NFL Draft Fantasy Preview Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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Expectations were high for the Buccaneers going into the 2017 campaign as this offense had all the makings of a team that could be among the league leaders in scoring. Inconsistencies from Jameis Winston and the running game killed the output of this offense. Mike Evans eventually scored over 200 FP on the season, but for a receiver that many were taking in the mid first round, that was a huge disappointment. Heading into the draft, the Bucs are at a crossroads. They are close enough in terms of talent to be able to compete, but these players need to show up soon or it will be time to look at a rebuild. The departure of Doug Martin puts the team in a position to draft a running back and aside from that, expect the Bucs to look heavily at the defensive side of the ball based on the division in which they play.
Projected Top Three Picks
Team Needs: RB, CB, S
First Round: Derwin James, S Florida State
Second Round: Nick Chubb, RB Georgia
Third Round: Tyquan Lewis, DE Ohio State
You’ll notice that two of the first three selections made by Tampa Bay are on the defensive side of the ball. With the first pick, selecting Derwin James is an absolute home run. James is a beast on and off the field. He has the physical traits and skills that should make him a pro bowl player for years to come, but he also puts in the work with film sessions and studying the game. He will slot in as a starter from day one and should make an impact with his ball skills and coverage ability. The weakness as a whole for the Tampa Bay defense will continue to be the secondary, but this addition will certainly help in the long term for this team.
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) April 4, 2018
The third-round selection of Tyquan Lewis will be made to add depth to the defensive line of the Bucs. With the additions of Jason Pierre-Paul and Vinny Curry, this coaching staff is banking on the possibility of getting to the quarterback enough to hide the deficiencies on the back-end of the defense. Lewis, as he enters the league, still has some things to work on in his game, but he will have time to fine tune things. His strength is in his ability to get up the field and disrupt plays. His weakness lies in inconsistency on the field and at times he can be knocked off the point of attack by offensive linemen. The positive here is that the will be allowed to learn behind two outstanding pass rushers, so the hope is that they can help him reach his potential.
In the second round, the team hopes they find the back that this offense badly needs in Nick Chubb. Before the knee injury that he sustained in 2015, Chubb was on track to be the next great NFL running back. Since then, he has looked hesitant at times on the field and his speed/explosiveness has yet to get back to what it once was. His strong base and cut back ability makes him a great addition to an offense that likes to utilize one-cut runners behind an offensive line that has its troubles holding blocks. He should come in and potentially be the early down back for the Bucs, but his value could be limited in PPR formats as he possesses little to no chance at being on the field in passing situations. If Chubb were to land on this team, his value in Fantasy leagues would be as an RB4 come draft time. You should be able to get him in the middle rounds and based on last year’s production, he could have a safe floor for you as a guy on your bench. But if he starts to flash that old potential, don’t rule out the possibility of Chubb being a weekly contributor in your Fantasy lineups.
Jameis Winston Photo Credit:AP Photo/Jason Behnken