TAMPA — The Buccaneers hold the 32nd and final pick in the first round of tonight's NFL Draft. Tampa Bay general manager Jason Licht could trade the pick and move up or down in the draft.
The Bucs return all 22 starters from last season's Super Bowl championship team, but ESPN NFL analyst Booger McFarland said the team still has needs they will address.
"I think for the Bucs it’s going to be offensive line or a front seven player on defense," McFarland said via video chat. "Whoever they have rated higher on the offensive line, maybe a guard. If you’re gonna have Brady for two more years you gotta protect him. If there’s an edge guy, maybe [Georgia linebacker Azeez Ojulari] slides to them at 32. You can never have enough pass rushers. I think ultimately that’s where they go."
The Bucs took McFarland with the 15th overall pick in the 1999 Draft. The reason he was taken was because the team needed help on the defensive line. This year, McFarland said the Bucs are in a position of "want" instead of a position of "need."
"Their needs are going to be luxury picks. That’s why I think you’re in a really good spot," McFarland said. "Because luxury picks mean you don’t have to have them. You’re adding depth just in case. That’s a good position to be in when you can make just in case picks."
When asked if Tampa Bay might use an early pick to choose a possible successor to quarterback Tom Brady, McFarland quickly shot down the idea.
"So if you’re the Buccaneers, guess what? You have Brady. He’s the greatest of all time. Build around him this year. If he’s coming back next year, build around him next year. And I worry about the quarterback position when Tom Brady hangs it up."
The first round of the NFL Draft gets underway from Cleveland tonight at 8 P.M on ABC Action News. Rounds two and three begin tomorrow at 7 P.M. Rounds four through seven wrap things up Saturday beginning at noon. The Bucs enter the Draft with one pick in each of the first six rounds and two in the seventh.