There are at least seven teams and eight picks before the San Francisco 49ers get around to making a pick in the 2018 NFL Draft (potentially more if they lose the coin flip against the Oakland Raiders), and we’re going to go through those teams, looking at their needs and how they can impact the 49ers on draft day.
Today, we’re taking a look at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who finished the season with a 5-11 record, putting them in line for the seventh overall pick in the draft.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-11)
Biggest need: EDGE
Need that impact 49ers: CB
Other needs: RB, OT, OG
The Buccaneers finished the season with the lowest sack total of any team. Noah Spence seems like a lost cause, while Robert Ayers isn’t enough by himself. The Buccaneers will probably try and lure a pass-rusher in free agency, but if they don’t manage to, they could draft one high, where that means a defensive end of an outside linebacker.
San Francisco has its own needs at edge, but not nearly as big as cornerback, which is an area of concern for the Buccaneers. The 49ers desperately need to rid themselves of Dontae Johnson, while the Buccaneers continue to depend on an aging Brent Grimes, which isn’t much better.
At running back, Doug Martin continues to be overpaid for what he provided. It’s not Tampa Bay’s biggest need, but if they feel strongly about Jameis Winston, they could do themselves a big favor by getting a game-changing running back early. I don’t know how much the 49ers will be in on the position, but the Buccaneers should be considered a potential destination for someone like Saquon Barkley, though he may not be available by the time they get around to picking.
On the offensive line, the Buccaneers have some keepers, like Ali Marpet, but could use an upgrade at left tackle and at least one of the guard spots. I imagine this is the direction they’ll go in the first round, provided the top corner and running back are gone, though of course, EDGE is always a possibility that high in the draft.