Tampa Bay Buccaneers Draft Grades: Rating every pick in the 2024 NFL Draft

How did the Bucs fare this weekend?
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The 2024 NFL Draft has come to a close, and the Bucs are walking away with an impressive group of young players.

General manager Jason Licht and the front office addressed most of the roster's key needs, and there is a lot of exciting new talent for the coaching staff to develop. The front office worked thoroughly to ensure the next generation of Buccaneers, before anything else, was a group of high-character, highly motivated players that the team could count on both on and off the field.

Before the draft, Licht revealed that in order to determine what intangible qualities to seek in a prospect, the front office thoroughly studied the greatest Buccaneers of all time and took note of the qualities these players had in common that contributed to their greatness.

As painted on the wall in the Buccaneers' draft room, these qualities are: Accountable, Competitive, Confident, Passionate, Resilient. To become a Buccaneer a player must demonstrate all of these qualities, or the front office will not consider them. The organization holds potential draftees to a high standard because it is important to maintain the winning culture and team-first mentality that exists within the locker room.

Grading all 7 picks Buccaneers made in 2024 NFL Draft

Round 1, Pick 26: Graham Barton, OL/Duke

The Bucs desperately needed help on the interior offensive line, and the board fell perfectly for them. It came down to a dream choice between the two best interior linemen in the draft: Jackson Powers-Johnson and Graham Barton.

Ultimately, the Bucs drafted Barton, the versatile lineman from Duke who can play any position on the offensive line. Despite playing left tackle for the last two seasons at Duke, Licht envisions Barton as a center for the Bucs, and he will serve as the long-term replacement for the beloved Ryan Jensen, who retired this offseason.

Barton boasts a rare athletic profile, scoring a 10 out of 10 Raw Athletic Score, the single highest score out of 619 centers dating back to 1987. The massive 6'5, 313-pound lineman runs a 4.95 40-yard dash, ranking in the elite percentiles of his position for both size and speed.

After drafting Barton, Licht told the media he sees a bit of Ali Marpet and Ryan Jensen in the playstyle of his newest draftee, along with the personality of Tristan Wirfs.

That is a glowing comparison.

Barton plays with the tenacity and violence that the Bucs love in their offensive lineman. Barton stands at a massive 6'5 and 313 pounds and should bring a big upgrade in both pass-blocking and run-blocking. According to PFF, Barton allowed just four sacks and only 21 QB pressures in 692 pass-blocking snaps since 2022.

The Bucs have been quite successful in drafting and developing offensive linemen, and Barton has the talent and mentality required to develop into a core piece for the Buccaneers' young offensive line.

After signing quarterback Baker Mayfield to a hefty contract this offseason, it was a no-brainer to invest in the protection of their signal caller. The Bucs selected the best player available on their board while simultaneously addressing their biggest need. The 2024 draft class begins with a home run selection by Jason Licht and his staff.

Grade: A

Round 2, Pick 57: Chris Braswell, EDGE/Alabama

After addressing the biggest offensive need in the first round, Jason Licht fills the biggest need on the defensive side of the ball.

The Bucs have struggled to generate pressure without blitzing, and the team is seeking improvement from its front four in 2024. Braswell saw limited playing time in college, being buried on Alabama's depth chart behind two first-round picks in Will Anderson and Dallas Turner. When Braswell did see the field though, he flashed a lot of potential.

In his lone season earning significant playing time in 2023, he registered eight sacks for the Crimson Tide and led the team with three forced fumbles.

Following the selection of Braswell, Bucs' assistant GM Jon Spytek told the media that Braswell's competitive mindset helped win the Bucs over in the pre-draft process. While many of his peers entered the transfer portal in hopes of more playing time, Braswell never considered leaving. His decision to stay at Alabama and work to improve his game and compete for more playing time demonstrated his resilience and competitive nature, two traits that were mentioned as must-haves for any potential Buccaneers draftee.

In selecting a player with only two career starts, the Bucs are banking on the upside with this selection. The front office loved what they saw out of Braswell in limited action, but it was still just a small sample size.

Braswell being relegated to a rotational role due to other star pass-rushers ahead of him on the depth chart mirrors the situation of former Bucs' outside linebacker Shaq Barrett. In 2019, The Bucs took a flyer on Barrett in free agency, who was coming off of a season where he notched three sacks for the Denver Broncos in a rotational role behind Von Miller and Bradley Chubb. Finally in a starting role, Barrett registered a whopping 19.5 sacks in his first season as a Buccaneer.

It would be unfair to scrutinize the pick too heavily, as the selection of Braswell fills a desperate need for a presence off the edge. However, due to his limited playing experience, Braswell isn't necessarily a lock to start from day one, and he isn't as polished or developed as you may want for an early-round draft choice.

Still, it is certainly a high-upside selection, and the Bucs deserve credit for sticking to their board and addressing one of their most glaring needs.

Grade: B+