Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Where the Bucs are drafting, and what those picks have produced

The Bucs have known exactly which picks they'd have in the upcoming NFL draft since compensatory picks were handed out two weeks ago. But with the 49ers winning the coin flip with the Raiders for the 9th overall pick last week, the league has sent out the finalized official draft order for all 256 picks.

The Bucs have eight total picks — their own picks in each of the first five rounds (7th, 38th, 69th, 108th and 144th), plus their regular sixth-rounder (180th) and the one acquired from Pittsburgh (202nd) for safety J.J. Wilcox last summer. They gave up their own seventh-rounder to get defensive tackle Stevie Tu'ikolovatu last year, but they picked up a compensatory pick after the seventh round, 255th overall, to give them eight total.

What can you get with those exact picks? We looked at the last three drafts, just to see the players associated with those draft slots — it's a reminder that high picks don't always play immediately, and low-rounders can still make a huge impact.

2017: The Chargers had the same first two picks last year — they took WR Mike Williams at 7 and G Forrest Lamp at 38. Williams was limited to 11 catches in 10 games, and Lamp missed the year with a torn ACL. At No. 69, the Rams took WR Cooper Kupp, who had 62 catches for 869 yards and five TDs, but there was little impact from the rest of the picks.

At 108, Packers LB Vince Biegel had 16 tackles; at 144, Colts DT Grover Stewart had 23 tackles but no sacks; at 180, Vikings G Danny Isadora played in seven games with one start; at 202, 49ers LB Pita Taumoepenu played in two games with no tackles. Pick 255? There were only 253 picks in the draft last year.

2016: This is more encouraging for what the Bucs might get in a draft class, two years later. At 7, the 49ers took DE DeForest Buckner, who has nine sacks in two seasons; at 38, the Dolphins took CB Xavien Howard, who started all 16 games last year and had four interceptions.

The jewel? The 69th pick in 2016 saw the Jaguars nab DE Yannick Ngakoue, who has 20 sacks in his first two NFL seasons. Less of a jewel: The 108th pick saw the Bucs draft DB Ryan Smith, who had 62 tackles in his second NFL season but has no career INTs. At 144, Broncos guard Connor McGovern has five starts in two years; at 180, the Vikings took a chance on German WR Moritz Boehringer, who never played a regular-season snap for them. At 202, the Lions got DT Anthony Zettel, who had 6.5 sacks this past season, and again, there were only 253 picks in 2016, so no 255 to compare to.

2015: A mixed bag, you might say. At No. 7, the Bears drafted WR Kevin White, who has 21 catches for 193 yards and zero TDs in three seasons, known best for being injured. At 38, Redskins OLB Preston Smith has started every game the last two seasons and has 20.5 career sacks.

Third round? Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett made the Pro Bowl as a rookie, has three career return TDs and 1,816 receiving yards. Then some misses: At 108, the Titans took FB Jalston Fowler, who had 16 touches in three years and was cut; at 144, Giants S Mykkele Thompson had one career tackle. At 180, Jaguars DT Michael Bennett has spent most of the last two years on injured reserve; at 202, TE A.J. Derby never caught a pass for the Patriots, who still flipped him for a 2017 fifth-rounder. Don't give up on pick 255 — Colts offensive lineman Denzelle Good has 19 starts in three years.

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