4 mid-round sleepers Buccaneers need to target in 2024 NFL Draft

With four picks in the Top 100 picks, Tampa Bay has ample opportunity to land a sleeper prospect to improve their roster in the upcoming season
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After months of talk, speculation, and countless analysis and breakdowns, the 2024 NFL draft is officially here. The Chicago Bears will kick off the draft with the No. 1 pick on the draft, and will be on the clock on Thursday night.

It's a primetime affair, but the first day of the draft is just the opening act to a weekend full of action. Friday at 6 p.m. ET will mark the start of day two, which includes rounds two and three, and rounds four through seven will be decided on Saturday, beginning at noon ET.

As a result of a deep and talented draft class, the first round of the draft will set the stage of the weekend, with several quality prospects at quarterback, wide receiver, offensive line, defensive line, and cornerback. Specifically speaking, today could be the first draft class with six different quarterbacks taken in the first 13 picks of the draft, and may also see a major run on wide receivers too.

With that said, the middle rounds of the draft will prove to be just as, if not more important for teams looking to add game-changing talent. This is especially true for Tampa Bay, who owns the No. 26 pick in the first round, but also has pick No. 59, 89, 92, and 125 in rounds two, three, and four.

In the case that the Buccaneers' first-round pick flares out, then nailing their next four selections will be key to continuing their ascension in the NFC. From Missouri's Cody Schrader to Miami's Kamren Kinchens, these four prospects may be the steals of the draft by being left on the board in the later rounds.

Cody Schrader, RB/Missouri

Although 2022 third-round pick Rachaad White has shown promising signs two years into being the Buccaneers' starting running back, it wouldn't be shocking if Tampa Bay looked to add another solid back to the room. Owning four of the first 100 picks in the draft, including the No. 89 and 92 selections, adding a running back would be more than a draft luxury for the Buccaneers, who where among one of the NFL's worst run offenses.

Towards the middle of the fourth and the start of the fifth round, Missouri's Schrader will be looked at by teams in need of improving their rushing attack or potentially landing a true workhorse back on day two or even three.

Following a modest 2022 season with totals of 170 carries, 745 yards, nine touchdowns, and 4.4 yards per carry in 13 starts, Schrader broke out in his senior year. Starting in 13 games, Schrader recorded 276 carries for 1,627 yards, 14 touchdowns, and 5.9 yards per run, all career-highs. With that, Schrader's mark of 1,627 rushing yards ranks first all-time in school history, and led the SEC with an average of 125.1 yards per game.

To no surprise, Schrader was a First-Team All-America selection by the Associated Press, as well as a Second-Team Walter Camp All-America pick, a First-Team All-SEC selection, and finished eighth in Heisman voting. To top it all off, Schrader won the 2023 Burlsworth Trophy, which honors the most outstanding player in the nation who began his career as a walk-on.

At 5'9" and 214 pounds, Schrader is far more powerful and physically demanding than White, but is still as shifty and quick as other prospects in the class. At the 2024 NFL draft combine, Schrader posted a 4.61 40-yard dash and 33 inch vertical, and would be a great complement to White in the backfield at the end of the draft.