Ranking the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Top 5 Needs in the 2014 NFL Draft
2014 NFL Draft: Ranking the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Top 5 Needs
If you’re running the Tampa Bay Buccaneers right now you have some hard choices to make. They have plenty of holes that need filling heading into next year, but properly prioritizing those needs will be the key to building a contender next year or finding yourself picking in the top-10 again.
The most glaring need is to finally find a franchise quarterback. That's something the Bucs have been searching for since, well, pretty much since ever. They are still stuck in neutral when it comes to the man under center.
Mike Glennon had a promising rookie year, but there are serious questions about whether he has the upside to eventually be that guy. I would give him another year to find out, but that is mostly because there are so many other needs to address this offseason.
The Tampa Bay offense is in dire need of playmakers, at any position really. Running back Doug Martin had a breakout rookie season two years ago, but his sophomore campaign left us with more questions than answers about his future as a game-changing runner.
Even if Martin does return to his previous form next year, the Bucs still need another wide receiver. While most NFL teams have too many slot guys and struggle to find that prototype outside receiver, Tampa Bay is in the opposite predicament. They have two good physical outside receivers, but they need the kind of guy who can take a short pass and make something happen after the catch.
While the offense holds most of the needs on the team, they were also disappointing on the defensive side last year. They had no reliable pass rush, and that needs to be addressed in the draft this year for sure.
With plenty of needs to chose from, these are the top five draft needs for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this year.
Glennon showed some signs of being the quarterback of the future last year, but he doesn't appear to have the skill-set to be an elite guy. The Bucs might want to use a mid-round pick on a quarterback, but chances are that guy won't be appreciably better than Glennon. Unless they can find a sleeper, the rest of the positions on this list have to be a priority over quarterback -- for now at least.
4. Slot Receiver
The Tampa Bay offense last year looked like a throwback to 20 years ago, but not in a good way. They relied too much on a pair of bigger outside receivers, and defenses know exactly how to stop that. They need to draft a young, speedy inside receiver to complement those outside guys.
3. Offensive Line
The Tampa offensive line, especially on the inside, needs an upgrade. For a team that is hoping to win on the back, or rather the legs, of Martin next year, they need to get some better big boys up front.
2. Defensive Line
Tampa Bay finished tied for 23rd in the league with only 35 sacks last season. They need to get better at pressuring the quarterback in this draft. It will likely be the focus of their first-round pick because good pass rushers always jump off the board early.
1. Tight End
NFL offenses are utilizing pass-catching tight ends more than ever today. The Bucs have nobody on the roster that can make defenses worry about covering over the middle or down the seams. This draft class is top-heavy at the position, so if they really want a game-changer they might have to think about using their first-round pick on him.
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