Tampa Bay Buccaneers NFL Draft Recap/Grade – 2018
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Tampa Bay Buccaneers Draft Picks (2018)
Key Positional Needs Entering Draft
- Running Back
- Corner Back
- Offensive Linemen
So as I thought they would, Jason Licht and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers traded back with the Buffalo Bills to 12 drafting “Maui” from Moana as they call him down in Tampa, Vita Vea giving them a complete and serious rotation of defenisve linemen to throw at the opposing teams’ front 5. The Bucs have needed a star next to Gerald McCoy since Michael Bennett was allowed to walk out the door that fateful day… They’ve now done that with Vea. Picking up additional second round picks from the Bills in that trade, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers then drafted a big time explosive, with vision, can score from anywhere given a crease, player in running back Ronald Jones II. Attempting to sure up what was a frustrating and unimpressive secondary, Licht went ahead and drafted a pair of cornerbacks with the remaining 2 second round picks in M. J. Stewart and Carlton Davis. Davis, being as physical a player as any in the draft especially a the line of scrimmage and M. J. Stewart being a guy who has an affinity for breaking up passes and a willingness to stick his head in there in run support. I do believe that Stewart will be the CB that will challenge for both the Nickel spot as well as CB2. Missing out on the mammoth offensive guard Will Hernandez and Austin Corbett in the second round, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers pivoted to OL Alex Cappa. Cappa is a small school guy who looks to punish, pancake and obliterate defenders but his biggest issue is he lacks technique which will get him beat soundly at the NFL level. It appears he was just out there playing with raw talent, size and strength; coaching should reign all that in. In the 4th round the much needed position of safety was addressed with the selection of Jordan Whitehead who most draftniks liked a lot. Whitehead is a calculated banger with instincts. Playing or coming down in the box is his home and where you will see him at his best. In the 5th round the Bucs surprised some with the selection of wide receiver Justin Watson. Not because of the position considering that wide receiver is a position of strength for the Bucs but I did not anticipate he would still be on the board. Watson is not only a big target, 6’3 225 lbs but he is fast, posting a 4.4 in the 40 at the combine. More importantly he can be trusted to be where he should be at all times on the field with sure hands. With there last pick in the 2018 NFL Draft the Bucs chose a linebacker Jack Cinchy which seems to be Licht’s wheel-house position since he has become GM drafting one in nearly every draft. Like the LBs that are already on the squad, Cinchy is a bit undersized but a sideline-to-sideline player that has great instincts when coming downhill after he diagnoses the play. At the end of the day the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defined there draft by going with guys who will punch you in the mouth.
It was the pick I didn’t see coming surprisingly in Vita Vea; with the talk all week of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers trading back with the Bills to 12 and taking Derwin James or even Derrius Guice. What was their greatest weakness coming into the off-season became a strength days into free agency leaving the secondary and RB positions the obvious choices to make come day one in the draft. But the Bucs had other plans and chose a mountain of a man. A line of scrimmage eliminator. He is a rare talent for his size and movement skills. Coming in close to 350 lbs with the ability to chase down ball carriers and just straight over-power most would be blockers, single, doubled or at times triple teamed, it didn’t seem to matter. With power and strength being Vita’s main attribute he has some work to do in the finesse part of his game. However, contrary to his days at UW he won’t have to play every down with the 8-man rotation the Bucs have gong you will see the best of Vita at all times.
Fantasy Football Implications
The best comp given to a player this year may be that of Jamaal Charles when you talk about the skills and abilities that Ronald Jones II brings to the table. The same can be said from a fantasy football perspective in terms of what Jones is capable of and what he will most likely do for your fantasy team. He is just one missed block or broken tackle away from a long run or hitting his head on the goal post (TD) on nearly every snap. The opposition will have to respect the run game by putting an extra man in the box something teams haven’t had to worry about in years when facing the Bucs. Opening up plenty for WR1 in Mike Evans who had a down year in the TD department last season. As well as creating opportunities for the rest of the weapons that surround Jameis Winston.