Grading ESPN’s idea for Buccaneers trading No. 26 pick

It's not the most exciting deal, but it could be one that pays off.
Philadelphia Eagles v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Philadelphia Eagles v Tampa Bay Buccaneers / Perry Knotts/GettyImages

One of the biggest questions for Tampa Bay heading into next week’s NFL Draft is whether the team will make a trade in the first round. Sitting at No. 26 overall, the Buccaneers are right on the edge of being in a sweet spot to trade down, especially if Michael Penix Jr.’s stock continues to take a late surge. 

There’s also a chance the Bucs trade up, especially if Jackson Powers-Johnson or Jared Verse get within range. 

If a trade gets made, it likely involves Tampa Bay moving down to try and add some Day 2 picks that can be used to add some much-needed depth. Offensive line help must still get addressed while edge rush and cornerback could be positions the Bucs add to as well. 

All of that seems to point toward Jason Licht parlaying the No. 26 pick into more selections, something that ESPN’s Bill Barnwell suggests in his latest NFL Mock Draft. 

Grading ESPN’s idea for Buccaneers trading No. 26 pick

Barnwell’s latest thought exercise is to turn his final mock draft into an all-trades affair. Each team in the first turn has to make a trade, per his rules, and which led him to the Bucs trading down. It’s hardly the sexiest move in the world, though, as Tampa Bay has one of the most boring moves that were cooked up.  

ESPN Trade

Grade: C+

Rather than be an additional trade that adds picks, this deal would act as an extension of a previous move. The Bucs traded Carlton Davis III to the Lions for a third round pick, which is the one Barnwell has Tampa Bay sending back to Detroit. 

What this essentially does is make the pick Tampa Bay traded Davis for into the higher of Detroit’s third round picks they have. It’s almost like going back to the store to make an exchange, as the Bucs would be returning the No. 92 pick and walking away with the No. 72 pick. 

Barnwell suggests the Bucs pick up another Top 100 pick, but really they’d just be moving up in the third round rather. 

This isn’t the worst idea in the world, it’s just a little uninspired in terms of what fans might want in return for the Bucs moving back. Granted, Tampa Bay didn’t move out of the first round in this deal, which is what could net them a greater return for the No. 26 pick. That’s why Bucs fans should be heavily invested in Penix Jr.’s stock continuing to take a late surge, as it increases the likelihood of a team wanting to move back into the first round to get that valuable fifth year option on his rookie deal. 

In that scenario, the Bucs would almost certainly add another Top 100 pick and it would probably be better than No. 72 overall. However, Jason Licht has shown a knack for knowing which swing to take on Day 2 and a seemingly small trade with the Lions could end up paying off big in the long run.

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