With the postseason officially over, the focus of the entire NFL has now turned to the draft. Here is what the Buccaneers should do if they keep Jameis.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Jameis Winston have experienced many highs and lows, but the best decision for the Bucs to make is still to bring back the former FSU quarterback as this gives them the greatest chance of winning.
As all signs point to this being the most likely future for Winston, this mock draft was created with a James Winston return in mind.
The Buccaneers’ most glaring needs in the draft are offensive and defensive line which are addressed early. In addition to this, the Buccaneers will also need to evaluate several other key positions depending on how free agency/trades pan out before the start of the 2020 season.
1st Round- Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
The first pick of the draft for the Buccaneers is to address the most obvious hole on the team: offensive tackle. The Buccaneer offensive tackles, Donovan Smith and Demar Dotson, struggled in 2019 despite their high price tags.
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The Buccaneers’ best hope for giving Jameis Winston a chance to succeed as a franchise quarterback in 2020 is to give him some protection on offensive line, specifically revamping their tackles.
Andrew Thomas would likely be a steal in the draft at 16 as his talent could easily place him in the top 10. Thomas was dominant throughout his time at Georgia, even as a true freshman. This time on a successful Georgia team has given Thomas a decent amount of exposure to NFL-caliber talent.
If the Buccaneers were to make this pick it would likely cause a shift on the offensive line. Donovan Smith could potentially be moved to right tackle where he would be in a better fit and Demar Dotson would likely be off the team, saving the Buccaneers some money.
Neither of these moves are easy to make as Smith is already set to make a lot of money in 2020 and Dotson has been on the team for a decade, but Andrew Thomas has the potential to be one of the best offensive tackles that the Buccaneers have had in years.
This move certainly takes some pressure off of Jameis Winston and will give him more time in the pocket to throw.