Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Biggest draft priorities in rounds 1-3

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2021 NFL Draft (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2021 NFL Draft (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will largely define their 2020 draft class with the first three picks that they make. Here are the positions to prioritize.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are not far off from competing in 2020. While the record was nothing to write home about in 2019, the Bucs missed out on several wins in the closing seconds of games making the record seem worse than the level of play indicated.

The Bucs will try to remedy this by having another great draft in 2020 to build upon the stellar 2019 class of rookies who mostly outperformed their already-high expectations.

There isn’t one singular player in the draft that the Buccaneers have to target but there are several positions that Tampa Bay has to focus on.

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1.  Offensive line

The first position that the Buccaneers have to focus on is the offensive line, specifically the tackle position.

Tampa Bay has a stellar interior offensive line with Ali Marpet, Ryan Jensen, and Alex Cappa but the tackles are where the quality of the line starts to drop off. The Bucs are likely moving on from Demar Dotson in 2020 to save some money and will need to draft a replacement.

The 2020 class of offensive tackles is very deep and the Bucs could get away with using a pick in either of the first two rounds on this position.

2. Defensive line

The second position that Tampa Bay needs to focus on is the interior of their defensive line. The priority for this position will change depending on what the Bucs do with Ndamukong Suh, but it seems likely that it will be hard to keep Suh on the roster.

If the Buccaneers do move on from Suh in an attempt to conserve cap space the Bucs will have to draft a suitable replacement.

This is another position that has a substantial amount of depth in the draft and the Bucs really can’t miss in the first three rounds. It seems incredibly likely that Tampa Bay addresses both offensive and defensive line in the first two rounds.

3. Edge 

The Buccaneers have two great edge players in the form of Shaquil Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul but outside of those two, their options start to diminish. Carl Nassib is talented but it seems possible that he may move on during free agency.

Tampa Bay did draft Anthony Nelson last season but that pick was weaker as Nelson failed to have any impact in 2019.

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The best thing that the Buccaneers can do is try to find another young and talented pass-rusher to pair up with Barrett and JPP if they can afford to bring the latter back. Edge is a pivotal position and having depth here would pay off in 2020.