Had the Buccaneers not stupidly drafted kickers, things would be different in Tampa Bay
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have made some moves over the course of the last few months that shows the franchise wants to win. If only that had always been the case.
The Buccaneers recently signed QB Tom Brady and made a trade for TE Rob Gronkowski over the offseason. In addition, Tampa Bay made smart moves during the 2020 NFL Draft and made selections based on their needs, led off by a right tackle in Tristan Wirfs in the first round and a safety in the second round in Antoine Winfield Jr.
Unfortunately, though, just a few bad moves can come back to bit you and none of them are more obvious than two draft picks, in particular:
- Trading up to draft Roberto Aguayo in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft
- Drafting Matt Gay in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft.
If there’s anything to learn from those two moves, it’s pretty simple: Don’t draft a kicker.
What could’ve been with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Let’s just play the ‘what if’ game for just a second.
What if the Buccaneers hadn’t traded up to acquire Aguayo in the second round of the draft back in 2016? What if they had used that pick on another selection rather than Gay in 2019? Oh, how things could be different.
Can you imagine this team had it had Byard- a first-team All-Pro caliber player- on the backend of that defense? He was taken five picks after Aguayo.
What if the Bucs had gone with one of these two players in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft: Hunter Renfrow or Mack Wilson– two solid starters found in the fifth round who are making legitimate contributions for their team.
The point is simple: The talent is there for you to find and it’s on the franchise to make good decisions and evaluate skill based on contributors. You can’t always find the diamond in the ruff, but you have to at least give yourself a chance.
The Buccaneers didn’t do that when they drafted kickers and that’s the most disappointing portion of this entire exercise.