We are less than four days away from the draft. As we get closer, reports and analysis will start popping up more frequently.
From rumors to best fits, they’ll be everywhere. The focus will be primarily for the first round — which has been highly debated on these here boards and rightfully so. But what about the rest of the rounds?
ESPN’s Steve Muench provided a look at three prospects for the Buccaneers for Days 1 - 3 of the draft. He feels the Bucs should target Florida State safety Derwin James in Day 1, Georgia running back Sony Michel Day 2, and LSU cornerback Kevin Toliver in Day 3.
Safety is one of Tampa Bay’s most pressing needs and James is worth the No. 7 overall pick. He is one of the most versatile players in this class. He has the cover skills to match up with tight ends and above-average range in zone. He also is an excellent pass-rusher for his size and an outstanding run defender. Tampa Bay and Arizona were the only two teams that didn’t have a player rush for 500 yards last season, and the Buccaneers released Doug Martin. Michel plays faster than his timed top-end speed, is strong for his size and is an above average receiver. Tampa Bay doesn’t have a third-round pick and would need to address another pressing need early on Day 3 in this scenario. Toliver is a versatile defensive back with experience lining up all over the secondary. He possesses the toughness and size to match up with bigger receivers.
Toliver is an interesting name. The LSU product has a fourth-round grade by many analysts but some expect him to slide into round five. Mainly due to a knee injury.
Drafting someone like James will address a depleted defensive backfield for the Tampa Bay, which will be welcomed with open arms. Drafting Michel will address the running back position, which will bolster the position. Those two selections will be solid.
Unfortunately, with no pick in the third round, the Bucs find themselves in such a bad spot from that aspect. And while many would love to see a selection of Derwin James, trading down would be best to pick up another pick to make up for not having a third.