Should the Buccaneers trade out of the first round this year?

Moving down could be something that helps Tampa Bay address some important roster questions.
NFC Divisional Playoffs - Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Detroit Lions
NFC Divisional Playoffs - Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Detroit Lions / Nic Antaya/GettyImages

It's NFL Draft Week, which means over the next few days we are all going to be hammered with constantly shifting narratives right up until cards are turned in on Thursday night.

Even though the Tampa Bay Buccaneers pick at the back of the first round, there's still plenty of intrigue and potential for drama. The Bucs aren't going to be in the tier of team that trades up for a top quarterback, but they might end up among the teams that moved its first round pick before the night is done.

Rather than trading up in the draft, which there's a legit argument for, the Bucs might be in a perfect position to move back and collect some picks that they badly need.

Buccaneers trading out of the first round might be a winning strategy

Tampa Bay's season ended in the NFC Divisional Round last year, which is two weeks and many wins more than what they were expected to do. This time last year the Bucs were being pegged as a candidate to tank, whether on purpose or simply because they wouldn't be good, but that didn't happen.

Instead the Bucs found a franchise quarterback in Baker Mayfield and took important first steps into the future after Tom Brady's retirement. The next steps to keep building that future are at the draft, a place where Jason Licht knows how to cook up a masterclass.

He doesn't always hit, but when he does the picks are usually stellar. Licht has brought in guys like Mike Evans, Antoine Winfield Jr., Tristan Wirfs, Vita Vea, and Chris Godwin through the draft and last year added potential future stars in Yaya Diaby and Calijah Kancey.

Most of the hits Licht has turned in over the years have been after the first round, which is why trading out of the No. 26 pick makes a ton of sense. The Bucs need to address the offensive line and the class this year is rich with Day 2 targets for Tampa Bay. The same goes for edge rusher and linebacker, two spots the team is likely to address, as well as cornerback.

At No. 26, the Bucs are essentially already in Day 2 territory with the players who will be on the board, so moving out and collecting more picks to use in Round 2 and Round 3 could be how Licht continues to add depth across the roster.

It's also a spot that could be more valuable to other teams than it is to Tampa Bay.

As is the case every year, quarterback stocks are rising fast in the last week before the draft and the Bucs could flip the No. 26 pick to a team looking to get back into the first round and snag a quarterback to get that important fifth-year option on his rookie contract.

Guys like Michael Penix Jr., Bo Nix, and even Spencer Rattler might be quarterbacks teams move up for and the Bucs would be wise to sell their pick at a premium.

Of course, there are guys like Jackson Powers-Johnson and Jared Verse who would be worth the pick if Tampa Bay keeps it, but the good news is the front office has options. Trading down is high on that list, though, and needs to be seriously considered as a potential winning strategy.

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