What free agent signings mean for Buccaneers draft strategy

Todd Bowles, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Todd Bowles, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

Given the moves the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have made thus far in the offseason, one can surmise what the plan for the draft probably is for the Buccaneers.

To say the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have had an eventful offseason would be a bit of an understatement. The Bucs made headlines when they were somehow able to bring back their quarterback for the 2022 season. For real who saw both Blaine Gabbert AND Ryan Griffin’s return coming?!

In all seriousness though, Tom Brady’s un-retirement has completely flipped the entire landscape of the NFL on its head, and the Buccaneers have reacted accordingly. For starters, they have a new head coach in Todd Bowles, and regardless of what you believe as it pertains to Brady’s involvement in the replacement of Arians, he should benefit greatly.

That’s pretty much been the story of the free agency period so far. Jason Licht and company have brought players that Brady has advocated for, and/or have been teammates of his in the past to Tampa Bay. The offseason has clearly been designed to make Brady happy.

It’s also clear what the Buccaneers’ plan for the draft is.

In addition to doing a great job of appeasing Brady, the Bucs have also done a good job of plugging necessary holes with established players, whether they be from the outside or otherwise. However, there are still holes in a guard spot to replace Ali Marpet/Alex Cappa, a defensive line spot to replace Ndamukong Suh, and at tight end. Of course, cases can be made for other spots in the lineup as well, but these are the most glaring.

Granted, Suh may very well still return on the cheap, and the future of Rob Gronkowski is still very much up in the air. Even if one or both do return, there is still depth to be had, which is especially true when it comes to the tight ends.

Aside from the Shaq Mason trade and re-signing of William Gholston, not much has been made to address these needs. Obviously, these moves aren’t insignificant, they just don’t complete the puzzle is all.

What we can take from this is that Bowles, Licht, and in some fashion Brady, will look to address the trenches in this upcoming 2022 NFL Draft. This is good news. Games are won and lost in the trenches, and you don’t even have to look far for proof. It was proven for the umpteenth time in NFL history this past postseason.

Time will tell what actually happens come draft time, as there’s still a lot of time, and given the nature of this historically busy offseason, means a lot can happen between now and April 28th when the Draft commences. For now, we can head into this last leg of time in the leadup under the assumption that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be looking to the trenches early and/or often come Draft time.