The last time the Tampa Bay Buccaneers made the NFL Playoffs was in 2008, which was twelve years ago. Did I mention the number 12? Tampa Bay will look to avoid a 13th straight year of not making the playoffs after signing QB Tom Brady and TE Rob Gronkowski. Adding these two players to a 7-9 team will definitely give the Bucs a winning record this upcoming season. Plus, Tampa Bay is able to add even more talent through the NFL Draft. Let’s take a look at who the Buccaneers picked.
Round 1, Pick 13: Tristan Wirfs – T – Iowa (6’5″, 320 lbs). Wirfs will definitely bolster the offensive line. He more than likely will start at right tackle.
Round 2, Pick 13: Antoine Winfield, Jr. – S – Minnesota (5’9″, 203 lbs). Winfield, Jr. is a playmaker that can play either safety position because of his strong tackling (88 tackles), his ability to disrupt plays (3.5 tackles for loss, 3 sacks), and his knack for finding the ball (7 interceptions). He adds immediate depth to a secondary that was burned too many times last season.
Round 3, Pick 12: Ke’Shawn Vaughn – RB – Vanderbilt (5’10”, 214 lbs). Vaughn should obtain some reps as a backup running back since he ran for over 1,000 yards two seasons in a row at Vanderbilt against SEC opponents that keyed on him most of the time.
Round 5, Pick 16: Tyler Johnson – WR – Minnesota (6’1″, 206 lbs). Johnson was one of the best possession wide receivers in college football last season with 86 receptions. Johnson adds even more depth to a loaded WR crew.
Round 6, Pick 15: Khalil Davis – DT – Nebraska (6’1″, 308 lbs). Davis could see some time as a backup in the middle of the defensive line because he is a disruptor (11 tackles for loss, 8 sacks).
Round 7, Pick 27: Chapelle Russell – LB – Temple (6’2″, 236 lbs). Russell will compete for a backup spot at LB. He is good in pass coverage (3 pass breakups).
Round 7, Pick 31: Raymond Calais – RB – Louisiana-Lafayette (5’8″, 188 lbs). Calais will look to make the team as either a backup RB or at special teams.
Grade: Tampa Bay addressed their two biggest issues in the first two rounds with the offensive line and the secondary. Adding even more depth at running back and at wide receiver should make this offense even more explosive. Grade: B+.