If Bucs fans were excited by the Howard pick, then they should be over the moon with the third round pick.
Wide receiver Chris Godwin from Penn State has personally been on my radar since the beginning of this process, and I literally threw my arms up and celebrated when the pick was announced.
He’s not the biggest player, but he’s got underrated strength for his size. Likewise, he isn’t going to break the 40-yard dash records anytime soon, but his downfield speed is deceptive and will catch unprepared defenders by surprise.
Time for the stats. Godwin had more than 900 receiving yards in his final two seasons as a Nittany Lion, and peaked in his scoring output with 11 touchdowns in 2016.
It shouldn’t take more than two years for the Bucs to turn him into a solid number-two receiver lining him up opposite Evans after Jackson decides to move on to his post-NFL life.
Finding a future starter at the 84th pick isn’t necessarily a rarity, but it certainly isn’t a guarantee. It looks like Tampa has done just that, and they get a grade to reflect it. Oh, and extra credit for getting him without having to trade up.
Pick Grade: A
Just when you thought the Bucs were done, they pulled back into the third round in a trade with the New York Jets.
Giving up their fourth and sixth round picks in this year’s draft, the Bucs reached back into the tail end of day two and selected LSU’s linebacker Kendell Beckwith.
Needing someone to fill the strong-side linebacker position with Daryl Smith no longer on the roster, Licht and company came through taking the former Tiger to join Kwon Alexander in the team’s linebacker room.
His draft stock may very well have been higher had he not torn his ACL against Florida in 2016.
At the end of the day, Beckwith is a two-year starter coming from a school which has found a nice groove producing impact defenders as of late.
The Atlanta Falcons dipped into the LSU linebacker pool taking Deion Jones in last year’s draft. He turned out to be quite the find and helped the team make it to the Super Bowl in 2016.
Like the Bucs, they dipped back into that pool, and here’s hoping Tampa finds the same success they did last time.
The need at this position was considered to be quite lower than others, but the potential looks good. It’s an average response for now, with high hopes for potential.
Pick Grade: C
So this puts a bow on the Buccaneers’ day-two at the NFL Draft. Jason Licht has certainly looked to give his returning players the gift of young talent in critical areas.
On day two alone, the team brought in a safety some believe will be a starter by the time we reach the games which count in September.
In addition to a key defensive player, they added a wide receiver who can contribute within the offense this year, and has the potential to usher in the next decade of Bucs football.
Not a bad crop starting to take shape here in the 2017 NFL Draft, and now for today’s grade.
Day-2 Grade: B
Moving on to day three, there’s still work to be done, so the Licht family shouldn’t be jumping into the pool just yet.
A running back has been rumored to be a target for the team, and maybe by now, the thought Doug Martin may be lined up to return could actually gain some traction.
Most feel the offensive line could use some depth, and of course, you can never have enough pass rushers.
We’re halfway there for the 2017 NFL Draft, and the Bucs have made some impressive moves while being one of the few not to move up to now.
Come on back to check out our continuing coverage and let us know what you think about what’s been happening this year.