Buccaneers Final Draft Grades: Evaluating the Entire 2017 Class
The Bucs used their last pick of the NFL Draft beefing up their interior defensive line by selection USC’s Stevie Tu’ikolovatu.
Starting his collegiate career in Utah after a two-year mission and medical redshirt in what should’ve been his first season, Tu’ikolovatu will be 26 before the season starts.
After spending his first two seasons with the Utes, he transferred to USC for his final season.
This is where it gets good Bucs fans.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Due to paperwork issues, Tu’ikolovatu had to spend his first six months with USC living out of his car because he wasn’t authorized housing.
As a Trojan, he had his best season of his career netting himself 53 tackles with half a sack.
He certainly isn’t being brought in to add to the pass rush, but he’s a solid run defender who will help nicely on special teams and goaline situations when the team needs more strength up front.
I don’t see this pick turning into a starter, partly because of the talent up front already and the age he will be entering as a rookie.
With Clinton McDonald nearing the end of his career, and Sealver Siliga firmly entrenched as a bench player, Tu’ikolovatu certainly has the opportunity to make himself a fixture with the team.
Adding depth is never a bad thing, but I wonder if there was a need to trade up and give up a future pick.
The curiosity isn’t a big concern, but it’s there.
The Bucs got a starting caliber tight end, safety, wide receiver, linebacker, running back and defensive lineman.
Holding strong to their off-season message of support for their offensive line, not one pick was spent to improve the current stable of linemen.
Time will tell if this was a smart move or not. I for one, was looking to the franchise using one of their day three picks on an offensive lineman.
Of course, it could very well have been the plan to do so, but after using two day three picks to move up for a linebacker, the opportunities to do so had faded.
How’s the overall class look?
Well, three of these players look to be immediate impact players with one which appears to be a nice role player who certainly could work his way into the running game in 2017. The final pick is a hungry player who brings some run-stopping ability to the Bucs’ depth chart.
Overall Grade: B-
A running back earlier would have been nice, and until we get some insight into how the team plans on using the third-round linebacker they selected, it’s just a bit puzzling.
If he’s simply a role player or depth player, I have to believe a player could have been found in the fourth or fifth round to fill the same role.
These are my thoughts, what are your thoughts? What’s your grade?
Next: Fan Reaction to McNichols
As always, let me know what you think, and keep coming back as we’ve got plenty more coming in the weeks to follow.