While the focal point of many observers attention on the NFL Draft is usually quarterbacks and first round draft choices, it is often in the latter-rounds where teams are made into champions or chumps. This year, the Bucs front office brought in an electric group to hopefully help rejuvenate a Tampa Bay roster that finished an extremely middling 5-11 last season.
In the “hit or miss” category is the Bucs second round pick: Ronald Jones II. His blazing fast 40 yard dash of 4.65 seconds has got to have fans of the Bucs drooling. His speed, matched with his catching ability out of the backfield may be the exact type of complement developing quarterback Jameis Winston needs to help alleviate some of the pressure that’s constantly on him. If you’re the type of person who needs to see to believe, don’t take my word for it: watch his tape.
The Bucs used their latter second round pick to help shore up a depleted secondary that was one of the weakest units on the team last year by selecting Carlton Davis out of Auburn. Davis is a solid, low-bust potential type of prospect that NFL teams can never have enough of. Additionally, Tampa Bay added Jordan Whitehead in the fourth round which feels like a total steal for a player with his sheer athleticism. While Whitehead will need to stop searching for “the big play” and focus on consistency, he may be one of those latter round prospects that other teams around the league will regret not choosing for years to come. If nothing else, Whitehead played a variety of positions in college (at Pittsburgh) and will be able to be a plug-and-play guy for a Bucs secondary unit that I’ve already mentioned needs all the help they can get.
Finally, the Tampa Bay front office used their last pick by taking a flier on Jack Cichy a linebacker out of the University of Wisconsin. Cichy has struggled with injuries throughout his career, which is the main reason he dropped all the way into the sixth round. But, if he stays healthy and can play at full speed he may develop into a solid starter for the Bucs.
All in all, it’s way too early to say just what this Bucs draft will have entailed. But even in the latter rounds the fans of Tampa Bay should be crossing their fingers.