After last seasons defensive debacle, the Bucs will be looking for defensive help in the upcoming draft. The Bucs had the worst defense in the NFL last season giving up 378 YPG. The Bucs pass defense was worst in the league as well giving up 260 YPG. The run defense finished 23rd giving up 118 YPG.
The Bucs have other area’s that they need to address, but the defensive side of the ball must be a priority. Defensive back, Running back and OL are the other areas that need an upgrade for this team, but let’s start with the defense first and look at the defensive ends that may e on the board when the Bucs are on the clock.
The Bucs most pressing need is an edge rusher that can get to the QB. That was sorely lacking on last years team and was a big problem all season long.
The team finished last in the league with just 22 sacks. To put that in perspective Chandler Jones of Ariazona led the league with 17.
Second year DE Noah Spence was limited to six games due to his shoulder injury. Spence was the only DE that could get any kind of pressure from the edge. All-Pro tackle Gerald McCoy led the Bucs with six sacks.
A good defensive effort starts up front. If you can’t get any pressure on the QB, you’re DB’s can only cover receivers so long before someone will get open.
Some draft experts are predicting the Bucs will draft a LB at No. 7. I can’t imagine that happening. The Bucs have All-Pro Kwon Alexander and Lavonte David to anchor that position and last year drafted Kendall Beckwith from LSU. This trio should anchor the LB position for years to come.
The Bucs really need help on the DL and in the DB backfield. Some help will come through free agency, but success long term comes through the draft.
There are two guys that may be available at No. 7 when the Bucs make their first selection. My first choice would be Bradley Chubb from North Carolina State.
In just two seasons, Chubb racked up 48 tackles and 20.5 sacks despite being schemed against on almost every play. Chubb may not be the most athletic DL, but is very physical and that is something the Bucs were lacking in 2017. Being nasty and physical on the DL.
Marcus Davenport of UTSA is another draft prospect that could end up in Tampa. Davenport is a bit taller and more lean than Chubb. At 6-6 253, Davenport uses his blend of athleticism and speed to wreak havoc on opposing teams. Davenport has improved his production every year and capped off his senior season with 8.5 sacks and 17.5 tackles for a loss.
One of these prospects will end up in Tampa. I would be happy with either one. In my next draft preview, I will look at some DB’s coming out and who may be a good fit for the Bucs.