The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have a top-ten draft pick in 2017, according to Football Outsiders' latest projections. Todd McShay's latest 2017 NFL mock draft, which we talked about yesterday, is based on their early projections, and has the Bucs picking eighth.
That's a pretty depressing conclusion, especially so given the fact that Outsiders' projections tend to be a lot more accurate than all the rationalizations we give each year for why this season will be different. The Bucs have significantly upgraded their defense and stood pat on offense, which should be enough to get the Bucs to at least 8-8 after a disappointing 6-10 season.
Of course, Outsiders' projections are by no means infallible, nor do they pretend to be. These are also early projections, so things might change as they adjust their algorithm and the data over the next few months. But yet another season of sub-.500 football would be a major disappointment. After all, why did the Bucs even fire Lovie Smith if not to win right now?