The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a plethora of directions they could go in the draft, but what are the best options?
As free agency inches closer and closer, the draft still seems to be the number one thing on everyone’s mind. The enormous amount of options and directions the Buccaneers could go is certainly intriguing. In fact, isn’t it nice that for the first time in Jason Licht’s career with the Bucs we don’t have every expert mocking the same guy to us every single week?
Licht and Dirk Koetter did a great job last season of filling holes via free agency and one would expect them to do the same this year. Many of the signings they make will make the draft situation much clearer but for now we’re left with a lot of questions. The biggest one?
Should the Buccaneers make this draft offensive heavy?
The cornerback situation is still murky, especially when Brent Grimes only has one year remaining on his deal with the team. They need help at defensive tackle, safety, and linebacker. However, without addressing essentially every position other than quarterback, the Bucs may find themselves with the same problems as last season.
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They need a legitimate number two receiver, a feature running back, another tight end (or two), offensive line depth, and likely one more receiver. That whole weapons for Winston thing, right?
Some of these can – and likely will – be addressed in free agency. Receivers like Kenny Stills, Kenny Britt, Cordarrelle Patterson, and DeSean Jackson are all expected to hit the open market. While none of them appear to be a solid number two receiver option, any of them would provide some fire power and spark to the offense.
As far as running back is concerned, it’s basically draft or bust. I’m in the “if he becomes available, the Bucs should go for Adrian Peterson” crowd, but many don’t feel the same. He’s 32 years old and has had some major injury problems in two of the last three seasons. Outside of him there are really no feature back options on the market, so a pick will be spent on running back within the first two days of the draft. That is, unless, they stick with Doug Martin – but even that isn’t a sure fire fix.
The help the Bucs can find defensively in free agency far outweighs the help they’ll find offensively. The possibility of getting a Calais Campbell, Eric Berry, Dontari Poe to shore up a need on defense would be a home run compared to that of a Patterson, a Stills, or a Garcon.
When it comes draft time, it seems highly likely the Buccaneers will load up on offense again like they did in both the 2014 and 2015 drafts. Hopefully this time it works out better than those two years.