Breaking News
More () »

Your guide to the Buccaneers' 2022 NFL Draft

What you need to know about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers heading into the draft.

TAMPA, Fla. — When the NFL Draft begins Thursday, the Bucs will be one of the few teams with minimal roster holes. However, there are three positions general manager Jason Licht could prioritize in the selection process. 

According to most NFL Draft experts, those positions are offensive guard, defensive tackle and tight end.

Here are Tampa Bay’s draft spots:

  • First round: 27th overall
  • Second round: 60th overall
  • Third round: 91st overall
  • Fourth round: 133rd overall
  • Seventh round: 248th overall
  • Seventh round: 261st overall

The Bucs lost both its starting guards from 2021 this offseason when Ali Marpet retired, and Alex Cappa signed with the Cincinnati Bengals. Tampa filled one of those spots when Licht traded this year’s fifth-round pick for veteran guard Shaq Mason. The other vacancy is likely to be addressed on draft weekend.

Zion Johnson, a Boston College product, is a possible target. In 2021, he earned first-team AP All-American and All-ACC honors. The other likely offensive guard target is Kenyon Green from Texas A&M. Like Johnson, he earned AP All-American honors in 2021.

This year’s defensive linemen prospect group is deep, meaning Tampa Bay can wait until the middle rounds to grab a tag-team partner for Vita Vea. The top-two targets come from Georgia. Devonte Wyatt and Jordan Davis played major roles in a Bulldogs defense that allowed 10 points per game en route to the program’s first national championship since 1980.

Oklahoma product Perrion Winfrey is another potential target for the Bucs. He finished 2021 with 11 tackles for loss and 5 ½ sacks.

It is still unclear if Rob Gronkowski will return for another season in Tampa. As of now, Cameron Brate and Codey McElroy are the only tight ends on the Bucs’ roster. Brate is a veteran who hasn’t missed a game since 2016 but will be 31 when the 2022 season begins. McElroy is primarily a backup who has spent most of his tenure with Tampa on the practice squad. Depth at this position is a must.

Unfortunately, there are no Kyle Pitts-like players in this year’s draft. However, Colorado State grad Trey McBride won the 2021 John Mackey Award — given to the nation’s best college football tight end — after Pitts earned the crown in 2020. McBride led the Rams with 1,121 receiving yards in his final season, but only caught one touchdown pass. He is also regarded as an excellent run blocker.

Jalen Wydermyer from Texas A&M is another option. Arguably, his 2020 season was better than his 2021 season with the Aggies. After catching 46 passes for 506 yards and six touchdowns, Wydermyer caught only 40 passes and four touchdowns in his final collegiate year.

The 2022 NFL Draft takes place in Las Vegas and begins at 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 28.

Before You Leave, Check This Out