Packers reportedly stole two NFL Draft targets from Buccaneers

Green Bay swooped in twice just before the Bucs could land a few players they were targeting.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Green Bay Packers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Green Bay Packers / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

Back in Week 15, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers started to truly turn the corner on their season with a resounding road win over the Green Bay Packers. This weekend at the NFL Draft it seems Matt LaFleur got a little bit of revenge.

There's been a bit of a revival of the Bucs-Packers rivalry recently, with highlight being Tampa Bay's incredible NFC Champoinship Game at Lambeau back in 2020. That came after a thumping by the Bucs in the regular season and recently included that confidence building win last season in which Baker Mayfield had his first signature win with the Bucs.

Both teams seem to be on a collision course again, as they took similar strides forward last year when most were expecting a step back. They each slumped and gave the doubters reason to believe they were right and both came dangerously close to rematching in the title game back in January.

Outside of the playoffs, they probably won't play each other again until the 2025 season but their paths crossed at the NFL Draft over the weekend.

Packers blocked Buccaneers from landing two NFL Draft targets

With the draft in the rearview and no more need for secrecy, the Buccaneers' draft plans are finally being unsealed and declassified. Tampa Bay had a pretty decent backup plan for Graham Barton had he not been available at No. 26 overall, but the team thankfully didn't need to use it.

The same cannot be said for the team's plans on the other two days.

According to Buccaneers insider Scott Reynolds, the Buccaneers got scooped by the Packers twice. Green Bay drafted USC running back MarShawn Lloyd one pick before the Bucs were going on the clock at No. 89 overall.

It apparently happened on Saturday too, with the Packers getting Tulane quarterback Michael Pratt just before the Bucs could land him with their last pick of the weekend.

"Tampa Bay really liked USC running back MarShawn Lloyd and was hoping to draft him in the third round as well as Georgia defensive back Tykee Smith. But the Packers drafted Lloyd one pick before and the Bucs went ahead and drafted Smith at No. 89 instead," Reynolds reported. "The Packers also stole a prospect right in front of the Bucs in the seventh round. Tampa Bay was contemplating drafting Tulane quarterback Michael Pratt in the seventh round."

Tampa Bay ended up with a running back before all was said and done, drafting Oregon's Bucky Irving in the fourth round. The Bucs didn't end up adding a quarterback, though, opting to sign Illinois State's Zack Annexstad after the draft was over.

Both picks are interesting to consider in hindsight, specifically the idea that the team was targeting Pratt on the final day. A lot was made about Kyle Trask's future last offseason in the moment between Tom Brady retiring and Baker Mayfield signing in free agency.

Trask was a second round pick back in 2021 but he hasn't amounted to much in the time since. That's mostly been circumstantial, but it's notable that the team was looking at one of the best value backup quarterbacks in the draft class.

Lloyd and Irving would have brought similar things, as neither would usurp Rachaad White as RB1 but they each have the same sort of Warrick Dunn-style to their game. If anything, the Bucs clearly had a type of running back in mind entering the draft.

While not specifically mentioned by Reynolds as a potential target, the Packers also drafted Texas A&M linebacker Edgerrin Cooper. He was a popular player among Bucs Twitter and was someone who had been linked to Tampa Bay in more than a few mock draft as well as getting a Top 30 workout with the team.

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