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

How did the Bucs fare this weekend?
Colorado v Washington
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Round 3, Pick 89: Tykee Smith, DB/Georgia

The Bucs continued to address their team needs by adding Tykee Smith, a versatile defensive back out of Georgia. Smith has the skillset to be utilized as a true chess piece for Todd Bowles, due to his ability to contribute in various roles defensively.

He is an aggressive defensive player who shines as a blitzer and a great tackler. While he is strong in the box, he is also a playmaker in coverage, as evidenced by his four interceptions last season. While it would be unfair to compare Smith to Antoine Winfield Jr., there are certainly similarities in their game.

Both have a nose for the football and have a knack for being in the right spot and making plays. Both have a willingness and ability to tackle in the that can be hard to find in modern defensive backs.

Smith's ability as a blitzer also draws some parallels to Winfield Jr., who is one of the league's best blitzers from the safety position.

Smith can compete immediately for playing time, both at the slot corner position and in a rotational role at safety. He is also capable of being a solid contributor on special teams if the team sees fit. The Bucs landed a player who was simply born to play in Bowles' defensive scheme and should be a contributor from day one.

Grade: A

Round 3, Pick 92: Jalen McMillan, WR/Washington

With the pick they received from the Detroit Lions in exchange for Carlton Davis, the Bucs landed a dangerous weapon for Baker Mayfield and addressed the future of the wide receiver position in Tampa Bay.

Chris Godwin is set to become a free agent after the season and Mike Evans will hit the market again in 2026, so it was time to develop the future. Jalen McMillan just made too much sense and feels like a steal at No. 92 overall.

Although he was overshadowed by Rome Odunze and Ja'Lynn Polk in 2023, McMillan had a very successful college career. In 2022, he led the team with 79 receptions, 1,098 receiving yards, and nine receiving touchdowns. McMillan stands at 6'1 and just under 200 pounds, and projects as a slot receiver at the NFL level.

Under new offensive coordinator Liam Coen, whose offense draws inspiration from the Los Angeles Rams, the slot receiver is the central part of the offense and receives the brunt of the targets. Cooper Kupp comes to mind as a player who found success in this role during Coen's stint as offensive coordinator for the Rams.

Coen had previously stated that Chris Godwin would be taking on the crucial slot receiver role in 2024, but that was before the team invested a Day 2 pick in a pure slot receiver. Godwin has proven throughout his career that he can contribute both in the slot and on the outside, so it is plausible that Coen reverses course and decides to keep him outside in order to give the rookie more snaps in his natural fit at slot receiver.

McMillan fills a current need for receiver depth and can contribute from day one, but he also serves as an important pick for the future. As Godwin enters the final year of his contract and Evans enters the eleventh season of his career, it was crucial for the Bucs to begin to develop future foundational pieces for their wide receiver room.

Grade: B+