The 2020 NFL Draft is just under a month away, which means that The Game Haus will be doing draft profiles for every team. Each NFL team will be looked at heading into this year’s draft including what their needs are and who they could be targeting. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be the 14th team evaluated.
Bruce Arians was hired to do one thing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and that was to get the most out of offensive pieces on this offense. Their offense exploded, taking advantage of Jameis Winston’s cannon of an arm. On the other side of the ball, Todd Bowles has something brewing on the defensive side of the ball. Their 7-9 record might now show it but the Buccaneers did have a really good season as a team. The Buccaneers have a bright future in a tough division featuring two powerhouses in the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons who seem to be in the thick of things every year.
Jameis Winston had a career year. He led the league in passing yards throwing for 5,109 yards. He also had 33 touchdown passes and a league-leading 33 interceptions. It isn’t fair to blame the Buccaneers’ poor record on Winston like the media has been doing. But when the offense performs at the high level and the young defense shows that they are no joke, they kind of have a point. Winston needs to play for a team that will work on his mechanics, because the traits are there.
That is why the Buccaneers signed some guy at quarterback named Tom Brady. All jokes aside the Buccaneers signed six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady and on paper, it appears like a perfect marriage. Tom Brady is a very smart quarterback and does not have many mistakes, which is what the Buccaneers need. Tom Brady’s situation in New England wasn’t ideal he was in a run-first offense that did not have any dynamic outside threats. He is coming to a team that had two 1,000 receivers in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin last season. They also have two talented tight ends in O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate which is huge for Brady who loves to throw to his tight ends.
There Buccaneers had a giant shift as far as defensive leadership this offseason. The Buccaneers cut longtime defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and replaced him with Ndamukong Suh. The move seemed to be good for both sides. McCoy played well in Carolina this past year and Suh played well in his absence. He was a large part of why the Buccaneers had one of the best run defenses in the league.
There could also be a lot of credit given to first-round pick Devin White who also played extremely well this year. The Buccaneers have a very young secondary, but most of those pieces are former high draft picks, so they could develop into household names next season. Sean Murphy-Bunting is a name to watch next season.
The Buccaneers have one of the more underrated edge-rushing duos in the league. Jason Pierre-Paul is still a very good edge rusher who the Buccaneers resigned long term. While his partner Shaquil Barrett had a breakout season, he led the league with 19.5 sacks. Barrett got franchise tagged, but both sides feel hopeful that they will get a deal done. An interesting note is that Ndamukong Suh has played with the league leader in sacks two years in a row (2018-19 he played with the Aaron Donald and the Los Angeles Rams) and he just re-signed with the Buccaneers.
2020 NFL Draft Picks
First Round (one picks): No. 14
Second Round (one picks): No. 45
Third Round (one picks): 76
Fourth Round (two picks): 117, 139
Fifth Round (one picks): No. 161
Sixth Round (one pick): 194
Seventh Round (zero picks):
Right Tackle- Demar Dotson is 34 years old and the Buccaneers have not tried to re-sign him. They need to protect their new 42-year-old quarterback.
Running back- Ronald Jones has shown potential at times to be the running back they drafted him to be, though he is 22 years old, this offense doesn’t have time to wait around for him to complete this offense.
Defensive End- William Gholston is a solid defensive end, but he’s not great. They could potentially look for his replacement as he approaches 30.
Interior Offensive Line- Protecting Tom Brady should be the priority for the Buccaneers. Ryan Jensen and Ali Marpet are great on the interior, but they are one guard away from really having an upper-tier offensive line.
Wide Receiver- well…not exactly. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are great, but if the Buccaneers could draft a speedy slot receiver in the later rounds, that could really complete this offense.
2020 NFL Draft Targets
Pick No. 14: Josh Jones, OT, Houston
The Buccaneers need to address right tackle extremely early in the draft. It will be hard for them to land one of the top four tackles without trading up. But Josh Jones is no consolation prize. Jones impressed scouts at the Senior Bowl and is versatile enough to play on the left or right side. It isn’t a sexy pick, but its a necessary one if the Buccaneers are going to try to win now.
Pick No. 45: Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin
Jonathan Taylor screams can’t miss running back prospect. He carried his offense at Wisconsin, looks like an NFL running back when he plays, and had a great combine. People believe he has a fumbling issue and he wasn’t used as a receiver at school, but those can be worked on with time. If Jonathan Taylor lands with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers he could beat out Ronald Jones for the starting job and become the team’s workhorse back by the end of the season.
Pick No. 76: Raekwon Davis, DT, Alabama
Raekwon Davis could play all three defensive line positions on a 3-4 defensive line, this could make him extremely valuable for the Buccaneers. He could compete with William Gholston for reps his rookie season, then potentially take over for Ndamukong Suh once his contact expires next season. Coming from Alabama he could be a very valuable piece to a defensive line like a lot of former Crimson Tide defensive lineman.