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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers find themselves in a weird place this offseason. Tom Brady is officially retired and some of the key players from the Super Bowl team are getting older. Tampa Bay has to act now to counteract what looks like a roster collapse; the 2023 NFL Draft is the first step.
Darnell Wright, Tackle, Tennessee
Derick Hall, Edge, Auburn
Chris Rodriguez Jr, HB, Kentucky
Despite the overreaction of QB being a need, the Bucs should be looking to shore up the offensive line. Right tackle Tristan Wirfs is one of the best in the league, but the left tackle position could use an upgrade. One guy in the draft that is “Wirfs-like” is Tennessee product Darnell Wright. Wright has a similar build and flexibility to Wirfs but where Wirfs is a mauler, Wright is a agile technician. Having these two bookending the line will help whomever is under center for Tampa Bay.
After bolstering the line Tampa could look to help out their quarterbacks further by boosting the run game. In the late rounds they have had luck finding good backs like Keshawn Vaughn. One such gem is Kentucky halfback Chris Rodriguez Jr. Rodriguez Jr is a powerful runner with good speed and balance for his play style. He is great between the tackles and always seems to fall forward to gain extra yards. He would provide an excellent 1-2 punch with Vaughn, which is one of the reasons the Bucs have had success.
The defensive front seven needs some TLC as well. As of right now the current stable of edge rushers is Shaq Barrett, Jason Pierre-Paul and Joe Tryon. Adding another capable body is important as Pierre-Paul and Barrett are older. Derrick Hall is an uber-athletic edge rusher who plays well in space. He is a polished speed rusher that is strong at the point of attack and getting him in a veteran lead room will only help him.
In the post-Brady era the Bucs cannot stop building. This team still has plenty of talent and could acquire more in this year’s draft.