Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 5 Creative Moves the Bucs Can Pull on Draft Day
Absolute statements are absolutely my least favorite thing when it comes to the NFL draft. Just like any other NFL team, many Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans spend the months leading up to the draft making assertions that start with, "He'll never," "They won't" or "There's no way."
If there's one thing the draft should have taught us by now, it's that the only thing we can predict is that many things will not go according to plan once Roger Goodell steps to that podium on May 8.
There are plenty of different directions the Bucs could go with their early picks. Here are a few creative moves Jason Licht and company could make to spice things up a bit come draft day.
Draft QB Early, Deal Glennon
Nothing makes headlines on draft day quite like any team who spends a high pick on a quarterback. Despite Mike Glennon's respectable effort after being thrown into the fire as a rookie last season, the Bucs brought in veteran Josh McCown to start over him.
McCown's age and two-year contract put the Bucs in perfect position to bring along a young quarterback slowly. The question is, will it be Glennon or will the new sheriffs in town want to handpick their own future franchise guy?
Tampa Bay has clearly done its due diligence with the top signal-callers in this year's draft, and it wouldn't be shocking to see it take one with its first-round pick. Should the Bucs do that, trading Glennon should be their next move. Though they would probably only get a late-round pick in return, that would be better than having a future QB controversy behind McCown to begin this regime's tenure.
Trade Up for Watkins
It's no secret that the Bucs need a game-breaker at receiver, and there's one in this year's draft who stands alone over the rest. Sammy Watkins sports a rare combination of explosiveness and physicality that makes him easily the most dynamic offensive weapon in this year's draft.
Moving up in the top 10 to draft Watkins doesn't seem likely considering the Bucs don't really have much ammo unless they include premium picks in next year's draft. However, if Lovie Smith and Jason Licht decide that he's a rare enough talent, they could end up pulling the trigger if the price is right.
Trade Down in 1st Round, Get Speed at WR
If the Bucs want to make a move for a receiver, they might be better off moving back from the seventh overall pick. This would allow them to grab an extra pick or two while taking advantage of an extremely deep class at the position.
If Tampa Bay managed to move back but stay in the top 15 or so, it could end up with a perfect fit in Odell Beckham Jr., who has the speed new offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford covets. Despite his lack of ideal height, Beckham's elite ball skills make him show up on tape much bigger than his size.
Add in his return skills and you have a recipe for an explosive, productive weapon to line up across from Vincent Jackson.
Go Defense at No. 7 Overall
Most, if not all, of the talk surrounding what the Bucs will do with the seventh overall pick has been about their many needs on offense. However, with Lovie Smith's defensive mind, it's not out of the realm of possibility for him to use his first draft pick as the Bucs head coach on one of this year's top talents on that side of the ball.
If Lovie does opt for a defensive playmaker, there are two names for fans to keep in mind. Pitt DT Aaron Donald is a disruptive force that could wreak havoc playing next to Gerald McCoy, while Alabama LB C.J. Mosley has the athleticism and leadership ability that could make him an attractive option.
Trade Back into 1st Round, Grab Top Guard
In addition to the receiver position, the Bucs also have a big need at guard. Team captain Davin Joseph was released after he struggled to return to form since missing all of 2012 with a torn ACL, and Carl Nicks' status is still up in the air.
Xavier Su'a-Filo has emerged as the consensus top prospect in this year's guard class, boasting an outstanding balance of power and athleticism for the position. Most projections have him slated to go toward the end of the first round, with his highest landing spots possibly being the Dolphins (19th overall) and the Chiefs (23rd overall).
However, if he starts to slip down into the late-20s, the Bucs might make a move to go up and get him. Especially if they can move down from the seventh overall pick and get some extra selections, they might then have the ammo to move back into the first round to grab their guard.