After three days, we now have the 2020 Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ rookie class. At least, the ones picked. Undrafted free-agents will be trickling in, as always, but this part of the job is done at least.
As they have throughout the process, Jason Licht and Bruce Arians met in conference with media following their last selection in the seventh-round.
Arians kicked off the comments and quickly voiced how happy he is with the class saying, “I can’t say enough about each and every guy. Just like last year’s draft I think each and every one of these guys might have a role on this team.”
“We felt like we had the board set really well, and the players that we got, they all have some redeeming qualities that we loved,” said Licht. “One thing that they all had in common is they loved football, they’re ballers, and they’re very passionate about the game...”
Day one and two picks are always looked at a little closer than the rest, but one pick which might end up far exceeding it’s value is the fifth-rounder spent on Minnesota wide recevier, Tyler Johnson.
Asked about the selection, Arians said, “I can’t tell you how long I was waiting - I was just shaking waiting on that one...I actually sat here and watched that game here in Tampa with my son, and (I would say), ‘I gotta get this guy.”
Something likely to stand out in this class is the lack of a young developmental quarterback to groom behind Tom Brady. As it turns out, this wasn’t necessarily the plan all along, but more a circumstance of how the board fell.
“There were guys we were looking at,” Arians said. “They all got jumped on early. We’re going to sign a free-agent that I think has a really good upside, and see how that goes, but I love our quarterback room.”
Finally, the hype train has pulled into Tampa Bay before, but rarely has it turned up the kind of production many expected along with it. Now, with Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski added to the team, a generally considered successful draft should only fuel the excitement around the team heading into the 2020 season.
Asked about this hype and expectation, Arians responded the way you would almost expect him to. Embracing it, never shying away from high goals and standards.
“I love ‘em,” Arians said. “I embrace it. I want our guys to feel that we are a team to beat. You know, everybody that left our locker room in that last meeting knew we should have been playing in the playoffs. That we beat ourselves. And if we could correct the turnover ratio, we’re going to have a chance. So, yeah, I think everybody that walks into our building is expecting to win.”
Undrafted free-agency is up next, and has already began. There is still a possibility more veteran’s could be added to the roster, although the sense is the shape of the roster has mostly taken form.
A lot of work will need to be done in the coming months, and the sooner the team can get together to put in that work, the better.
Thanks for sticking with Bucs Nation throughout the 2020 NFL Draft weekend. We look forward to helping you through the rest of the off-season, hopefully moving towards a successful 2020 NFL Season.