TAMPA — The selection of Vita Vea is a move the Bucs made for the present and the future. While Gerald McCoy remains a dominant defensive tackle, he turned 30 in February and is due to make $12.3 million this season and $13 million in 2019.
The Bucs recently gave Mike Evans a contract extension, and extensions might be coming in the next year for Jameis Winston, Donovan Smith, Ali Marpet and Kwon Alexander. They might soon have trouble retaining McCoy, but in the meantime, it'll be fun to watch offensive linemen try to block the McCoy-Vea tandem.
Bang for the buck
Once Saquon Barkley, Bradley Chubb and Quenton Nelson came off the board, the Bucs decided to pull the trigger on a deal with the Bills, and they did quite well. In exchange for picks No. 7 and 255, Tampa Bay got picks No. 12, 53 and 56 from Buffalo. According to Football Perspective's draft value chart, the Bucs got $1.67 back for their dollar. By the traditional Jimmy Johnson chart, it's not as much of a fleecing — the Bucs got $1.27 back for their dollar.
To put the impressive return in perspective, the Raiders also dropped down five spots from 10 to 15, and they only got a 2019 third-round pick and a 2018 fifth-rounder for their move down.
Heading into Friday, Tampa Bay has three of the next 24 picks.
Save the date
The Barkley-to-the-Giants buzz turned out to be real as the G-Men took the running back with the second overall pick. The Bucs will see him Nov. 18 in New York.
Around the NFC South
At No. 14, the Saints bolstered their pass rush, selecting Marcus Davenport out of Texas-San Antonio. Davenport is a favorite of Football Outsiders' SackSEER forecast model. It projects he'll rack up 25.9 sacks through his first five seasons to Chubb's 24.6 sacks. Davenport has length, but scouting reports say his pass-rush technique needs development.
At No. 24, the Panthers, in need of receiving help, chose the speedy D.J. Moore out of Maryland. Bucs defensive backs better smother him; he's dangerous after the catch.
Four quarterbacks were taken in the top 10, but none of them was Lamar Jackson, the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner who went to Baltimore with the last pick of the first round. He's not the most accurate passer, but he could thrive in a creative offense.
Loser of the first round
It's hard to feel bad for Baker Mayfield, but in 24 hours, he went from being projected to play in New York for the Jets to going to play in — gulp — Cleveland for the Browns. In New York, he likely would have started right away, but in Cleveland, he might have to wait behind Tyrod Taylor. Taylor and Mayfield share similar traits — both extend plays and take care of the football.
Assuming that Taylor starts before Mayfield, Mayfield will become the 30th quarterback since 1999 to start a game for the Browns.
Boo this man!
We see you, commish. Roger Goodell thought he'd escape boos if he brought Cowboy greats Troy Aikman, Jason Witten and Roger Staubach onstage to open the draft. The crowd didn't fall for it. After throwing footballs into the crowd, Witten and Staubach tried to escape, but Goodell kept them close. "No, no. You guys don't have to go. You stay."
Six weeks into free agency, the Bucs added depth at running back by agreeing to terms with Charles Sims, who was the team's third-down and pass-catching back last season, on a one-year deal.
Sims, 27, had his best year in 2015, rushing for 529 yards and getting another 561 in receiving yards, but he rushed for just 95 last year while catching 35 passes for 249 yards and one touchdown.
Could care less
The Bucs still don't have a third-round draft pick this weekend, but if they do trade for one, former Bucs QB Jeff Garcia won't be the one to announce it.
Garcia has apologized and deleted the tweet that got fans upset — after tweeting that he had "the honor of representing" the Bucs in announcing their third-round pick, the Tampa Bay Times pointed out that Tampa Bay had traded away its third-rounder for DE Jason Pierre-Paul, but that if they traded back into the third, he'd have the honors.
"I could care less about who they pick nor do I pay any attention as to what picks they have or don't have," Garcia wrote Monday night. "I have a life."
So Garcia will stay home, coaching his children in football and basketball and being there for his daughter's birthday.
"I took myself out," Garcia wrote on Twitter. "There's not a pick & there's not time for me to just hang out, Dad first. Proud of my time as a Buc, love the fans. I left everything on the field for that team, broken nose, broken back, a NFC South Div Title. No regrets. Hope that they have a great draft."
Former Bucs DB Ronde Barber will announce the team's second-round pick Friday, and there's an eclectic lineup Saturday, including a parrot delivering the pick to the pirate ship at Raymond James Stadium and the defending girls flag football state champions from Plant and Robinson high schools.
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