Buccaneers 5-round 2024 mock draft: Jason Licht trades down and rebuilds offense

It's never too early for the Bucs to start thinking about the future, especially now.
Syracuse v Florida State
Syracuse v Florida State / James Gilbert/GettyImages
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Round 2: T.J. Tampa, CB/Iowa State

It's starting to become clear that the Bucs are going to need to find upgrades in the secondary, and that starts at cornerback. Without a true top safety in the draft to target and pair with Antoine Winfield Jr., Jason Licht can dip into the cornerback class and find some support for Carlton Davis III and Jamel Dean.

Dean is back on a new contract, but Davis will be a free agent after next season. Perhaps the Bucs bring him back, but having a young corner to help usher in the next generation for the defense makes sense.

That's where T.J. Tampa enters the picture.

First off, the name. It needs to be said, a dude named Tampa belongs with only one team in the NFL and it's marketing that writes itself. There have been great football names over the years, but this one is so incredibly on-the-nose that it almost needs to happen to make things feel right in the universe.

On a level that matters, though, Tampa is one of the top defensive backs in the country. He has an 86.4 PFF grade while boasting an opponent's passer rating of 48.6 and a coverage grade that ranks among the top 10 percent in college football. Tampa isn't the best cornerback in the draft, but he has Day 2 steal written all over him.