While a lot was made about the offense last season, and the biggest question about the franchise moving froward is on that side of the ball, the Bucs can use the NFL Draft to reload on defense.
The Bucs were able to bring back Jamel Dean and Lavonte David, but they’re some work that needs to be done up front in the trenches. Outside of Vita Vea there isn’t much going on that makes anyone feel like things are locked down for years to come. Defense was what won the Bucs a Super Bowl a few years ago, and without Tom Brady on the other side of the ball there will be an even heavier reliance on Todd Bowles’ unit carrying the load.
Shaq Barrett will be back this year after missing last season with an injury, but there are legitimate questions about what sort of player he’ll be when he returns. There are even bigger questions about Logan Hall and Joe Tryon-Shoyinka, but there’s no reason to not believe that they can all get it together.
Adding in BJ Ojulari does a few things. It gives the Bucs a contingency plan if Tryon-Shoyinka falters next season, and provides backup in case Barrett doesn’t fully bounce back. The knock on Ojulari is that he should have stayed as LSU one more season to continue developing, but he has all of the tangibles that Bowles loves in his defensive lineman.
Best case scenario is that Ojulari is a stud and he can form a rotation of pass rushers with Tryon-Shoyinka and Barrett that tightens space on opposing quarterbacks and smothers offenses in a rather relentless fashion.
Rotating those three guys in and out, especially on third down, seems like a recipe to disrupt offenses and end drives.