Bucs Draft Preview

Lovie Smith

The Bucs were active this off-season but still have big needs going into the NFL Draft.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2014 draft picks:
1st round (7), 2(38), 3(69), 5(143), 6(185), 7(221)

The Bucs were a disaster under Greg Schiano and won only four games in 2013. They were a mess offensively. Tampa Bay cut ties with quarterback Josh Freeman, running back Doug Martin got hurt, and the offensive line was a horrible. They paid Darrelle Revis a ton of money and gave the Jets a first round pick.

Schiano is gone. Now, the new sheriff in town is Lovie Smith. Smith and new General Manager Jason Licht made a money decision and released Revis, who ultimately became a one year rental. They have already cracked the whip and cut high priced veterans that underperformed like offensive tackle Donald Penn and offensive guard Davin Joseph and traded away the troubled wide receiver Mike Williams.

Tampa Bay was very active in free agency. They have brought in quarterback Josh McCown as well as 11 other veterans to help re-build the Buccaneer roster. They had to be active because Tampa Bay only has six picks in next week's draft.

Team Needs

1. Wide Receiver
The Bucs have a handful of needs but none more pressing then wide receiver, especially after they traded Williams to the Bills. Their only viable threat is Vincent Jackson. Sammy Watkins would be ideal but will likely never make it to the No. 7 spot. Mike Evans could be in play or Tampa Bay could choose to wait until the second or third round. It wouldn't surprise me in the least for the Bucs to trade down, obtain another pick or two, and get their wide receiver there. Not only do they need an outside receiver the Bucs could also use someone in the slot.

2. Defensive End
In order for Smith's defense to work in Tampa they have to get to the quarterback. Last season they had one of the worst pass rushes in the NFL. The Bucs would love to have an opportunity to pick Jadeveon Clowney or Khalil Mack but they will likely be long gone by the time they pick at No. 7. They did sign Michael Johnson in free agency and he should help. At some point the Bucs have to address this pressing need.

3. Offensive Line
Tampa was active in free agency, landing tackle Anthony Collins and center Evan Dietrich-Smith. They could use another tackle for depth and certainly need to address the guard position. The status of Carl Nicks (MRSA) is still unknown and even if he comes back, Nicks has played very little football in the last two seasons.

4. Quarterback
They signed McCown and still have last year's third round pick, Mike Glennon, on the roster. Glennon actually played pretty well as a rookie but goes into this season as the backup. McCown is not the long term answer in Tampa Bay, only a band-aid on the situation. I would expect the Bucs to draft a quarterback. It could very well be with their first round selection. There has been a lot of speculation in Tampa Bay with Johnny Manziel.

Acquisitions
Josh McCown (QB)
Louis Murphy (WR)
Brandon Myers (TE)
Anthony Collins (OT)
Oniel Cousins (OG)
Evan Dietrich-Smith (C)
Michael Johnson (DE)
Clinton McDonald (DT)
Dane Fletcher (MLB)
Mike Jenkins (CB)
Alterraun Verner (CB)
Major Wright (S)

No Longer with the Team
Dan Orlovsky (QB)
Erik Lorig (FB)
Mike Williams (WR)
Tiquan Underwood
Donald Penn (OT)
Ted Larsen (OG)
Davin Joseph (OG)
Gabe Carimi (OG)
Jeremy Zuttah (C)
Derek Landri (DT)
Dekoda Watson (OLB)
Adam Hayward (OLB)
Darrelle Revis (CB)

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