Round 1: (Pick 14) LSU S, Grant Delpit
6’3, 203 – Junior
Assuming Delpit is still on the board, this is a perfect fit for the Buccaneers. Delpit has the size and speed to make an immediate impact at Safety and will continue to shore up the much improved secondary. Delpit will need to work on open-field tackling, but his speed and natural instincts more than make up for any shortcomings he may have.
Round 2: (Pick 45) Houston, OT Josh Jones
6’7, 310 – Senior
or TCU OT Lucas Niang 6’6, 328 – Senior
- With Demar Dotson being a free agent, and the offensive line is one of the most penalized in the league, the Buccaneers are going to be looking to address the tackle situation be it either in replacing one of the starting tackles or simply adding depth who can challenge for the starting spot.
- Jones and Niang both have the tools necessary to immediately step into the starting role. Jones only allowed 4 pressures during his final year at Houston and will give the Buccaneers some added pass protection, while Niang is coming off the best season of his collegiate career and specializes in providing the pass protection necessary to allow long downfield passes the time to develop which is perfect in Arians’ system.
- Jones playing the same position as Donovan Smith isn’t ideal given his contract, but if Niang is already off the board by this time, there’s no way that Arians passes on two of the best offensive linemen in this draft, even if that means Licht being forced to accept that maybe signing Smith to that contract wasn’t the smartest of financial moves.
Round 3: (Pick 76) Alabama RB, Najee Harris
6’2, 229 – Junior
- Harris brings a much-needed change to the running back role that the Buccaneers haven’t seen since the days of Alstott. While not carrying the same skill set as Alstott, Harris has the enormous size and strength that will complement the speed and agility of Ronald Jones, which finally gives the Bucs that one-two punch that’s been missing in the running game.
Round 4: (Pick 107) University of Utah Athletics Interior Defensive Lineman, Leki Fotu
6’5, 335 – Senior
- Fotu has incredible upper body strength with a quick first step and will provide some much-needed depth in the interior defensive line. With the ability to play behind and learn from Vita Vea, Fotu will have the opportunity to learn how to use his size and strength to his advantage.
Round 5: (Pick 143) Auburn Defensive End, Marlon Davidson
6’3, 278 – Senior
- With the careers of both Suh and Paul coming to an end sooner rather than later, the Buccaneers are going to need to start addressing the pass-rush situation and Davidson gives them the chance to shore up the pass-rushing with minimal risk. While Davidson has a lot of work to do in order to get to that elite level, the ability to learn from Suh and JPP might be just what he needs to polish those rough edges.
Round 6: (Pick 174) Notre Dame OL, Tommy Kraemer
5’8, 319 – Senior
- Kraemer brings massive size to the interior of the offensive line and provides some much-needed depth. While he still has some work to do in regards to run blocking and issues with keeping everything in front of him, his pass blocking makes it nearly impossible to get around him.
In the next installment, we’ll be taking a look at the draft from more of a wish list point of view rather than how we predict the draft will actually go. Wishing for what you want is always easier than actually taking what you’re given or going after what you may actually need. Of course, trading up or down in the draft will always make a difference, and draft needs can change with free-agent signings.