The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are more or less done with free agency — they may sign a few more free agents, but none of them should be as significant as the players they’ve signed in the past two weeks.
That means now is a good opportunity to look at the team’s 2017 NFL draft needs, the positions they still need to address the rest of this offseason. So here’s how NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein sees the Buccaneers’ needs.
Top needs: DL, S, RB
Analysis: Tampa Bay will need to find a high-impact player along the defensive line who can create mayhem on a regular basis. Safety is a need and could get early round consideration. The Bucs could be looking at an RB, as well.
I’m somewhat mystified by the appearance of “DL” at the top of that list. The Bucs could use some extra talent along the defensive line, but calling that a need seems a bit much. They have high-impact players in Gerald McCoy, Robert Ayers and potentially Noah Spence. They have depth, especially at defensive tackle. They could potentially use an explosive edge rusher, but that would be more luxury than need.
Safety, though, is a rather obvious need. The Bucs did re-sign Chris Conte and added J.J. Wilcox, while retaining Keith Tandy, but all three of those are somewhat limited safeties who probably shouldn’t be starting full-time. I mean, if you could take the best of all of their skills and merge them into one player you’d have an All-Pro, but unfortunately the Bucs haven’t perfected that science. It may also run into some human rights issues, but the NFL generally doesn’t really care about those anyway, so whatever.
Where else do the Bucs need to add some talent? Running back is a solid choice, depending on how Doug Martin recovers. I could imagine the offensive line, tight end and cornerback being areas of concern, especially in the longer term. And the team did nothing to replace strongside linebacker Daryl Wright, so that may be another position they look to address.