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AP: Buccaneers Draft Preview Capsule

Posted: 3:54 PM, Apr 25, 2019
Updated: 2019-04-25 21:21:20Z
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TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (5-11)

LAST SEASON: Surprising 2-0 start, featuring confidence-building upsets of New Orleans and Philadelphia, dissolved into team's second straight 5-11 finish and firing of coach Dirk Koetter. Missed playoffs for 11th consecutive year and haven't won postseason game since 2002 Super Bowl run. QB Jameis Winston sat out three games while serving suspension for violating NFL's personal conduct policy, returned from midseason benching to play well enough down stretch that club decided to bring him back for final season of rookie contract at nearly $21 million for 2019.

TAMPA BAY BUCS | The latest on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

FREE AGENCY: Long-term deals locking up WR Mike Evans, LT Donovan Smith and TE Cameron Brate, plus hefty 2019 salaries slated for Winston, sacks leader Jason Pierre-Paul and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy left team with little to spend for potential help this offseason. General manager Jason Licht and new coach Bruce Arians created salary cap space by parting with several veterans, including WR DeSean Jackson and DE Vinny Curry, and sought to fill holes and bolster depth by signing LBs Deone Bucannon and Shaquil Barrett, S Kentrell Brice, and P Bradley Pinion.

THEY NEED: DL, CB, S, OL, RB.

THEY DON'T NEED: QB, WR, LB, TE.

POSSIBLE FIRST PICK: Kentucky DE-LB Josh Allen; LSU CB Greedy Williams; Alabama DT Quinnen Williams.

OUTLOOK: While the Bucs led NFL in passing offense and were third in total yardage, they were near bottom in total defense and next to last in points allowed. Inconsistent pass rush has been problem for more than a decade, and series of bad decisions in free agency and draft have undermined efforts to upgrade porous secondary. Licht is working with his third head coach in six years. Team has made strides offensively under GM's watch; same can't be said for leaky defense.