Buccaneers 2021 NFL Draft: Three possible plots, countless endings

NFL signage (Photo by Danielle Del Valle/Getty Images)
NFL signage (Photo by Danielle Del Valle/Getty Images) /

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have three possible plots in Round one of the 2021 NFL Draft, but could have countless endings to this captivating ‘film!’

One day to go until the 2021 NFL Draft (it can’t come soon enough), and we find out if the prognostications come to fruition or not…..most likely NOT. No one knows what’s going to happen with the Draft unless you have some sort of Hot Tub Time Machine or something. Not even the Director and Executive Producer, Jason Licht and Bruce Arians. Sure, they know who they’d LIKE to cast in this year’s production, but as in years past, even they may be surprised with who they end up selecting in the first round.

So with that said, it’s obvious there are only 3 possible plots for this script. They have eight selections in this year’s draft, BUT the chance that picks six through eight will beat out those already in the cast in their roles are pretty remote, leaving the Bucs with the luxury of going in a couple of directions. Here are the 3 plots scenarios:

Plot #1

Stay at Pick 32 (and pick Best Player Available), which frankly could be pretty much anyone. Who knows who will fall to the Buccaneers by then? Usually picks one through seven to even pick ten, might at least be all the predicted ‘A’ list-ers, based on the needs of those teams, but throw in one or two rogue selections in there and the script has just now been altered by them grabbing a player no one thought they would. They’ve turned order into chaos and the Draft universe will have forever been altered…with the exception of a few predicted picks along the way.

Now Licht and Arians probably won’t pick just any best player available, they’ll most likely have the options for more coveted prospects, like edge rusher, linebacker, the trenches, or even……quarterback. Yes, maybe even QB. So at 32 you never know who is going to fall or get snatched up by the time the Bucs finally make their pick. Fear not though, they’ve probably calculated almost every possible scenario! So grab your popcorn and 3D glasses, because you’ll be watching this in your own little personal IMAX!

Plot #2

Trade up. If possible, the Bucs trade up to grab a player they really fell in love with, like maybe that coveted pass rusher, interior defensive line, or another depth piece too good to miss out on. Pull out some tissues and expect a few tears to start flowing if the Bucs go this route. Since after next year they may be looking to lose several key cast members to retirement (Suh, Gronk, Minter), injury, salary cap, or to other suitors.

It’d be smart to draft future starters who can learn from some great mentors this year. The Bucs most likely would be giving up draft capital in rounds three and/or beyond to make it happen, but with eight picks, they could afford that to land that quality prospect that they really want to develop and possibly challenge for a starting role this year. After all, most of the roles have already been cast, and in reality, there are only four or five spots left in the cast. Although there may be some room for a few understudies on the practice squad.

Plot #3

Trade back. Wait! WHAT? To acquire what…..MORE picks?? I thought you said they can’t keep all the draft picks they’ll have as it is? Yes, we did, but shhhhhhhhhh. Hang on one second, stop annoying your fellow theatergoers with the incessant crinkling of those candy wrappers and listen to where this storyline is going. We’re talking NEXT year’s draft! Thaaaaat’s right.

Who knows where the Bucs will be picking next year? Hopefully at 32 again, but they may be in a position where they’ll have to rebuild with depth players that could hopefully, if all goes well, transition into starters in the near future. Acquiring draft picks in 2022 and 2023 would also be smart if they feel no player is worth drafting this year at 32, and therefore not worth staying put.


As the storyline goes, there are obviously only 3 directions the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be able to go in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. What they do may depend on how the cards fall once the picks get down to around the early ’20s. Trading up higher than that may not be worth what the Licht and Arians are willing to give up. Trading down could be the choice instead to gather additional capital next year and/or in 2023. Lastly, and maybe most likely, stay put at 32 and grab a quality potential starter and keep that fifth-year option as well.

2021 NFL Draft: Buccaneers sim mock reveals new options. dark. Next

Things may go completely off the rails on Thursday, and rest assured they’re gonna change dramatically on Days two and three based on those Day one surprises, but we’ll just have to wait to see what happens for our Bucs! Sooooo fire up the Hibachi, grab a cold one, and kick back in the ol’ bark’o’lounger, ’cause it’s gonna be a trip to see how this flick ends!