The first round of the NFL draft is over and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were able to walk away with Pittsburgh defensive star Calijah Kancey. While Kancey is a very good player and should do good things with the Bucs, the team still has a lot of needs they need to address on day two. Particularly offensive tackle which is where many, including myself thought General Manager Jason Licht would look in the first round.
Now the Bucs will have to attempt to fill their remaining needs in rounds two and three of the draft. These needs include offensive tackle, safety, outside linebacker, tight end and running back. Here are some of the players who could fill some of those needs and be an impact player next season.
Matthew Bergeron, OT, Syracuse
One of the most mobile and nasty offensive linemen in the draft, Bergeron thrives at moving down the line and putting defensive linemen on their back. While some people have projected him as a guard in the NFL, I have no reservations with his 6’5 height and nearly 34 inch arms. He is the prototypical offensive tackle for what the Buccaneers want to do.
The one thing he struggles with is his technique. He is inconsistent with his hand placement and his footwork and really could benefit from a redshirt year to refine this part of his game. If he can get that time to develop then Bergeron could turn into an above average starter in a year or two.
Jartavius Martin, S, Illinois
Martin has some versatility to his game which the Bucs will like. He can play some over the top and has good ball skills with three interceptions and eleven pass deflections last year. He’s also someone who plays the nickel role very well and could be the Bucs long term answer there.
In the third round Martin would be a very good value. He fills a clear need and could start as a rookie next year. Hopefully being a primarily nickel defender allows him to slide right into the Buccaneers lap.
Blake Freeland, OT, BYU
In terms of length and mobility, Freeland has those things in spades. He moves incredibly well and it’s that much more impressive when you consider that he is 6 ‘8. In terms of fit, he is the perfect type of offensive tackle for their new wide zone system.
With that said, Freeland plays very light. At 302 lbs he is very lean considering how tall he is. He also gives up a lot of leverage which makes him someone who can be pushed around. I’d expect him to need at least a year to develop the strength he will need to play at the NFL level.
Roschon Johnson, RB, Texas
Johnson was somewhat of a forgotten man last season as the backup behind the eighth overall pick Bijan Robinson. However, just because he was a backup doesn’t mean he isn’t a premier talent. In fact, Johnson is considered one of the top five running backs in the entire draft.
Johnson is a big, physical runner at 6 ‘0 and 220 lbs. He operates in tight spaces well and can find the crease. Being a bigger back, he isn’t the most explosive, but does have the burst to hit the hole hard and provide the constant hyperbolic body blows that wear down a defense.
Luke Schoonmaker, TE, Michigan
Although Schoonmaker has been projected to go a little later than the third round, his pre draft process has gone very well and I won’t be surprised to see him go earlier than many expected. He had an outstanding combine and looks to have the physical gifts needed to thrive in the NFL.
Schoonmaker is one of the best blocking tight ends in the draft. He is also a reliable pass catcher who isn’t flashy, but effective. If he can come along as a route runner then he could turn into one of the most well rounded tight ends in the NFL.