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Draft Decisions

NFL Draft Needs: Bucs

by Josh Norris
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Evan Silva (@EvanSilva) is the Senior Football Editor for Rotoworld's NFL Page, and Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) leads Rotoworld's college football and NFL draft coverage. Together, they're breaking down every team's biggest needs and offering potential draft-day solutions.

For a breakdown on every team, check out the team-by-team draft preview schedule.


No. 1 Team Need: Defensive Back



Silva's Analysis


After repeatedly benching Johnthan Banks and Alterraun Verner in 2015, Tampa Bay took a flyer on 33-year-old Dolphins castoff Brent Grimes in free agency. Grimes is a short-term stopgap at best, and showed severe signs of slippage in Miami last year. The Bucs need a day-one starting cornerback they can build around. Under new DC Mike Smith, Tampa Bay is expected to primarily play man coverage. The Buccaneers have experience and some promising youth at safety, but lack a difference maker at the position.


No. 2 Team Need: Defensive End

Silva's Analysis

The Buccaneers shored up one defensive end spot by signing Robert Ayers away from the Giants. Ayers is entering his age-31 season, however, and returning starter William Gholston is more run stuffer than pass rusher. No. 3 end Jacquies Smith is a situational sub-package player only. The Bucs have been missing a franchise edge rusher since Simeon Rice's fade.


No. 3 Team Need: Offensive Line

Silva's Analysis

The Bucs may feel comfortable with their current starting front five after signing OG J.R. Sweezy, but GM Jason Licht needs to continue stockpiling offensive line talent. Injury-riddled RT Demar Dotson is on the wrong side of 30 and entering a contract year. Center is up for grabs between journeyman types Evan Dietrich-Smith and Joe Hawley. LT Donovan Smith is coming off a rough rookie year in pass protection. Sweezy himself was a pass-protection liability in Seattle. And depth is a question mark behind Tampa Bay's projected starters.



Norris' Mock Draft

Round 1 (9): CB Vernon Hargreaves, Florida - Hargreaves is one of the premiere prospects in this class. He is a true, refined press corner with outstanding athleticism and aggression on the outside. I know there were a handful of plays where he allowed big gains, but do not let that cloud your evaluation. With the other corners on the roster winding down their deals, Hargreaves is a defensive back to build around.


Round 2 (39): EDGE Shilique Calhoun, Michigan State - Calhoun has caused a bit of a rift in the draft community. Some believe he is a limited straight-line rusher who projects best as a third rusher on a team. Others think he is more than that. Personally, I think his evaluation will be elevated a bit thanks to a weak-ish group of edge rushers.


Round 3 (74): DB Jalen Mills, LSU - I love Mills’ game. He could play corner and did it very well at the Senior Bowl, running routes for receivers in one on ones. He also has experience at safety, which he would likely play for the Bucs. Mills, Sean Davis and T.J. Green will be viewed as both corners and safeties by specific teams.


Round 4 (108): C Jack Allen, Michigan State - Another prospect I love, but I have a feeling Allen will go later than he should. The reason?  Size. Allen anchors like a much larger blocker, but he only stands at 6-foot-1 and 294 pounds. He is an NFL starter.


Round 5 (148): DT Matthew Ioannidis, Temple - Ioannidis is a rotational player in the NFL. Ioannidis can likely sub in at the 1 or 3 technique in those situations and has a great motor to work into the backfield.


Round 6 (183): WR Rashawn Scott, Miami - In terms of receivers who faced Jalen Ramsey this season, Scott produced one of the best performances.


Round 6 (197): FB Glenn Gronkowski, Kansas State - The Bucs are moving on from Jorvorskie Lane, so if they want to add a fullback in this draft, baby Gronk could be an option.




Bucs Current Offensive Depth Chart


QB: Jameis Winston


RB: Doug Martin


WR: Mike Evans


WR: Vincent Jackson


WR: Louis Murphy


LT: Donovan Smith


LG: J.R. Sweezy


C: Joe Hawley


RG: Ali Marpet


RT: Demar Dotson 

Bucs Current Defensive Depth Chart


RE: Robert Ayers


LE: William Gholston


DT: Gerald McCoy


DT: Clinton McDonald


MLB: Kwon Alexander


WLB: Lavonte David


SLB: Daryl Smith


LCB: Brent Grimes


RCB: Alterraun Verner


FS: Chris Conte


SS: Bradley McDougald

Josh Norris
Josh Norris is an NFL Draft Analyst for Rotoworld and contributed to the Rams scouting department during training camp of 2010 and the 2011 NFL Draft. He can be found on Twitter .