With the 2018 NFL season concluding with the New England Patriots defeating the Los Angeles Rams 13-3 in Super Bowl LIII, every team now takes themselves into the off-season under a new slate and that includes the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Buccaneers made changes immediately after the season, which started with the firing of Dirk Koetter and ended primarily with the hiring of former Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians. Arians and his sizable staff are tasked with turning around a Buccaneers franchise that is coming off back-to-back 5-11 seasons and instability in several areas.
The 2019 NFL Draft is an opportunity for Tampa Bay to arm themselves with some young talent at areas of need and the Buccaneers are certainly looking to improve in the defensive secondary, offensive line and defensive line. Rumors are around that Tampa Bay might go defense for the second season in a row in round one but if they look to keep quarterback Jameis Winston upright, offensive line may be the key.
We begin to peak into the future and take a look at the top five players that matchup with the Buccaneers’ needs heading into the off-season.
CB Greedy Williams, LSU: The 6-foot-3, 182-pound shutdown cornerback may be exactly what the doctor orders when it comes NFL Draft time for Tampa Bay. Williams notched two interceptions last season and sat out of playing in the Fiesta Bowl against UCF due to preparing for the NFL. Tampa Bay’s inability to stop opposing team’s best receivers make this an obvious choice.
LB Devin White, LSU: Maybe the Buccaneers select someone else from LSU other than Williams? If so, Devin White looks to be someone Tampa Bay keeps its eyes on, as Buccaneers’ defensive coordinator Todd Bowles needs bigger linebackers to help fill the middle. White at 6-foot-1, 240 pounds fits exactly the mold of what Bowles will want in his 3-4 defense.
OT Jonah Williams, Alabama: Arians has made one thing clear and that is Winston will be his guy heading into the 2019 season. No flip flopping under center means protecting the team’s investment and that could mean reaching at No. 5 for an offensive tackle. Williams is easily the top prospect at the offensive tackle position in this draft.
DL Rashan Gary, Michigan: The Buccaneers’ new attacking style on defense will mean they need to get nastier up front at the line of scrimmage. Who better to help out than Michigan defensive lineman Rashan Gary? The 6-foot-5, 285-pound lineman is extremely agile and would project as a defensive end in Bowles’ 3-4 scheme.
DT Quinnen Williams, Alabama: Another stout defensive lineman the Buccaneers will take a hard look at is Williams, who is projected to be a top 5 pick. He may be gone before Tampa Bay selects at No. 5, but if he’s available, he’d becomes a no brainer if the Buccaneers decide to go defensive line over secondary.
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