Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2017 NFL Draft Needs Preview and Free Agency Update
The NFL Draft is an exciting event, but for fans, it can feel like a bit of a crapshoot, as teams can make selections based on players’ bench press reps, 40-yard dash times, or mere hunches. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have had as many wild successes (Derrick Brooks, Warren Sapp, Warrick Dunn) as they have had failures (Keith McCants, Gaines Adams) from their picks at the annual draft, but that doesn’t diminish our hopes that this year will be the one where a couple NFL Hall of Famers are drafted and make the Tampa/St. Petersburg FL area famous for years to come!
That said, we’ll take a look at the NFL Draft selections that the Bucs have, and what positions they need to fill with young players. We’ll also do a quick free agency update on the Bucs’ player signings this offseason.
Buccaneers 2017 NFL Draft Preview
The Bucs have seven selections in the 2017 Draft, which takes place April 27 to 29, 2017 in Philadelphia (starting at 8 p.m. ET the first night), and will be aired on the NFL Network. As another cool twist, the draft will take place outdoors in its entirety for the first time ever.
They pick #19 in the first round, and have one pick in each of the seven rounds. Here’s some positions the team might want to fill:
- Safety: The Bucs have re-signed / picked up a few players at this position, but the affordable contracts spent on them, and the need for additional playmaking, signals they may not be done refurbishing at safety.
- Edge rusher: The Bucs need a power boost with a defensive lineman or linebacker that can disrupt opposing offenses.
- Running Back: This position is in flux, especially if top back Doug Martin doesn’t return, or isn’t at full strength in 2017.
- Wide receiver: The Bucs already have pro-bowler Mike Evans and newly-signed DeSean Jackson, but they might want to look at a better #3 guy, and/or someone to replace the aging Jackson in the next couple years.
Buccaneers Free Agency Update
These are some key players the Bucs have signed in NFL free agency as of April 14, 2017.
- DeSean Jackson, wide receiver – The top-notch receiver also known as “D-Jax” took his world-class speed and sprinted away from Washington and into Tampa on a three-year deal.
- Chris Baker, defensive end – “Swaggy” also made the move south from Washington, also on a three-year deal, to bolster the Bucs defensive line.
- J.J. Wilcox, free safety. Wilcox, a four-year vet signed to a two-year deal, brings some additional youth to the Bucs secondary.
- Nick Folk, kicker. The veteran kicker looks to compete with incumbent (and high 2016 draft pick) Roberto Aguayo for the starting job in 2017.
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