Prior to the start of the 2017 NFL season, many people believe that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would be very competitive and could make a deep playoff run. This anticipation was largely due to the fact that the Buccaneers won 9 games the prior year and barely missed making the playoffs. Furthermore, the team was loaded with young talent including star quarterback Jameis Winston and wide receiver Mike Evans.
While there was a lot of excitement and anticipation over the Buccaneers, the team was not able to achieve the expectations that were set forth. They ended up struggling all year and one only five games. This ended up resulting in the team finishing in last place of their division. Even more concerning is that their division is extremely loaded with good teams as the other three teams all made the NFC playoffs.
2017 did not end up being a very good season for the Buccaneers but there is still plenty of reason for optimism. Part of the reason why the team struggled was because they dealt with injuries all year and were not able to find cohesion at some key positions. Furthermore, Winston and Evans both seem to take a step forward and show that they could continue to be very productive and talented players in the NFL.
As the 2018 NFL offseason continues, one of the biggest questions will be what the Buccaneers will do with their draft. The team has already made a number of big moves this offseason to try it and improve are both sides of the ball and date younger and faster. Currently, the Buccaneers have the 7th overall pick in the draft and have the potential to trade down to another team in exchange for additional picks or players. Some predict that they will end up swapping picks with the Buffalo Bills who are rumored to be looking to trade up to grab a top-tier quarterback (https://www.bucsnation.com/2018/4/5/17199036/bucs-nations-first-round-nfl-mock-draft-2-0).
Once Tampa Bay is able to pick a player, most expect that they will go after a defensive player. The team reportedly is still looking at a number of players but could lean towards a defensive back. Minkah Fitzpatrick of Alabaman and Derwin James of Florida State should both be available when they pick.