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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

What should Bucs do at No. 19? Fans say RB, WR

Tight end, where some mock drafts have paired the Bucs with Alabama's O.J. Howard, got only 2.7 percent of the votes in a Bucs fan poll.

ANDRES LEIVA | Times

Tight end, where some mock drafts have paired the Bucs with Alabama's O.J. Howard, got only 2.7 percent of the votes in a Bucs fan poll.

21

February

The Bucs' official site offered up an online poll this week that has drawn more than 14,000 votes: What position should Tampa Bay address with their first-round pick, No. 19 overall, in April's NFL Draft?

The answers are a good insight into what fans see as the team's biggest needs entering free agency: 37.8 percent answered "running back," now a major uncertainty with Doug Martin's suspension and potential release, and 32.0 percent answered "wide receiver," which is often seen as the team's most obvious match for the top pick.

To some extent, you can expect a skew toward the "fantasy football" positions, as fans know these names best, but those two options take up nearly 70 percent of a ballot that had 11 choices. There's a major dropoff to the next most popular picks: 8.1 percent for defensive end, 7.7 percent safety, 5.4 percent offensive tackle -- no other position drew so much as 3 percent of votes.

Tight end, for instance, where some mock drafts have paired the Bucs with Alabama's O.J. Howard, got only 2.7 percent of the votes; defensive tackle, a position the Bucs haven't' drafted in four years, got 2.4 percent.

The draft is still two months off, and free agency will change what are perceived to be the most glaring needs, but if Bucs fans have their say, they'll see a splashy top draft pick at running back or receiver this spring.

 

[Last modified: Tuesday, February 21, 2017 12:04pm]

    

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