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Bucs 2014 draft forecast

January 5, 2014

cball

The Bucs enter the 2014 draft short on picks (traded away a 3rd & a 6th), but also, thankfully, short on dire needs.  The positions the team will likely want to address are (in no order):  QB, interior OL, and pass rush.

Things might get interesting this year, because where the Bucs sit in the 1st round (#7 overall) will likely keep them out of the QB & DE market.  This year, there is only 1 elite QB and 1 elite DE: Teddy Bridgewater & Jadeveon Clowney.  Those guys will almost certainly be gone when the Bucs are on the board.  And because interior OL is typically a “low value” position, they won’t address that at #7 either, so my guess is they will look to 1 of the elite linebackers, namely Anthony Barr or Khalil Mack.  Either guy could be and end rusher on passing downs and provide an immediate boost to an already solid defense.

The only other direction I could see them going at #7 is offensive tackle, simply because there is great value there in this draft.  Donald Penn isn’t getting any younger and there are at least 3 OTs that grade top 15(ish) in this draft.

The 2nd round is where I think things might get interesting.   Assuming they want to find an immediate successor to Davin Joseph, they can easily do so in the mid/late 2nd round.  This is not a top-heavy draft for OGs, so it’s likely that someone like Gabe Jackson (Mississippi State) or David Yankey (Stanford) will be available in the mid-late 40s (Bucs pick is #38).  In trading back, the Bucs could possibly get a 4th round pick or so AND get a guard who can immediately start.

You’re probably wondering “what about QB?”  This is a very deep QB draft, and once you get past Teddy Bridgewater, there (arguably) isn’t a ton of difference between the next couple QBs off the board & a guy they could get in the 3rd round (assuming they trade up).  And certainly, there’s nobody that is a clear-cut improvement over Glennon.  For that reason, it’d be silly to overdraft someone when they can fill 2 big needs with guys who are less likely to be busts.

It’s January, so I might revise this as we get further into the process.  But for now, that’s my story & I’m stickin’ to it.

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