players the Bucs picked up, and what they gave up to get them.
Most draft analysts don't quite agree. They'e highly critical of the move to trade up and get Roberto Aguayo in the second round, even if they like the other moves the Bucs made. Dan Kadar is a bit of an exception, as he gave the Bucs a B-.
The Buccaneers knew who they wanted in the first round, and managed to trade down a bit and still get the player they wanted in cornerback Vernon Hargreaves. He's a technically sound corner with good instincts. He can get beat by speedy receivers deep, but that might just be a technique issue for Hargreaves. Spence is an instant playmaker for Tampa Bay even if he's used as a pass rush specialist early in his career. Aguayo was a surprising pick, but a starter is a starter. Benenoch is a good backup to pick in the fifth round. He has experience starting at right tackle and guard.
Other analysts were less impressed. The general consensus is that the Bucs did an outstanding job, except for trading up for Roberto Aguayo. That's what CBS Sports' Pete Prisco thinks, who gave the Bucs a C+ overall. It's what Doug Farrar and Chris Burke of Sports Illustrated think, who gave the Bucs a C. It's what USA Today's Lindsay Jones thinks, who gave the Bucs a C-. It's what Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post thinks, who gave the Bucs a C+. Only Pro Football Focus gave the Bucs more than a C: a B- from them. And even they hated the Aguayo move.
There's one exception to all that negativity: Mel Kiper over at ESPN liked the Bucs picking Aguayo.
First, to the really important stuff. I keep hearing people taking digs at the Bucs for drafting a kicker in Round 2, but Roberto Aguayo really is the kind of guy you take in Round 2. With PATs moved back and the fact that so many games come down to that one big kick, at that point it just doesn't look that bad.
Of course, he still only gave the Bucs a B-. But his reasoning is different: he thinks Vernon Hargreaves and Noah Spence represent some big risks, on and off the field respectively.