The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have played a lost season, with one game left to take some kind of pride in the ending. As always in lost season, though, there’s one upside: draft position.
With the Bucs’ latest loss against the Carolina Panthers, the Bucs are now set to go into the 2018 NFL draft with the fifth overall pick, per Adam Stites’ draft rankings. With four quarterbacks generally seen as realistic first round choices, there’s a real chance the Bucs will get first pick among all the non-quarterback players, if the Indianapolis Colts trade out of their current third overall slot.
In other words, the Bucs may get to pick Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick (he’d pair nicely with Justin Evans), Penn State running back Saquon Barkley (for those who like running backs...) or, more likely, one of Arden Key and Bradley Chubb, the top two edge rushers in the draft.
Of course, that final win that could save some of their honor would also quickly devalue their top draft pick. They may end up with the ninth overall pick instead of the fifth overall, if everything goes wrong for them in the other games. If they lose, they could conceivably get the fourth overall pick, though no higher than that.
Whatever the case, the Bucs are likely to get a quality player near the top of the draft.