Buccaneers: Ranking rookies and their immediate impacts

Jake Camarda, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Jake Camarda, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /
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Rachaad White, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
Rachaad White, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /

Buccaneers rookies #6, #7, and #8

6. Rachaad White – RB (Round 3, Pick 91)

The Buccaneers’ struggles to find a bona fide pass-catching running back have been well-documented. Recently, they have attacked the need via single-year acquisitions like Le’Veon Bell, LeSean McCoy, and Giovanni Bernard. But out of all those players, the most reliable receiver out of the backfield actually turned out to be Leonard Fournette, who improved on that aspect of his game dramatically from 2020 to 2021.

Still, the Buccaneers must want an even more polished player in that respect, because they drafted Rachaad White late in the third round. White was a tremendous receiving back in college, and fits in well with an offense clearly trying to maximize what will most likely be the last year of Tom Brady. Brady, as we all know, has a history of loving his catching backs.

Plus, with Ronald Jones gone to Kansas City, the Buccaneers could very well want to preserve the health of Leonard Fournette, who is now undoubtedly the star of Tampa Bay’s rushing attack.

White will fit well with a system and quarterback designed to maximize his skillset, but is not taking bell cow duties from Fournette. For that reason, though he is very valuable to the Buccaneers, he likely won’t receive many of the available offensive snaps.

7. Ko Kieft – Tight End (Round 6, Pick 217)

Without disparaging Ko Kieft, this feels more like an insurance pick than a valuable one for Tampa Bay. Kieft will have the chance to prove his mettle in camp, but slots in behind Brate, Otton, and potentially Codey McElroy even if Rob Gronkowski doesn’t return.

The Bucs have already praised Kieft’s blocking ability, but will likely use him just a few times over the course of the season. Expecting him to be an immediate impac player on this offense is, perhaps, optimistic.

8. Andre Anthony – OLB (Round 7, Pick 248)

Anthony, much like Kieft, is a depth pick. Assuming that he will have a significant impact on the defense is most likely wrong. But he is a good candidate to, like Grant Stuard, make an impact on special teams.

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Frankly, that is Anthony’s best path to relevant snaps in a Buccaneers uniform next year. It’s far from an impossibility, Stuard himself has proven a great special teams playmaker, but Anthony is facing an uphill battle to make the team at all, let alone spend much time in the game.

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