Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 2021 NFL Draft guidebook

Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2021 NFL Draft (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2021 NFL Draft (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
1 of 4

The Buccaneers need to follow this guide if they want to win the 2021 NFL Draft.

The draft, especially the 2021 NFL Draft, is a much easier process than NFL execs make it seem. Justin Fields is better than Mac Jones, teams should avoid Kyle Trask like the plague, and Trevor Lawrence is going first overall. The Buccaneers don’t get to deal with this position this year, but they do have their own issues to prepare for in the coming months.

Running back is the first position that comes to mind when people discuss this rookie class and the Buccaneers. For the past few months, there were plenty of question marks on Tampa’s roster that made it seems like a running back could come off the board early, but that dream has likely died with Leonard Fournette’s return.

With no glaring needs or holes, the Buccaneers will have some freedom to create a unique strategy to tackle the draft. The following is what makes the most sense for the Bucs while maximizing value of capital.

Step #1

Less is more with picks in the 2021 NFL Draft

The Buccaneers do not need more draft picks. Trading out of the first round to draft more second-rounders looks good for a team drafting at 32, but the Bucs need talent over quantity right now.

Even after failing to make the playoffs in 2019, the Buccaneers’ late-round draft picks mostly failed to see the field in 2020 anyway. Ke’Shawn Vaughn, the third-round pick, played a minimal role after going so high. Now that the team has won a Super Bowl and is bringing everyone back, rookies will likely have even longer odds of making an impact.

Instead of maximizing the number of picks, the Bucs should maximize the quality of picks. Trade up whenever possible. If a third-round pick struggled to make the roster in 2020, having as few of these players as possible in exchange for more sure things is the much safer option.

If there was a year where trading up for favorite players was on the table, this is it for Tampa Bay.