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Tampa Bay Buccaneers Offseason Team Needs – TSJ Sports

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Offseason Team Needs NFL


Tampa Bay Buccaneers Offseason Team Needs

In 2016, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers finished a solid 9-7 and 2nd in the competitive NFC South, which included the NFC Champion from this season (Falcons) and last season (Panthers).  While they started slow, they won 5 of their last seven games and showed serious potential for the 2017 season.  It was a respectable second season with Jameis Winston leading the team at QB.  However, the Bucs have some weaknesses that they must address if they want to make a playoff push.  While they can’t grab an elite prospect with the 19th pick in the NFL draft, they should still be able to grab someone solid who can make an immediate impact on the team and help their goal of reaching the playoffs.

Wide Receiver

Mike Evans is a beast receiver and will draw double teams almost constantly for the foreseeable future.  Acquiring a second impact receiver to replace the aging Vincent Jackson and take advantage of the defensive focus on Evans will be the primary goal for Tampa Bay this offseason.  Mike Williams from Clemson and Corey Davis from Western Michigan are prime targets in the draft.  Davis is the preferred option for this team because he is more reliable and steady as a pass catcher and route runner and they don’t need to take a risk on another athletic freak like Williams when they already have Evans. - Customized NFL Gear

However, it is possible neither will be available at #19, so some possible second round choices include Curtis Samuel from Ohio State, JuJu Smith-Schuster from USC, and Zay Jones from East Carolina.  Samuel is a natural athlete similar to another former Buckeye: Browns’ WR Terrelle Pryor, who had a solid season in his first year at receiver.  Smith-Schuster is a physical receiver with good hands, similar to Michael Floyd.  Jones is a polished receiver that runs good routes and has good hands, similar to Western Michigan’s Corey Davis.  With the similarities in mind, Tampa Bay could target Jones if they can’t snag Davis.

Defensive End

Robert Ayers turns 32 in August and the Bucs need a long-term replacement.  While it is more likely that they target a receiver in the first round, they may draft a DE if they don’t like their options at receiver.  If this is the case, targets include Tennessee’s Derek Barnett, Michigan’s Taco Charlton, or Missouri’s Charles Harris.  While it is unlikely Stanford’s Solomon Thomas falls #19, it is possible and they should snatch him up if he is there.

Thomas is an absolute athletic freak and shouldn’t leave the top 10 in my opinion.  Barnett broke Tennessee’s career sack record, but his lack of athleticism is a glaring weakness.  Charlton is a classic speed rusher: explosive, good length, and hard hitting, but needs to add muscle.  Harris is similar to Charlton except that he has the muscle but not the technique.  They’re all very different ends, so Tampa Bay will have to decide what they value most.

However, it is more likely that the Bucs will draft a DE int the second round of the draft.  This could leave them with, to name a few, Alabama’s Tim Williams, Flordia State’s Demarcus Walker, or Illinois’ Carroll Phillips.  I’m a fan of any Alabama defender because the Tide are known for pumping out star NFL defenders.  Williams therefore, would be the favorite, but Walker is also a great value in the second round.  Williams is a talented pure pass rusher, while Walker is similar but a notch below in technique.  Phillips is the sleeper here, but he has elite speed at DE; he simply needs to add muscle.


The Buccaneers‘ current starting free safety is Chris Conte.  As a lifelong Bears fan, I give my condolences to any team with that man is their starting 11.

It is highly unlikely the Bucs will target anything other than WR or DE in the first round.  While it is more probable the Bucs target a safety in free agency or in the 3rd round, they could reach on a player they like in the second.  That safety could be Budda Baker from Washington or Obi Melifonwu from Connecticut.  Baker is a small but fast and talented playmaker that could be similar to legend Ed Reed.  Melifonwu is an athletic freak that will be a stud at the combine, but struggles with footwork and technique.  If they’re reaching on anyone, it’s going to be Baker in the hope he can gain muscle.  A small frame is a much safer problem than bad footwork, especially in the secondary.

After Melifonwu, there is a major drop-off in talent, which is why Tampa Bay shouldn’t wait to snag a safety.  Possible targets third round targets include Utah’s Marcus Williams, Alabama’s Eddie Jackson, and Texas A&M’s Justin Evans.  Williams is fast and has great technique, but is tiny, weighing less than 200 pounds.  Jackson is one of the only safeties in the draft that has good size and technique, but not blazing speed.  Evans is a good coverage safety, but struggles mightily with run defense.    Similar to DE, with a wide variety of options, Tampa Bay will have to choose what they need at safety.


First and foremost, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers need to find a second receiver to complement Mike Evans.  Then they need to replace Robert Ayers at DE and Chris Conte at FS.  If they can do all three through the draft, the Bucs will be a talented yet young team in 2017.