Buccaneers Focus On Defense In Draft


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers focused on defense in this year’s NFL draft. More specifically, the pass rush.

The Bucs won the NFC South last season, albeit with a losing record. The Pewter Pirates didn’t fair well in their playoff game, losing 31-14 to the Cowboys.

Heading into this year’s draft, the Buccaneers had several holes to fill, and depth to add. Quarterback Tom Brady retired, the Bucs filled that void by signing Baker Mayfield. This move put them into position to focus on the defense. And did they ever…

The Bucs used three of their first four draft picks on defensive players. Starting with defensive lineman Calijah Kancey in the first-round, adding outside linebacker YaYa Diaby in the third and inside linebacker SirVocea Dennis in the fifth. All totaled, 5 of their 8 picks went to the defensive side of the ball.

The Buccaneers know these draftees need to perform, but understand they all  need some work.

“I think none of them, from pick one to the last pick, are a finished product,” general manager Jason Licht said. “I think they all need work at everything. I feel like sometimes we expect them to go out Week 1 and dominate or certainly by their first year, they had to have dominated or been a great player, when it takes time for some of these players. (Sometimes) two years to reach their full potential.”

“You can’t fill every need, you just can’t,” Licht said. “Your needs, even after the draft, compared to your needs on Sept. 1 are always different. We still have a lot of time. We don’t play our first game in two weeks.”

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