Evan Silva (@EvanSilva) is the Senior Football Editor for Rotoworld's NFL Page, and Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) leads Rotoworld's college football and NFL draft coverage. Together, they're breaking down every team's biggest needs and offering potential draft-day solutions.
For a breakdown on every team, check out the team-by-team draft preview schedule.
Bucs Team Need No. 1: Defensive Back
The Bucs are a team with far fewer pressing needs than you might think. Quietly almost, Tampa Bay is positioned for a 2017 leap. One mild weakness is in the secondary, where SS Bradley McDougald (Seahawks) walked without resistance and J.J. Wilcox was added from Dallas in reserve. FS Keith Tandy is entering a contract year. The Bucs’ biggest secondary weakness is slot cornerback. Tampa Bay could also use a prospect at boundary corner, where LCB Brent Grimes turns 34 before the season.
Bucs No. 2 Team Need: Offensive Line
Identifying an O-Line position at which Tampa Bay needs help isn’t especially difficult because the Bucs could use more talent at tackle, guard and center. LT Donovan Smith is returning from consecutive sub-par years, while injury-riddled RT Demar Dotson is going on age 32. The interior line is entirely unsettled. Back problems have prevented LG J.R. Sweezy from playing a snap since the 2015 season. There has been discussion of moving team-best lineman RG Ali Marpet to center. Regardless of position, the Bucs need to add another talent up front.
Bucs No. 3 Team Need: Pass Catcher
The Bucs took an enormous step toward addressing this need by making DeSean Jackson this year’s highest paid free agent wideout. GM Jason Licht should not stop there. Slot man Adam Humphries is a replacement-level third receiver, while No. 1 wideout Mike Evans and TE Cameron Brate have contract uncertainty after 2017. Jackson is on the wrong side of 30.
Other Considerations: Running Back, Outside Linebacker, Quarterback
2017 NFL Draft: More coverage here
Norris’ Mock Draft
Round 1 (19): TE David Njoku, Miami - I know the Bucs have Cameron Brate. He is absolutely a starting caliber talent. But inject some unreal upside and athleticism in Njoku, and the Bucs' passing offense gets a lot scarier. Luke Stocker and Brandon Myers combined for more snaps than Brate played. Send those snaps to Njoku, who has a ridiculous ceiling both inline and detached, and watch him flourish. Safety is also a possibility at 19.
Round 2 (50): RB Dalvin Cook, FSU - Many are mocking Cook to the Bucs in round one. It is definitely possible, but I keep thinking he drops to the second round. He can be another big play threat in this offense as well as a potential foundation back. The team could use one of those.
Round 3 (84): S Xavier Woods, Louisiana Tech - I love Woods’ game. Love it. He played in virtually every spot for the Bulldogs and is an aggressive finisher. he can help a team immediately.
Round 4 (125): T Conor McDermott, UCLA - The early tight end pick could help with edge blocking in the Bucs' two tight end sets. Yes, Njoku can block. McDermott, on the other hand, can act as a swing tackle early on.
Round 5 (162): CB William Likely, Maryland - NFL slot corner who has a steep hill to climb, but there are many fans of his game.
Round 6 (204): G/C Kyle Kalis, Michigan - Late round utility interior lineman.
Round 7 (237): LB James Onwualu, Notre Dame - In terms of day three linebackers, I’m a big fan of Onwualu. He played in a variety of spots for the Irish.