Five Draft Targets For The Buccaneers If They Win The NFC South


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had an exciting win over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. This was a pivotal game which brought the Bucs up to first place in the NFC South race. At this point, even at a 6-7 record the team controls their own destiny and is in the driver seat of a playoff race.

However, there is still a crowd of fans who are more concerned about draft position than they are about division titles. This is a thought process that I totally understand. Afterall, we’re Bucs fans. For most of our lives the NFL draft has been the highlight of our season.

So this article is for you all. My haters and my naysayers. The draft junkies and the self loathing, Todd Bowles hating, Baker Mayfield trashing masochists out there. Here are five draft prospects that the Bucs could target if they win the NFC South.

5. Kamren Kinchens

Two years ago the Buccaneers showed serious interest in drafting Georgia safety Lewis Cine in the first round. The idea of pairing Antoine Winfield Jr with another talented young safety was appealing because it gives the Bucs more versatility and talent in the back end. Afterall, why wouldn’t you want a second Antione Winfield Jr on your defense?

That same thought process might show itself again this year with Miami Safety Kamren Kinchens. He has the speed and fluidity to cover well in two high safety looks or even as a single high safety at times. He’s also had 11 interceptions over the last two seasons, so you could definitely call him a ball hawk.

However, where Kinchens really makes his presence felt is as a tackler. He is a vicious hitter who always manages to stay in control of himself. He’s also fundamentally sounds, so he’s an excellent tackler and not just a big hitter. He’s the ideal modern day strong safety.

4. Troy Fautanu

There have been a lot of issues with the Buccaneers offensive line over the last year and a half. With the unexpected retirement of Ali Marpet and the injuries to Ryan Jensen, the interior of the offensive line has been less than spectacular. Building the trenches is critical to the future of the Bucs offense. 

Fautanu would be an excellent building block for any offensive line. He has played both left tackle and left guard for the University of Washington. This position versatility is something that Jason Licht has shown that he values in prospects and has typically taken college offensive tackles and moved them to guard with great success. 

At 6’4 and 315+ lbs, he brings the length and size that should translate well to the NFL. He also shows excellent movement skills and should thrive in the Bucs zone blocking scheme and the ability to get to the second level of the defense. It may not be sexy to draft a guard in the first round, but if he turns into the next Zach Martin then absolutely no one will complain. 

3. Chop Robinson

If you like high upside pass rushers, then Chop Robinson is the man for you. He’s 6’3 and 250+ lbs with excellent explosiveness off the line of scrimmage and closing speed when chasing down ball carriers. In terms of physical tools, he’s by far the best edge rusher you’ll see taken in the first round.

In terms of refinement, he is still a work in progress. He consistently plays with a high motor and physicality, which makes him a pretty good run defender. However, his hand usage is inconsistent which makes it hard for him to get off blocks at times. This has led to pedestrian sack numbers.

There is certainly some risk with a pick like this. But if this type of pick pans out then Robinson has the ability to turn into one of the best edge rushers in the NFL. Most prospects don’t have the talent to bring TJ Watt or Myles Garrett type of upside, but that is what you’re looking at with this prospect.

2. Keon Coleman

I’m not sure what the future holds for the Bucs and star receiver Mike Evans, but even if he is re-signed this offseason, the Buccaneers have to start thinking about the future. With Evans in his early 30s and the future of the quarterback position unclear, it would be wise to bring in a young pass catcher to help this offense transition to its next chapter. 

Coleman is a big body wide receiver, at 6’4 and 210 lbs, with excellent catch radius. However, that’s not what makes him special. It’s his size with incredibly quick feet that make him so exciting as a prospect. 

Coleman has been a kick returner for Florida State this year….Yes, at his size he has the agility and quickness to be a legitimate kick returner. He also uses that quickness to run crisp routes and gain separation. 

1. J.J. McCarthy

The Michigan signal caller isn’t guaranteed to declare this year, but if he does then he’ll be a great option for teams in need of a franchise quarterback. He brings prototypical size at 6’3 and 200 lbs and he has good mobility to where he can keep defenses honest and make the occasional splash play. In terms of NFL tools, he’s above average across the board.

In terms of his skillset, McCarthy is very accurate in the short and intermediate range passing game. He’s also very accurate on the move. In an offense like what the Buccaneers run, there is every reason to believe he would thrive.

He’s also shown to play with a high level of intelligence. He operates in a traditional pro style offense and has only thrown an interception in two of his games this season. He seems to have the ability to step into the league as a rookie and lead an offense from day one.

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