The Tampa Bay Buccaneers took a step forward in 2016 posting a 9-7 record. It seems like only a matter of time before the Bucs make a postseason appearance. The progression of Jameis Winston is a big reason for that. Tampa Bay made a concerted effort to give him more help this offseason signing veteran speedster, DeSean Jackson. As we head into the 2017 NFL Draft, what can we expect from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?
Tampa Bay holds the 19th overall pick. The one thing the team lacks is a true leader in the middle of the defense. Carolina has Luke Keuchly and Atlanta has Deon Jones but the Bucs are missing that kind of presence. Alabama linebacker Rueben Foster could just what they need. Foster, once considered a top 5 selection, could fall on draft day due to some awful off the field instances at the combine. When making a comparison to Foster, look no further than the success that Dont’a Hightower and C.J. Mosely have had in the NFL. He is that kind of player with the potential to be even better. Foster could be the true middle linebacker in Tampa’s defense next to Kwon Alexander and Levonte David.
The 50th overall pick in the 2nd round could be a place where the team looks to find an upgrade at running back. With Doug Martin entrenched in the dog house, Texas prospect D’Onta Foreman could be an ideal fit. With Jacquizz Rodgers and Charles Sims on the roster as smaller shiftier options, Foreman would give the Bucs a bruising running style. Foreman projects to be a sort of Derrick Henry/LeGarrette Blount type of player at 6’0″, 233. After a big final season at Texas (2,028 yards and 15 touchdowns) Foreman likely goes off the board somewhere in the 2nd round.
In the 3rd round, 84th overall, look for the Bucs to add another receiver. With Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson out wide, Tampa could use a slot receiver to roam the middle of the field. Chris Godwin of Penn State could be the perfect fit. Godwin ran exceptionally fast at the combine and is a really crisp route runner. Godwin also has the ability to go deep with that 4.42 speed. At 6’1, 209, I also noticed that Godwin wins a ton of 50/50 ball which could play well with Jameis Winston’s ability to throw the deep ball. Adam Humphries is a nice player but Chris Godwin could take this offense to another level.