We’ve known for some time that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be drafting 13th overall in this April’s NFL Draft. But while we know where they’re drafting we have no idea what they’ll be drafting and that could be virtually anything. We have a good idea of where the Bucs would like to go in the draft, however if Dee Milliner isn’t on the board at No. 13, any number of things could happen.
We’ve discussed numerous options for the Bucs before, but one we haven’t really explored — and one that’s a great possibility– is the Buccaneers trading down and compiling picks while still getting a great prospect.
This is a strategy we were surprised with last year when Tampa Bay traded down from 5th to 7th overall and drafted Alabama safety Mark Barron. Tampa Bay then used the fourth round pick they acquired as part of a package to trade back into the first round and draft running back Doug Martin.
And that all worked out pretty well for the Bucs.
This year taking a cornerback that’s not Dee Milliner at 13th overall would be a serious reach and one that the Buccaneers cannot afford to make. If Milliner is not on the board, perhaps the Bucs best option would be to trade down, pick up a few more picks and either keep trading down or take someone wherever they land after the first trade.
Two serious options the Bucs should consider is Milliner is gone, would be Georgia linebacker Alec Ogletree or Texas safety Kenny Vaccaro. We detailed why Ogletree is a good idea last night, but Vaccaro is a dark-horse option that could end up paying off in the long run.
Vaccaro, once paired with Mark Barron, would give the Buccaneers one of the youngest and most talented safety tandems in the NFL. It’s not a popular pick, but results in games tend to change the minds of draft day doubters.
One thing trading down would afford the Bucs is the chance to trade back into the first round again and double dip on cornerbacks. If the Buccaneers trade down to picks 17-23, they could pick up Johnthan Banks (because he wouldn’t be a reach at this point) and then trade back into the first round at picks 28-32 and draft Xavier Rhodes.
The only real need the Buccaneers have is at cornerback, so doubling up with first round secondary talent would be something everyone would be happy with. Both Banks and Rhodes are projected to be first round picks, but if one is selected before the Bucs can trade back into the first, Tampa could always use their picks to trade to the top of the second round and select a guy like Desmond Trufant or Logan Ryan.
Basically, if Dee Milliner is not on the board at 13th overall, the Bucs have plenty of options on the table. Like last year, we still don’t know what the Buccaneers will do but if history has taught us anything, it’s that we should trust Mark Dominik.