The NFL Draft is finally upon us! The players are in the house as the NFL Draft spends three days in Las Vegas and the lives of 262 individuals change forever.
For the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, they are only slotted to get six of those 262 as the draft begins. That doesn’t mean they will select six, however as they could trade some away to move up or gain some to move down.
Heading into the draft there are some needs the Buccaneers need to address - primarily along the offensive and defensive lines, in the secondary, tight end, and running back. With the retirement of Ali Marpet and departure of Alex Cappa, the Bucs traded a fifth round pick to the Patriots for Shaq Mason and look to Aaron Stinnie to take over at guard. That doesn’t preclude them from drafting an interior lineman on Thursday night to compete for a starting job.
Then you have the unknown statuses of Ndamukong Suh and Rob Gronkowski. The Bucs have Vita Vea and William Gholston along the defensive line but need a starter if Suh isn’t going to return. With Gronk, it doesn’t matter whether he returns or not - the Bucs still need another tight end to go with Cameron Brate and Cody McElroy.
Then in the secondary you saw the Bucs bring in safeties Logan Ryan and Keanu Neal. Ryan isn’t a true safety and is more of a hybrid player while Neal is returning to safety this season after spending a season at linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys. The Bucs could still be in the market for a true, starting safety to line up opposite Antoine Winfield Jr.
Sean Murphy-Bunting and Jamel Dean are both in contract years and Murphy-Bunting is coming off of a disappointing season both in terms of injury and performance. As we saw last season, cornerback depth is an issue and one injury could derail the entire unit.
Finally, Tom Brady has plenty of weapons but the Buccaneers will need to look to replace Ronald Jones and give Leonard Fournette a complimentary back to go along with Gio Bernard and Ke’Shawn Vaughn. And don’t be surprised if the Bucs take a wide receiver as that was another position group that wasn’t as deep as many thought in 2021 and Chris Godwin’s ACL recovery may cause him to miss time early in the season.
As it stands now, the Buccaneers are selecting at picks 27, 60, 91, 133, 248, and 261. Below, we will track all the Buccaneers picks from the weekend with trade details should any occur. You can check out all of the odds for this year’s draft courtesy of our friends at DraftKings Sportsbook.
IOL, DL, TE, CB, S, RB
Round One: Pick 27 - TRADED TO JACKSONVILLE. Bucs receive picks 33, 106, and 180
Round Two: Pick 33 - Logan Hall - DL, Houston
With holes along the defensive line, the Bucs look to the defensive lineman from Houston to come in and fill the void. Hall is 6’6”, 285lbs and even if Suh returns will still fill a rotational role until becoming the full time starter. Hall was a 2021 First-Team All-AAC and 2021 Dave Campbell All-State First Team. He finished the 2021 season with 13.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks. Hall was also a starter all four year, including as a true Freshman. Here is a profile from our NFL Draft prospect series.
Round Two: Pick 57 - Luke Goedeke - OG, Central Michigan
With the losses of Ali Marpet and Alex Cappa, the Bucs turned to Aaron Stinnie and a trade with the New England Patriots for Shaq Mason. Now, they find themselves some solid depth and someone who might just compete for a starting job. Goedeke - a converted tight end - is a top-tier run blocker and has a level of nastiness to him that mirrors Buccaneers center Ryan Jensen. At 6’5”, 312lbs Goedeke has the size, strength, and athleticism Jason Licht covets in his offensive linemen.
Round Two: Pick 60 - Traded To Buffalo Bills For Pick 57
Round Three: Pick 91 - Rachaad White - RB, Arizona State
The Bucs get their replacement for Ronald Jones and select Arizona State Sun Devil Rachaad White. White - 6’0”, 214lbs - has 4.48 speed and is an elusive player that has an affinity with slipping out of tackles. Good vision, sharp cuts took White from a no-star recruit to a 1,000 yard back in 2021 for the Sun Devils, racking up 15 rushing touchdowns. He also has some decent ability as a pass catching back, but still has room to grow in that area. Of his 224 total touches in his time at Arizona State, 44% of them resulted in a first down.
Round Four: Pick 106 - Cade Otton - TE, Washington
Even if Gronk returns, the Buccaneers need to fill the void left by O.J. Howard. Otton is a 6’5”, 250lb tight end that can catch just about anything that comes his way. He’s a leader on and off the field and will add reliability to the TE corps. He’s not overly fast and doesn’t have much burst off the line, but is a polished route runner that can use great body control to get open.
Round Four: Pick 133 - Jake Camarda - P, Georgia
With a high cap price on Bradley Pinion following an under performing year, the Bucs look to shore up their special teams with a National Champion. Camarda has a career long of 68 yards while averaging 45.5 yards per punt in 2021. This will likely signal the release of Pinion, saving the Bucs $2.9M on the cap.
Round Five: Pick 157 (Traded 2023 Fourth Round Pick to Jacksonville) -
Zyon McCollum - CB, Sam Houston
The Bucs make a solid move, moving into the fifth round to find themselves some cornerback depth. McCullum - 6’2”, 200lbs - has a 39.5 inch vertical and runs a 4.33. Has really impressive footwork and reaction speed to keep pace with receivers, helping him rack up 54 passes defensed and 13 interceptions at Sam Houston. His backpedal isn’t great and will need some work, but his vision and knowledge help counteract some of his shortcomings. A projected third round pick, McCullum is a huge value in the fifth and could be the steal of the Bucs’ haul if he is able to fine tune his game.
Round Six: Pick 180 - Traded To Bills For Pick 57
Round Six: Pick 218 (Traded picks 235 and 261 to LA Rams) - Ko Kieft - TE, Minnesota
The Bucs trade up into the sixth round and double up at tight end. Kieft - 6’4”, 260lbs - who is more known for his blocking than his receiving. Only twelve career receptions - two for touchdowns - Kieft is a guy that can be an extra blocker in jumbo sets and help along the edge. This certainly doesn’t give any indication that Gronk isn’t returning given Kieft’s strengths.
Round Seven: Pick 235 (From Jacksonville) - Traded to Rams for Pick 218
Round Seven: Pick 248 - Andre Anthony - EDGE, LSU
6’3” and 245 lbs, Anthony ran a 4.69 40 and sports an 82-inch wingspan. Anthony finished his time at LSU with ten sacks over four years and had 55 tackles. He played in just three games his final year due to injury but will be in the mix for a backup edge rusher in Bowles’ defense. Has solid burst off the snap and can bend around the turn but struggles separating himself from blockers after initial contact. If he doesn’t beat them clean, he has a hard time getting himself back in the play.
Round Seven: Pick 261 - Traded to Rams for Pick 218