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2019 NFL Draft: Bucs Day Three Preview

What we might see from Tampa Bay on the final day of the 2019 NFL Draft

NCAA Football: Senior Bowl Practice-North John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

One day after surprising nobody by taking LSU linebacker Devin White with the fifth-overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers surprised a lot of people by taking three defensive backs in rounds two and three.

In case you missed it, or just need proof it actually happened, here they are:

But that was day two, now we’re on to day three.


NFL: Combine Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Call me crazy, but I think the secondary needs some more pieces. Just kidding.

The trenches. Attacking them, protecting them, winning in them. It’s gotta be the trenches.

When Trevor Sikkema joined myself and James Yarcho on the Locked On Bucs Podcast he said what we’ve all been saying, and that is we have to operate off the assumption Gerald McCoy will not be back for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2019.

No team officials have gone on record saying this of course, but this has been kind of an background story of the draft process, in that many are waiting to see if or when McCoy is traded for whatever draft capital the team can muster for him.

The right side of the offensive line has not been addressed, which is one source of serious frustration in the fan base. Is Earl Watford really the starting right guard? Or Evan Smith? Or Alex Cappa? The assumption was no. This assumption may have been wrong.

Finally, edge. Many, many people swore the team absolutely had to take an edge rusher in the first two rounds. Obviously, the Buccaneers themselves disagreed.

Will they take an edge rusher on day three? This is the lowest of my personal priorities for the team, but it would be nice to see them grab another pass rusher to add help for Jason Pierre-Paul, Carl Nassib and Noah Spence.


NFL: Combine Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Every year has it’s group of sliders. Here are three I am genuinely shocked are still available heading into Saturday.

CB, Amani Oruwariye (Penn State) - Is it medical? Something in his background? Did he just do that poorly in interviews? I don’t honestly know at this point, but whatever happened, a guy who was once competing to be the first cornerback taken is now waiting to hear his name on day three.

S, Chauncey Gardner-Johnson (Florida) - Again, another defensive back who was nowhere near expected to exit round two, let alone day two. Several safeties have been taken who don’t figure to stack up as well as this prospect, yet he sits, waiting. And right now, we have no clue as to why.

OG, Dru Samia (Oklahoma) - Perhaps this surprise will help get things started right for the Buccaneers on day three, but Dru Samia was expected to be taken on day two of the NFL Draft. Now, he was a third-round projection, so not a huge upset, but a surprise nonetheless.


NFL: Combine Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Good news for the angry population of Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans is, there are still some really good players the team could target as they wrap up their draft class.

OG, Dru Samia (Oklahoma) - We’re going to start this segment the way we ended the first one. With Samia. I’m still not sold the Bucs feel 100% comfortable with the right side of their line, and if there’s a position in need of immediate talent injection, it’s the guard position. If he’s available and is not the fourth-round selection for Tampa Bay, then maybe they really do feel good about their line as-is.

DT, Gerald Willis [Miami(Fla.)] - If the Bucs pass on the offensive line in the fourth, perhaps it’s to shore up the defensive line. Again, everyone is assuming McCoy is gone. An opinion which feels weaker with every pick that passes. Gerald Willis flashes next level talent and is even scored as having a chance to become an NFL starter. His problem is consistency. And if the coaches in Tampa can get him consistent, then they could successfully replace McCoy and maintain a level of disruption in middle pairing Willis with Vita Vea.

DL, Byron Cowart (Maryland) - Cowart is not a smooth success story, but if you’re looking for resiliency and perseverance, Cowart is your man. A five star recruit heading to Auburn, he left with his ego bruised and his head down. But in Maryland, he revived his collegiate career and has a chance to save his dreams of playing in the NFL. Has his experience humbled him and made him hungry? Well, that’s for the team interviews to determine. But if it has, this is a guy with a high ceiling and potential worth molding in later rounds.