With the draft just one more month away, it is time to think about what our beloved Tampa Bay Buccaneers could do on April 26th. Now, with the new acquisitions of stud defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul and Vinny Curry, the position is no longer the glaring need it was only a few weeks ago. In addition to that, Bradley Chubb out of North Carolina State, arguably the best player available in that category this year, will most likely be off the board by the time Tampa gets to pick, as he is projected to get drafted either by the New York Giants at #2 or by the Indianapolis Colts at #6 by most experts.
Another option would be guard Quenton Nelson out of Notre Dame, arguably the best guard to enter the draft in years. He would certainly make tons of sense for the Buccaneers, as our offensive line is a weak spot on the team and Jameis needs to be protected better in the pocket. Consequently, Jameis’ fumbles would decrease tremendously. Picking Nelson at #7 would be huge for Tampa Bay. Yet, it is highly doubtful for him to fall that far.
The only other offensive player that would make sense with the seventh overall pick is Saquon Barkley, running back out of Penn State. While running back is the most overrated position in football, picking up Barkley would be smart. He is more than a good running back, Barkley is an absolute game-changer, the best at his position to come out of college since Adrian Peterson. The problem with Barkley is, barring any miracles, he will be off the board by the time Tampa Bay picks. In the unlikely scenario that he does fall into Tampa’s lap, it would be a no-brainer to pull the trigger on Saquon Barkley.
To put it in a nutshell, the three players worth drafting at #7 will most likely not be available for Tampa Bay anymore. Therefore, finding a team willing to trade up would be a great option for the Bucs, as they could acquire additional picks to fill our many holes. Two possible candidates for a trade down would be Buffalo (#12 pick) and Arizona (#15 pick), as they both might look to acquire a Quarterback. That would give Tampa Bay an additional 2nd round pick and most likely another late-round pick in 2019. Thus, the Bucs could spend 3 picks in the first two rounds on a safety, a cornerback and a running back or a defensive lineman, depending on who is available. At #12 or #15 in the first round, the Buccaneers will most likely still be able to acquire Derwin James , safety out of Florida State, Minkah Fitzpatrick, safety pot of Alabama, or Denzel Ward, corner out of Ohio State. Each of these three would instantly make our defense significantly better and would most likely start right away. Picking either of them at #7 seems too early, though.
All in all, given the most likely circumstances, finding a team to trade down would be the best option the Bucs have, as they could thus acquire another high quality player early in the draft, which is much needed considering the holes this team must fill.