Potential First-Round Draft Targets for the Buccaneers


With the draft approaching it’s important for the front office of the Buccaneers to identify multiple players they like in each round. Much like each year, as the draft rolls along the variables of trades, signings, and unpredictable team selections can throw off a game plan. So, it’s always good to have options. Here are my top three reasonable picks for the Buccaneers in the first round.


To start things off we need a quick look at the team’s needs. Given the return of all the key players and a few smaller signings so far the Buccaneers need a few things. After looking at the roster I feel as though the team needs in order look like, center, edge, guard, linebacker, corner, and tight end.

On The Clock

Looking through the prospects and a glance at other team needs there are a few things to note. Edge rushers are always a hot commodity and there are a few teams ahead of the Buccaneers that look poised to take the top players. I suspect Jared Verse, Dallas Turner, and Laiatu Latu will not be there at 26th overall. So who could be?

The Trenches

This pick seems to be a strong fan favorite. For good reason too. The Buccaneers need a center to follow in the footsteps of Ryan Jensen. So naturally Jackson Powers-Johnson kicks off this list.  

With only one year of over 400 snaps under his belt at Oregon “JPJ” impressed in his final season. Bolster his season performance with an exceptional Senior Bowl and he has thrust himself into the number one spot of centers in this draft.  He’s powerful and heavy with a unique nimbleness for a big guy that makes him a day-one starter for the Buccaneers. If selected, Buccaneers fans should rejoice and so should Baker Mayfield and Rachaad White.


The Buccaneers are going into the draft with Jamel Dean and Zyon McCollum penciled in as starting cornerbacks. Bryce Hall was also added to the mix and if he can return to 2021 form the depth chart starts to look good. I do feel that the team needs to add someone of a higher skill set.

Enter Kool-Aid McKinstry. I like to see players enter the college ranks at a high level and show steady improvement. It shows a trend of future growth potential and a degree of strong work ethic. McKinstry did just that. Improving each year in man and zone coverage. Add in his size, football acumen, and poise you get the potential for a day-one starter. Drafting him would add depth at corner and solidify what could be one of the best all-around secondaries in the NFL. 

Coming Off The Edge

Many of the top edge rushers will be gone at 26th overall but one name may still be on the board. Chop Robinson from Penn State University may still be in play in the latter half of the first round. So if the Buccaneers want to focus first on the defensive line and pass rush this may be where they start the draft.

Now I will caveat with the fact that I feel Robinson is a day-two talent but he’s been climbing many sportscasters big board into the first round for some time now. However, he seems to fit the mold of previous prospects the Buccaneers have drafted before. Noah Spence and Kwon Alexander.

Robinson does, however, have good size and his athleticism is top-notch. He’s quick off the line and has the power to boot. In his limited time on the field, he had some amazing splash plays. This could be enough for the Buccaneers to take a chance on him.

Final Thought

I love the addition of the first two prospects listed. I just am not that high on Robinson. At the end of the day though it’s always in Jason Licht we trust.  

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