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NFL Draft 2018: Buccaneers winners and losers after three rounds

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Who will benefit and who will suffer from the Bucs draft so far?

2018 NFL Draft Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

We are through three rounds and the Buccaneers have had a great draft so far. With drafting good talent also comes to potential for players on the current roster to either benefit from their selections or fear for their jobs.

We take a look at those who will be affected by the selections the Bucs have made so far.

Winners

Gerald McCoy

After the selection of defensive tackle Vita Vea, veteran defensive tackle Gerald McCoy must have been at home doing a happy dance in one of his super hero character robes. Vea will take some of the pressure off of McCoy when it comes to being double teamed. May not happen right away, but when opposing linemen struggle to stop Vea, they’ll have to figure out if to focus on the young guy or the vet.

Jameis Winston

A quarterback’s best friends are a good running game and a good offensive line. The Buccaneers drafted running back Ronald Jones in the second round and offensive lineman Alex Cappa in the third round. Cappa may be a project from the start, but will help push the linemen in front of him to be better (or push them out the door). Jones provides a great threat out of the backfield with speed and pass-catching ability. Both selections will take pressure off of Jameis Winston in more ways than one.

The Linebackers

The selection of Vea as many benefits aside from helping McCoy. Vea’s ability to eat up space will create lanes in gaps for backers to rush through. That means that Lavonte David, Kwon Alexander, and the rest of the linebacking corps will be able to wreak havoc on the opposition’s backfield. That’ll result in more tackles for loss and more sacks.

Defensive Coordinator Mike Smith

The defensive unit got stronger with depth and talent after the selection of Vea and cornerbacks M.J. Stewart and Carlton Davis. All three can provide a nice rotation at each position and offer talent with the ability to make an immediate impact. This will give Mike Smith the opportunity to be more creative in his defensive playcalling.

Losers

Vernon Hargreaves III

Selecting Stewart and Davis could spell trouble for the Buccaneers’ 2016 first round pick. Hargreaves’ inability to properly grasp the defensive playbook and adjust to the NFL level has made the coaches wonder what to do with the former Gator. Both can play inside or outside corner, spelling trouble for Hargreaves.

Jacquizz Rodgers and Charles Sims

The selection of Ronald Jones was great. While it will benefit Jameis Winston and the rest of the offense, he could mean trouble for running backs Jacquizz Rodgers and Charles Sims. The two have to officially perform well throughout camp and the preseason or they may find themselves looking for a new place to play. And it’s likely at least one of them will.

Defensive Coordinator Mike Smith

Yes, the previously mentioned defensive selections can make defensive coordinator a winner, but they can also make him a loser. The team has enough talent on defensive side of the ball now to allow for Smith to be creative. There are no excuses. If he can’t even put Vea in good positions with the calls he makes, he can forget about coaching the Bucs’ defense and make way for someone like defensive line coach Brentson Buckner to take over.