NFL Draft Prospects The Buccaneers Should Be Crushing On


Buccaneers’ fans, it’s Valentines Day, tome to acknowledge your sweethearts and crushes. Valentine’s Day is always a fun holiday to celebrate. Personally, I loved the elementary school version of this holiday where everyone went around and gave a card to the people they cared about most. At my school, this included the entire class whether we liked it or not.

Now that I’m all grown up, I’d like to keep the sentiment, but limit the number of cards I’m giving out. And of course, I like to do it with a Tampa Bay Buccaneers twist. Specifically when looking at the upcoming NFL draft.

This draft is full of talented young players. However, some stand out in my heart more than the rest when imagining them on this Bucs roster. So here is my All Crush Team for the Buccaneers draft targets.

Troy Fautanu

There has been a lot of conversation about the Bucs rafting interior offensive line this offseason. The main names that have been focused on are Oregon’s Jackson Powers-Johnson and Duke’s Graham Barton. Both of these names are worthy of consideration with the 26th pick (especially Powers-Johnson), but there is another name who I love that hasn’t gotten the same level of attention.

This would be Washington’s left tackle Troy Fautanu. While some project him to play on the outside in the NFL, others like me think his best pro position will be on the interior. In fact, I can see him becoming an All Pro caliber guard. 

There are many things that I love about this player. His fluid movement ability in pass protection. His ability to find work in space in the running game. However, it is his demeanor that stands out above it all. 

Fautanu comes with an old school, all business attitude. He comes with an edge and a confidence about him that I like. Even his appearance with the half rolled up jersey and letting his belly hang out screams old school in your face offensive line play. What can I say, it was love at first sight.

Zach Frazier

There is more than one offensive lineman who has stolen my heart in this draft cycle. West Virginia’s Zach Frazier has also caught my eye as a potential second round target. I am hoping that Jason Licht and company wined and dined him at the Senior Bowl and he is high on their draft board.

Frazier is an excellent athlete for a big man. The way he gets out in space and finds work at the second level is rare and easy to fall in love with. He is a perfect fit for any zone type of blocking scheme.

However, he is more than that. At 6’2 and 314 lbs he also has the bulk necessary to push people at the point of attack. In high school, Frazier was a four time heavyweight state wrestling champion, so he is used to going toe to toe with the big boys.

Ladd McConkey 

In a deep wide receiver class, McConkey is one of my favorites. It’s strange to feel like he is flying under the radar as part of a Georgia team that has only lost one game in the last three years, but that feels like the case. Don’t be shocked if he finds his way into the first round of this coming draft.

In terms of separation ability, McConkey is one of the best. His speed, quickness and ability to stop on a dime make him an excellent route runner. These things are all well above average at the NFL level.

On top of that, he has the speed to allow him to run by people. McConkey might not be Tyreek Hill, but he could flirt with a 4.3 40 yard dash time at the combine. If the Buccaneers can match up with McConkey in the second round then I would love that pick.

Kam Kinchens

Some players are gritty, grab your lunch pale and go to work type of guys. Others have more flash and excitement to their game. Kinchens would fall into that second category. 

The first thing that stands out is his ability to be a ball hawk. Kinchens has great eyes and an aggressive mindset. With his speed he can swoop in and pick the ball off at any given time.

However, we can’t forget that Kinchens is more of a strong safety than a free safety. He absolutely flies down hill to lay big hits on the ball carrier. He is the big hitter that will remind fans of the likes of Jordan Whitehead or John Lynch. What’s not to love about that?

Mikey Sainristil 

Everybody loves a winner and the big winner in college football this year was the Michigan Wolverines. Perhaps the leader of this championship team was cornerback Mikey Sainristil. He might be on the smaller side, but he has a huge heart and plays the game the way it should be played. 

In terms of coverage, Sainristil is excellent working out of the nickel. He is quick, fluid and scrappy as a tackler. He should be an immediate upgrade over Chris Izien, which would allow Izien to slide back to strong safety and be an upgrade there.

What really captured my heart with Sainristil is the fact that he takes the ball away. He reminds me of Antione Winfield Jr in that way. Someone who has the awareness to bring in interceptions and the toughness to stick his nose in as a tackler and force fumbles. 

Ray Davis

In terms of day three sleepers, this is one who I have my heart set on. Davis is a bowling ball of a running back, built at 5’8 and 220 lbs. He can work at that physical between the tackles guy who thrives in the red zone and in short yardage situations.

This would also be recapturing the magic he had last season in college. Davis and Buccaneers new offensive coordinator made sweet music together last season at Kentucky to the tune of 21 touchdowns. This familiarity should translate well to the next level.

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