Other Available Options:
- Nathaniel Dell (WR, Houston)
- Luke Wypler (C, Ohio State)
- Tucker Kraft (TE, South Dakota State)
- Tank Bigsby (RB, Auburn)
- Jaylon Jones (CB, Texas A&M)
This is where the return of Jamel Dean becomes extra luxurious for the Buccaneers.
Not only can the team use its first round pick on a position other than defensive back, but it can dip into a pretty strong second-tier of cornerbacks in the later rounds. Jordan Battle is projected to be a Day 2 pick, and if he’s still on the board when the Bucs are on the clock in the third round he won’t be for much longer.
Rather than replacing Dean with a pick, Battle could be used to adjust for the expected loss of MJ Stewart or Sean Murphy-Bunting this offseason. Logan Ryan is also unlikely to return, but could slot in as a dual-threat defensive back for the Bucs where he plays a little of everything in the secondary.
That’s particularly attractive considering the guys he might need to replace aren’t locked into one position. That’s also something working against Battle, as he has no true fit coming into the draft and it’s unclear if he’s going to be able to work outside of the zone coverage comfort area he made his bones in at Alabama.
Battle is tough, though, and will be a hard-hitting player no matter where he’s playing on defense. Couple that with his ability to break on the ball in coverage and he starts to sound like a guy Todd Bowles will love if he lands in Tampa Bay and is there to get coached up.