With day two of the NFL draft being just hours away, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be looking to add more quality starters to their roster. After selecting Vita Vea last night, the Buccaneers now have to turn their attention to the defensive back and backfield. There is no question that the Buccaneers still have some glaring needs on their roster, and I will put in order what positions need to be focused on the most come tonight.
#1 - Cornerback.
Tampa Bay currently has Brent Grimes, Vernon Hargreaves, Ryan Smith, Javien Elliott, Maurice Fleming and David Rivers at the cornerback position. Outside of Brent Grimes, who is likely playing his last season in the NFL, the Buccaneers don’t have enough talent in the secondary, especially on the outside. I believe that Vernon Hargreaves is more suited to play nickel corner in this league and feel he would excel if he was placed there full time, which Dirk Koetter hinted would be the case come September. After having the 32nd ranked pass defense, the Bucs simply can’t go into the season with Ryan Smith as a starting cornerback. No disrespect to him, because he plays incredibly hard, but the Buccaneers can find a much better option. The defensive line is fully revamped and has added three starters in the past month and a half.After passing on Derwin James in the first round, I anticipate a cornerback being their first selection come tonight. A few names to keep an eye on are Isaiah Oliver, Josh Jackson and Donte Jackson.
#2 - Running Back
You can make the argument that safety is the #2 need, but Chris Conte and Keith Tandy can be serviceable options for one more year. You can’t fix every need in one offseason. The Buccaneers currently have Peyton Barber, Jacquizz Rodgers, Charles Sims and Dalton Crossan on their active roster. Barber played in all 16 games for Tampa Bay, but he only started in four of them and I am not sold on him being a true #1 running back. Barber had 108 carries last season, for 423 yards and 3 touchdowns. Barber is a very good compliment back in this league, but the Buccaneers need a true #1 option who has home run ability and can be a dangerous threat in the passing game as well. It is imperative for Tampa Bay to come out of the second round with a starting running back. Some Names to keep an eye on are Derrius Guice, Ronald Jones, or Nick Chubb. Either of those three would be great, but my first choice is Guice. I’d even trade up to get him.
#3 - Offensive line
This may come as a surprise to many Buccaneers fans, but I put offensive line over safety. I believe that Chris Conte and Keith tandy are serviceable options for another year. It is extremely hard to fix every need in one offseason. If I was Jason Licht, I would be looking to take an offensive tackle in the second round. Not only do you add depth to a very important position, but you also add Demar Dotson’s eventual replacement. I’m not confident in Dotson making it through a full 16 game season at the age of 32. The reason I would take a tackle over a guard is because at guard we kind of have a log jam. You have J.R. Sweezy, Evan Smith, Ali Marpet and Caleb Benenoch. Where does a 5th guard fit into play? Some names to keep an eye on are Connor Williams and Tyrell Crosby, who would be excellent options to replace Demar Dotson.
We will see how day two of the draft plays out, but it is imperative that the Buccaneers address at least two of the positions listed above. Give me Guice, Donte Jackson and Tyrell Crosby and I will be a very happy fan.