3 positions Buccaneers could draft in first round of 2023 NFL Draft, 2 to steer clear of
By Josh Hill
Avoid: Running Back
- Bijan Robinson, RB/Texas
Like the safety position, this is really just one guy. Bijan Robinson is the only running back worthy of taking in the first round, although watch the Kansas City Chiefs reach for a guy and turn him into the Rookie of the Year.
More realistically, Robinson is both the best running back in this year’s class and unlikely to make it through Day 1 without being picked. He’s been rather consistently mocked to the Bucs, although it hasn’t been a prevalent selection. Experts have tried to be sneaky by mocking Robinson to Tampa Bay because it does make some sense if you look at it narrowly.
Robinson is one of the best skill position players available this year, and he fills a roster hole on the depth chart in a rather intriguing way. Dave Canales comes from a Seahawks offense that collected running backs like they were rare coins, and Skip Peete is hot off turning Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard into the best running back duo in the league.
That seems to bode well for the idea of pairing Robinson with Rachaad White, especially when trying to turn around one of the worst rushing attacks in the league last year. But drafting Robinson is adjacent to drafting a quarterback in that it would mean passing on potentially higher value prospects.
There seems to be three possible scenarios for the Bucs on draft night:
- They draft a top tackle like Darnell Wright or Broderick Jones
- There’s a run on tackles, but the Bucs draft a top cornerback instead
- The Bucs draft Hendon Hooker or Anthony Richardson (or Will Levis if he falls)
Of those options, only the third one sees like a scenario where drafting Robinson makes sense. However there’s a fourth choice if there are no tackles and no cornerbacks and it’s trading back to add more picks.
Tampa Bay could still land Robinson in that scenario, but he’s unlikely to make it past Dallas assuming the makes it past Philly twice. There are ways to make Robinson make sense with the Bucs, and he’s not a bad prospect, but he doesn’t make a ton of sense at No. 19 given the many other routes the team can go.