Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have added five players today, and lost one, as not only draft picks but trades have altered the shape of the Buccaneers’ roster heading into 2013.
The Buccaneers started the day off by adding Akeem Spence from Illinois. Spence is a defensive tackle, and Coach Schiano told the media he will be playing the tilted nose position left vacant by Roy Miller. He’s a big, strong defensive tackle and you can read more about him by clicking here. The Buccaneers traded up to acquire Spence, which left them without one of their two sixth round picks.
The Buccaneers use their second pick in the fourth round to bring in William Gholston, a defensive end from Michigan State. Gholston is a huge human being, and has tons of raw ability, but lacks polish as a football player and there are concerns about how he’ll develop. His cousin was a first round bust for the Jets, and there are worries that William may follow suit. You can check out our take on Gholston and give your grade for him by clicking here.
The next pick for the Bucs came in the fifth round, and it was a name not many experts had going quite that high in the draft. Steven Means, a linebacker from the University of Buffalo, was the pick, and it would later be learned that he will be used as a defensive end in Tampa Bay. Greg Schiano and Mark Dominik were confident that he will be a pass rusher once he develops his skills, and will be an important member of the special teams unit. You can check out more about him here.
And with what would be the Buccaneers final selection, the front office selected Mike James, running back from Miami. The team would trade up to secure James, who showed tons of versatility with the Hurricanes. He’s a tough runner, very strong, blocks well and contributes as a pass catcher as well. You can read more about him here.
The pick used to trade up for Mike James was a seventh round selection from New England, who gave the Buccaneers that pick along with speedster Jeffery Demps in exchange for LeGarrette Blount. Demps was not going to make the Patriots’ roster due to his desire to continue a track career that has brought him a silver medal at the Olympics, but the Buccaneers appear willing to allow Demps the time he needs to pursue that career. Blount was unlikely to have much of a role with the Buccaneers, and may not have even made the roster, as he failed to show skills that carved out a defined role for the big running back. You can read about the trade here.
Add in Johnthan Banks and Mike Glennon from Day Two of the NFL Draft, and you’re looking at the first phase of new Buccaneers added through the draft process. There will be more players brought in to the team through the undrafted free agency process, and we will keep you updated on all the additions that we learn about through the weekend.
Let us know what you think about the Buccaneers’ draft so far, and join us in welcoming the newest Tampa Bay Buccaneers.