The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been connected to all sorts of names in the 2018 draft and since none of them are quarterbacks, they are a thorn in the San Francisco 49ers’ side. If an interview with Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter is any indication, the team could be looking to the secondary with the seventh pick in the draft. A recent article by Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay times has some quotes indicating Koetter could be looking defensively in the draft:
“I would think secondary is logical to think that would be an area of target in the draft. And again, I think it’s a strong group in the secondary in this year’s draft class. I know I’ve watched a bunch of guys and there’s a lot of guys I like.”
Some mock drafts have Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson going to Tampa Bay while others have Penn State running back Saquon Barkley, given either can last that long. The Bucs could always trade back, but if they look to the secondary, that leaves some opportunity falling to the 49ers.
The thing to remember with all of this is it all could be nothing more than a smoke screen. NFL teams don’t want to tip their hands in the draft for trading purposes. The 49ers talked up DeShone Kizer in the weeks leading up to the 2017 draft but decided to wait past when Kizer was drafted and took quarterback C.J. Beathard instead.
Something to consider though, video has recently surfaced of Buccaneers cornerback Vernon Hargreaves smoking what is being referred to as a “cigarette of unknown substance.” While there hasn’t been an official investigation, the NFL doesn’t like it when things like this pop up, and perhaps the Buccaneers might want to prepare for a suspension.
While quarterback is being locked in as a position teams are getting into the top-10 for, other positions interest the 49ers. Secondary is definitely one. If the Bucs go secondary for their first pick, that may reroute the 49ers plans.