With the 19th overall selection in the first round, the Bucs select: Budda Baker, Safety, University of Washington.
Baker is exactly what this secondary needs. Physical, aggressive, has ball skills and better yet, he can cover the slot.
Selecting in the first round is a gentle balance between immediate impact and long-term answers.
This safety can bring both. Immediately, he’s a nickel guy who can fill in at safety in a pinch, or earn the starting job outright.
The secondary has already begun its improvement with young guys like Vernon Hargreaves III. Grimes brought in a solid veteran presence last year, and will bring it again in 2017.
Ryan Smith should have been a corner all along, and the Bucs are bringing him back to his rightful position this coming season. The front end of the secondary is looking good.
I know there’s been a lot of buzz building around fellow safety Obi Melifonwu, and I definitely see why.
This being said, Baker is still the best safety in the class behind Jamal Adams and Ohio State’s Malik Hooker.
Since neither figure to be around when the Bucs go on the clock, Baker is the guy to pick, and Tampa’s secondary will get another upgrade in the first round.