TAMPA, Fla. — With the NFL Draft less than two weeks away, all the speculation, smoke screens, and projections you could hope for are running rampant throughout talk shows, radio, and the podcast world. For Buccaneers fans, the levels of curiosity and uncertainty are reaching their peak.
NFL Network's Jason Palmer spoke about the Bucs specifically on Thursday in regards to their potential draft strategy; and although it isn't one that's been spoken about often, it's one that makes the most sense. As we are all well aware, the Bucs have all 22 Super Bowl starters returning in 2021. They've brought in one outside free agent – Giovani Bernard – and are awaiting word from Antonio Brown on whether or not he will return. The Buccaneers have no glaring holes, no "must haves" come draft night. It's simply "best player available" and keep moving.
Palmer brought up the scenario that the Bucs may actually be more aggressive than we're used to seeing out of Jason Licht if it means getting a guy they believe will help right now.
"There's a thought from people down there in Tampa that all eight of their draft picks may not make the roster," Palmer said. "That's why it's interesting to see what they do in terms of the numbers. So keep an eye on them, at times, maybe being a little bit aggressive. If there's someone they like, maybe not being afraid to move up a couple of spots by giving away a pick on day two or day three. The interesting approach that they have with this draft is some of these guys that opted out, that may have some question marks from other teams, guys that are projects and maybe take a little while - those are guys they're looking at differently, I'm told, this year than they did in years past. They have the luxury of developing and letting players sit."
This might just be the best approach for the Buccaneers. If players like Najee Harris, Jaelen Phillips, or Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah begin to slip, the Bucs could leverage some day two and three picks to move up and get them. Those are the kind of players that would not only make an immediate impact, but continue to be key players moving forward. On top of that, they would not be relied upon as starters, simply rotational depth that can develop and learn as they get some experience.
Jason Licht and Bruce Arians can certainly sit and let the draft come to them, but being aggressive to add speed and athleticism to the defense or add another playmaker to the offense is something they should look to do early on. And if it costs them a few draft picks that will have a difficult time making the roster anyway, why not take the chance?
No risk it, no biscuit. Right?
For more on this story, and all things Tampa Bay Buccaneers, check out the Locked On Bucs Podcast.
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