We’re taking the Bucs Nation mailbag post and applying a point counter-point approach. Gil Arcia and Evan Winter will field your questions sent via Twitter using hashtag #AddressingTheNation as well as your emailed questions to BucsNation@sbnation.com. Get your questions in before Friday of each week and check out BucsNation.com for responses to some of your questions. Then chime in below in the comments and tell us what you think!
This week’s questions came via Twitter.
Jordy sent in the first question, so naturally we will get to him first:
Evan: I’m always a fan of trading down in the draft. And just for the sake of this discussion, I posted something a couple of weeks ago that may help fans when it comes to figuring out what it would cost to move up or down in the draft.
That being said, if the Bucs do go for a trade, I’d like to see them trade down. The most plausible scenario is akin to the Denver Broncos/Pittsburgh Steelers trade last year. Pittsburgh traded away its 20th overall pick, a second-round pick, and a third-round pick to move up from 20th to 10th. I wouldn’t mind something like that at, all.
When it comes to actual trade partners, I look at teams like the Jacksonville Jaguars (they have an extra first), the Dolphins (see the Jags), or the Patriots (if they lose Tom Brady). All of the other teams are either set at quarterback or don’t have too many pressing needs that may line up with who’s available at 14.
Gil: I’m not a fan of trading down, unless there is absolutely no targets at your draft spot. So going off of that, they need to stand pat because they will undoubtedly have a potential target there at 14.
The caveat here in my opinion would be how they decide to handle the quarterback situation, in particular Jameis Winston. Teams like the Dolphins and Raiders may be looking at quarterbacks and may not even draft them ahead of the Bucs as they elect to wait for their later picks in the first round to do so. Crazier things have happened so I wouldn’t be surprised.
As Evan mentioned, those teams could be good candidates for trading down, but I say stay where you are and get your guy.
Gil: Oof... this is tough. Jason Pierre-Paul proved he can still get after the quarterbackafter missing several games to start 2019. Ndamukong Suh was a big part of the team’s success against the run and Demar Dotson is as reliable as they. But since you are asking “if” they are gone, I’d say the biggest position of need becomes Dotson’s vacancy.
The offensive line has been inconsistent and while Dotson has appeared to be replaceable as it is anyways, it becomes that much more of a bigger problem. If so then it would be ideal to replace him with a veteran offensive tackle.
The Bucs defense came on strong as the season progressed so I don’t think there would be huge concerns with back-filling the vacancies that would be left behind if Suh and JPP were not brought back. Or I should say, not a bigger concern than that of an already questionable offensive line.
Evan: This comes down to depth for me. It feels like Josh Wells will be back. If that happens, he will be the backup swing tackle, and he also improved down the stretch in 2019. So, with all that in mind, the Bucs need to find a guy to replace Dotson and there are plenty of options available through free agency and the draft.
The thing about Suh and JPP is there are other guys behind them on the depth chart that are pending free agents. Names like Rakeem Nunez-Roches, Beau Allen, Shaquil Barrett, etc. all have a chance of playing elsewhere in 2019, like Wells, but that means they have a chance to return, too. But in my opinion, the future is murkier with those guys than it is with Wells.
With all this being said, I think defensive line is the biggest need if all three don’t return. Suh led all defensive linemen in defensive snaps played (77%) in 2019 and was a major part of the league’s number one run defense. With a young but growing secondary, it’s important the Bucs stay stout up front on the defensive side of the ball.