It’s not uncommon for teams to play their cards close to the chest when it comes to their plans for the NFL Draft.
Well, Bruce Arians said screw that. He’s putting it all on the table.
Tampa Bay’s second-year head coach had several noteworthy comments come out of the Tuesday edition of the NFL Combine, but revealing his draft strategy was certainly one of the most noteworthy items of the day.
Per pewterreport.com, Arians told reporters that the Bucs’ ability to retain their defensive free agents will drive the direction of the draft.
Bruce Arians says that the #Bucs ability to get their defensive free agents back will drive the direction of their draft.— PewterReport (@PewterReport) February 25, 2020
If this is indeed the Bucs’ plan, then we should have a very solid idea of what they’ll do on draft day by the end of March.
Think about it. If Tampa Bay re-signs Shaquil Barrett, Jason Pierre-Paul, Ndamukong Suh - or a combination of those two plus a Carl Nassib, Rakeem Nunes-Rochez, etc - then odds are Jason Licht and co. will make taking an offensive linemen at 14 a top priority.
If all those guys come back but Jameis Winston ends up playing elsewhere, then odds are Tampa Bay will take a quarterback with its first pick.
Granted, it’s still a conditional situation regardless of what happens and if the Bucs only bring back, let’s say, Barrett, then there will still be a rather large amount of uncertainty heading into the final weekend of April.
Either way, Arians’ quote provided a lot of insight that hopefully helped ease a lot of fans’ nerves about the upcoming draft.