The Buccaneers’ draft needs are obviously on defence. Whether Jameis Winston is the franchise quarterback of the future, worth resigning to an improved contract as his rookie deal comes to an end, is another discussion, but it probably isn’t going to be settled in Nashville. The Bucs may consider a QB in the mid rounds but cannot afford to miss out on top defensive prospects on day one.
Early draft predictions almost universally had the Bucs selecting LSU corner Greedy Williams. With 36-year-old Brent Grimes (arguably thankfully) out of contract, and the under-performing Vernon Hargreaves III still not in quite the right role, the Bucs’ injury-hit secondary was torched last year.
Rookie Carlton Davis III showed promise and should be used more to his strengths by Todd Bowles and co this season, but more help is definitely needed. Williams has a rangy frame and good speed, but there are serious questions about his tackling ability, and Deandre Baker and Byron Murphy are arguably the better players.
Over the last few weeks, however, attention has moved away from the secondary to the pass rush. This is not because the Bucs have solved their secondary problem, but with Gerald McCoy potentially a cap casualty on his way out of Tampa, and linebacker Kwon Alexander signing with the 49ers, the pass ruching corps are looking a little thin. Jason Pierre-Paul and Carl Nassib tallied 19 sacks between them in 2018 as a seriously overhauled unit drastically improved to a respectable 38 sacks for the season, and a flagship pass rusher in the draft could make for a fierce front line.
With that, and Todd Bowles’s likely mixing of 4-3 and 3-4 schemes, in mind, linebacker Devin White has been heavily linked with the Bucs (although the same can be said for every team with a top ten pick). White would fill the vacancy left by Alexander’s departure and looks like he could make an immediate impact. The decision in Tampa seems to be whether they address their biggest need at cornerback in the first round, or whether they take the best available player, and aim for Baker, Williams, or even Amani Omuwariye in the second.
My money is on the Bucs taking Devin White, if he’s still available.