The NFL Draft begins tomorrow, and so before the festivities begin, let’s take one last look at what the Buccaneers can do with their remaining draft choices after the Darrelle Revis trade took their first round pick away in exchange for an All-Pro corner. Consider this my official attempt to correctly predict what the Buccaneers will do if they don’t trade their picks in a drastic way.
Round 2: Johnathan Hankins DT, Ohio State
The Buccaneers could still use depth on the defensive line, and while Hankins isn’t perfect, he’s quick, strong, and big, and that’s a perfect combination to line up next to Gerald McCoy. He’ll need to get better mechanically, but he’s still enough of a threat to merit double teams in a nose tackle role.
Round 3: Jordan Reed, TE, Florida
Reed is a player I initially thought would be a perfect fit with the Buccaneers, and have spent the offseason trying to think of other tight ends the Buccaneers may pursue. But on the eve of the draft, I’m going back to my gut. Jordan Reed is not going to be the beastly blocker paving the way for Doug Martin, but that’s what the tight ends on the roster already can do. Reed will add a versatile option in the passing game, lining up all over the offensive formation and providing an intermediate threat to catch the football.
Round 4: Jon Bostic, LB, Florida and Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU
The Buccaneers stay in the SEC and take two players to provide depth in the front seven in the fourth round. Bostic has all the tools to be a very good, but isn’t quite ready to step in and run a defense as a linebacker. He is quick, smart, and has great reaction time, plus the ability to punish ball carriers with hard hits. Montgomery got more sacks than highly touted Barkevious Mingo, but isn’t the same kind of NFL prospect. I’ll still take my chances on a productive SEC defensive lineman, especially one that gives a ton of effort on the field. There may be questions about his effort during the week, which is something Coach Schiano will either help deal with, or could cause a rift between coach and player.
Round 5: Will Davis, CB, Utah State
The Buccaneers could use depth to compete for the final roster spots at corner, especially if Ronde Barber fails to come back. That’s where Davis comes in. He’s not physical enough to handle a starting spot right away, but he might be a great fit as a nickel and dime defender. He knows how to stop receivers from catching passes, leading the country in passes defended while at Utah State.
Round 6: Ryan Spadola, WR, Lehigh and Sean Renfree, QB, Duke
The Buccaneers spend the final round of picks that they own in this draft shoring up depth on offense. Spadola provides a very productive and reliable receiver who stood out at a lower level of competition, and could prove to be a surprise player in the NFL. Renfree is someone we’ve profiled earlier, and I believe he is the perfect backup for Josh Freeman. He’s been groomed by the right coach in college, and has all the tools needed to be an NFL quarterback. It’s the space between his ears that holds him back.