John Spytek Named Buccaneers' Director of Player Personnel

Scott PolacekFeatured ColumnistFebruary 15, 2016

This is a 2009 photo of John Spytek of the Philadelphia Eagles NFL football team. This image reflects the Philadelphia Eagles active roster as of Saturday, April 25, 2009 when this image was taken. (AP Photo)
Anonymous/Associated Press

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers already named Dirk Koetter as their new head coach this offseason, and they continued their organizational reboot Monday with a front-office move.

According to the team's official website, Tampa Bay “confirmed former Denver Broncos national scout John Spytek has agreed to serve as the team's director of player personnel.”

The release noted Spytek was a national scout for the Broncos in 2014 and spent the 2013 campaign “evaluating the Southwest region for the club.” It also added context to his impressive resume:

Spytek, who owns ten seasons of personnel experience in the NFL ranks, spent three seasons (2010-12) as the Cleveland Browns’ director of college scouting during which time the club produced six PFW/PFWA All-Rookie Team selections and drafted four players who went on to make the Pro Bowl in 2013.

While the 6-10 Bucs improved by four wins from 2014 to 2015, they are a rebuilding club that hasn’t reached the postseason since the 2007 campaign. In fact, the last time the Buccaneers finished with a winning record was 2010, and they have a long way to go before they can catch the defending NFC champion Carolina Panthers in their division.

They will likely rely on young players for the foreseeable future as they try to make up that gap, and the best way to do that is by stockpiling talent through the draft. Spytek should help them do that, considering his extensive experience as a scout.

General manager Jason Licht reiterated that he wants to fortify the roster through the draft in recent comments, per Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times:

We'll be selective and strategic. We don't want to put ourselves into a position where if you take the wrong guy and give him too much money, it can disrupt your team. I've said since Day 1, we are going to build through the draft. And from Day 1, the most success we've had is with draft picks.

We still believe the best way for us to go is to draft and develop players. You can't think you're going to put yourself over the top by signing these high-dollar guys.

Tampa Bay improved through the draft last year, when it selected quarterback Jameis Winston with the No. 1 overall pick. He proceeded to reach the Pro Bowl with 4,042 passing yards and 28 total touchdowns in his rookie campaign.

Tampa Bay owns the ninth overall pick in this year’s draft, and Spytek should help the team spot the right talent to fill its needs.

Lance Zierlein of noted defensive end is Tampa Bay’s biggest need heading into the draft, and a handful of prospects could fit the bill, including Ohio State’s Joey Bosa and Oregon’s DeForest Buckner.

While Bosa will likely be gone by No. 9, Buckner, Noah Spence or Shaq Lawson could step in and immediately fill a hole on the defensive line.

The first round of the 2016 draft is more than two months away (April 28), which means Spytek has plenty of time to step in and assist with the evaluation process.

Given his track record, that is welcome news for the Bucs and their fans.