Who Should the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Draft First in 2020?

By Noah Davis in NFL
| April 21, 2020 4:09 am PDT
Bruce Arians Tampa Bay Buccaneers

It’s the dawn of a new age in Tampa Bay in 2020, as the Buccaneers are not just moving on from the Jameis Winston era but also welcome in a living legend.

With the odd arrival of Tom Brady, the Buccaneers suddenly have Super Bowl 55 hopes. It’s fair to debate if they’ll actually get there, but there’s little denying the talent they have in place.

That said, Tampa Bay does have some holes to patch up. Let’s assess their biggest needs and top prospects they should consider with the 14th pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Biggest Draft Needs

  • Offensive Tackle
  • Running Back
  • Defensive Line

The Buccaneers do not have many pressing issues on offense. Tom Brady gives them an upgrade under center, and this was already the NFL’s most potent passing attack.

The team could use help at running back, though. Peyton Barber left in free agency, and Ronald Jones isn’t the most complete running back when you look at his play in pass protection.

Protecting Brady has to be a major focus, too. The Bucs gave up the 11th-most sacks in 2019, and upgrading over the aging Demar Dotson has to be seen as a priority.

Tampa Bay actually has a stout pass rush, but they need to get more up front, and Ndamukong Suh isn’t getting any younger. Adding a stud defensive lineman could be one way to go at 14th overall.

Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina

I don’t know if Kinlaw gets to this point or if Tampa Bay sees this as a major need. All I know is he could be used on their defensive line, and he’d make an improving defense devastating up front.

This is more of a “best player available” pick, but with the offense supposedly set up for success, Tampa Bay can take their shots on getting better on defense.

Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia

While adding an impact defender would be nice, protecting a pocket passer like Brady that lacks mobility may be more pressing.

Brady is only going to be around for about two seasons, but the Bucs won’t go far if he gets broken in half. They need help on the right side, while strengthening their o-line in general can only be good for all aspects of their offense.

Thomas was once regarded as a potential #1 pick, and he has the versatility to set up shop on either side of the line, as needed.

Josh Jones, OT, Houston

Jones is rising up draft boards due to his immense upside, as he has the length and athletic traits of a superstar left tackle.

Probably one of the more raw offensive tackles, it’s arguable the Bucs don’t have the patience to wait and hope Jones is a gem. That said, he has more general talent than a lot of the other o-line prospects that will be readily available at this point in the draft.

Who Will the Buccaneers Draft First?

Defense is a real possibility, but I don’t see how the Buccaneers can proceed with Tom Brady without making sure the pass protection is better.

Upgrading over Dotson is crucial, and at 14, the best route to doing that is taking the seasoned and balanced Andrew Thomas.

Thomas is just a rock-solid prospect who has the length, build, and athleticism to thrive on the right side. He should bring stability to the right side of the line and can be shifted to the left in the future, if need be.

Currently, the top 2020 NFL Draft sportsbooks are offering a slew of props on players, teams, and colleges. Use the best sites to bet on who the Bucs will select at 14 and more.

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