The Tampa Bay Buccaneers finished 5-11 in 2017, ending up last in the NFC South. Doing so netted the Bucs with the seventh overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, putting them in a prime spot to find a franchise player for the next several seasons to come. I’ve listed five of themes probably options that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have below.
Will Hernandez, OG, UTEP
The Bucs will have to address their offensive line as they’re likely to lose a starter or two from last season to free agency. Will Hernandez was responsible for opening up some massive running lanes for the Miners, which is something that Tampa Bay is in dire need of.
Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
I’m not sure if Edmunds will still be on the board when the Buccaneers are on the clock, but if he is, they should take a serious look at drafting him. Tremaine Edmunds is going to bring some much needed speed and athleticism to a defense that lacks it.
Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State
Much like Edmunds, if Bradley Chubb is available here, he should be an option for Tampa Bay. The defense is lacking an edge rusher, and if paired with Gerald McCoy and William Gholston, he could make an immediate impact. If he’s drafted here, look for the Buccaneers to try him at OLB, a position that he can play rather well.
Denzel Ward, CB, Oho State
The secondary is a concern of mine for Tampa Bay. T.J. Ward and Brent Grimes are both Unrestriced Free Agents this offseason and it’s unlikely that both end up back with the team next season. MinKah Fitzpatrick is the best option for the Bucs, but I’m doubtful that he’s on the board at 7. If Jason Licht and Dirk Koetter truly want him in Tampa, they’ll have to move up in the draft.
Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
Doug Martin had another down year in 2017, unable to once again replicate the year he had in 2015. Tampa Bay could opt to pair Doug Martin with the top rusher on the board in Saquon Barkley, which would take some pressure off of Jameis Winston. It’s unlikely that they go this route, but it should be something that the franchise at least considers.