The Buccaneers will have to restructure their way of scouting players
As previously mentioned above, the scouting efforts of all NFL teams will have to change dramatically, going into the upcoming college football season. Numerous high-profile players have started to abstain from playing during the season and more look primed to follow.
If these extremely talented players choose to sit out for the season, a new process has to be created to compare those prospects to those who actually play accurately. If players who sit out are neglected, immensely talented individuals could be overlooked, and if game film is the only metric, mediocre players could be over-valued.
Game film for most positions has always been one of the most essential aspects of scouting. Players could have the best combine ever, but that doesn’t mean they will be a stud in the NFL. It certainly doesn’t hurt, but it is not the end-all.
Now that film will be at a minimum, the existing tape will become the baseline. The difficulty with this scenario is determining if regression occurred. The rigor of a college football season is a significant reason why players get in shape for the NFL and missing a whole season could have significant impacts on great players.
One way or another, the scouts for the Buccaneers will have a difficult time trying to differentiate between players who have tape in 2020 versus players with tape from 2019. This job has become more important than ever, and for the 2021 NFL Draft, the situation has become more challenging than ever.