Graham Barton reveals which other Buccaneers rookie has impressed him the most

Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Graham Barton
Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Graham Barton / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

There's a lot to love about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' work in the 2024 NFL Draft.

General manager Jason Licht added quality players at positions of need, beginning with first-round pick Graham Barton, who surprisingly fell to No. 26. The Bucs were thrilled to see Barton still on the board and had an easy decision to make.

Barton played at left tackle for Duke but will shift inside to center in Tampa Bay, where many believe he can become a Pro Bowler.

The early reviews from Barton have been encouraging, but it's not just the Buccaneers' first-round pick to be excited about.

Buccaneers first-round pick Graham Barton is impressed by Chris Braswell

There's no doubting Barton's commitment. He admitted skipping his graduation to attend the Buccaneers' rookie minicamp. While speaking to reporters, he was asked which player along the defensive line had impressed him the most.

"To be fully honest with you, it's a lot of numbers out there and not a whole lot of names," Barton joked. "The D-line as a whole has been great. [Chris] Braswell—seen him make a lot of plays. I think he's been really impressive. Great athlete. Excited to watch him. Glad he's on our team."

So are we.

Braswell addresses an immediate need for more pass-rush depth, and he can make an instant impact in Tampa Bay. With Will Anderson Jr. getting drafted last year, Braswell made the most of his opportunities in the Alabama defense, making eight sacks and 10.5 tackles for loss while forcing three fumbles. He earned a PFF pass-rush grade of 87.9.

This has the potential to become a home-run draft class for the Buccaneers.

Barton feels like a safe bet to become an excellent long-term starter along the offensive line, while Braswell can immediately help the pass rush. Add in the smart selections of Tykee Smith, Jalen McMillan, and Bucky Irving, and the Buccaneers have added talented players who can take on significant roles early in their careers.

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