If you were confused by the difference between the 2020 and 2021 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, you can be forgiven. The Bucs started last season with all the same group of starters that won the Super Bowl the year before. The biggest difference, besides an ongoing injuries and at wide receiver and running back, was that this Bucs team did not win it all once again.
Last year’s Buccaneers finished with a 13-4 record, earning the second seed in the NFC. They narrowly lost to the eventual champs, the Los Angeles Rams, in the division round. After that, it looked like the 2022 Bucs could be a lot different, but with Tom Brady retired less than a month before making a comeback, the Bucs are once again among the NFC favorites headed into the next season.
But to stay bear the top beyond this year, the Bucs have some work to do in the offseason.
Here’s a list of their picks in the 2022 NFL Draft.
2022 Draft Picks
Round 1: No. 27 overall
Round 2: No. 60
Round 3: No. 91
Round 4: No. 133
Round 7: Nos. 248, 261
The Bucs quickly plugged holes in their interior offensive line by re-signing Ryan Jensen and trading for Shaq Mason. But they still need another starting guard protecting their 45-year-old quarterback and opening running lanes. They did re-sign Leonard Fournette, their starting running back, but they need backup help at the position. With an overload of tight ends last season, the Bucs currently have only Cameron Brate on the roster. There’s a chance that Rob Gronkowski could still come back, but they have to think about the long-term here too. Speaking of long-term thinking, it’s pretty obvious that Brady’s not going to play forever, so it’s probably time to start thinking about his eventual replacement.
Help on the defensive line is the top priority here. Jason-Pierre Paul and Ndamukong Suh are free agents. Those three represent 8.5 sacks from last season.
Dream first pick
Jermaine Johnson, Edge, Florida State
Don’t overlook his run-stopping ability just because he had 14 sacks for the Seminoles in 2021. He’ll slot right in as a starter in Tampa Bay, but what’s even better is that he’s got room to grow as a professional.