I’ve taken a day or two to think about it so I can give an honest opinion. There was a few pics that the Buccaneers made that made a lot of fans scratch their head and a few picks that fans loved, we will always have that in the sport and in society as a whole. While we go over this, I’m going to be posting relevant stats if I can find them for said players and what I truly believe makes them a good pick/bad pick.
Round One: CB Vernon Hargreaves III
Cornerbacks, cornerbacks, cornerbacks. The first round was all about cornerbacks in this years 2016 NFL Draft and Buccaneers were on that train as well. While most fans were against the first round pick being used on Vernon Hargreaves, people need to realize our defense had deficiencies on the defensive side, especially at the cornerback position. We allowed too many big plays and too many yards, we had barely any stars or even would be stars at cornerback. However, the Buccaneers signed quite a few amazing cornerbacks before they picked Hargreaves, like Brent Grimes, but even then, the Grimes signage was a problem with the fans. Once again, it’s a double edged sword.
However, Hargreaves is different. He is explosive, he wants to make your life hell for those 10-30 yards you have to run and hope you can live through his coverage, he wants that ball in his hands at all times. Though that doesn’t happen as often he would like it to, it happens often enough for him to be high up on the list of cornerbacks in the 2016 NFL Draft. Hargreaves in his 2015 season with the Florida Gators had four interceptions for over 152 yards, very respectable and almost untouched. With Grimes on the field as well, I don’t see how this pick was wasted as everyone claims.
Pick grade = B-
Round Two: DE Noah Spence
I almost have nothing to say because I didn’t believe the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would get Noah Spence, nor did I believe Noah would even go into the second round. It’s unbelievable for a lot of reasons. Noah Spence is an incredible defensive end and is really snazzy at pushing against you. At 6’2 and 250+ pounds and a 35 inch vertical jump, he is a physical specimen.
Spence was within the top 10 draft prospects at defensive end position according to CBS Sports so him going into the second round was a little surprising to me. He has agility like no other defensive end in the 2016 draft for the defensive end position, he has heart like no one else at that position, and he seems to find all the issues with his game to make him even better. He had 50 tackles in 2013 which was a career high with a so respectable 15 yards lost.
The only reason why I didn’t give him an A+ was because of the lack of tape I could find to examine his attributes.
Pick grade = A-
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Round Three: K Roberto Aguayo
So, the elephant in the room. Lots of NFL fans suggested the Buccaneers were absolute morons for this pick and in a way I agree but in a way I think this was a great idea. Roberto was technically selected at the end of the second round. We’ll call it the third round pick, though. This was one of the most unexpected picks in the 2016 draft because no one believed a kicker would be picked within the second round. It was almost unprecedented that this occurred but for good reason. Aguayo was one of the best kickers of our generations and possibly a few more if the trend continues of inconsistent kickers. This one isn’t. He is one of the most consistent kickers we have ever seen and he was picked up by our team. The Buccaneers management probably wanted that certainty that the ball would make it through the uprights if needed. It was probably the smartest move of the draft for the Buccaneers in my personal opinion based off of the offenses deficiencies in 2015. We need that guy that we can count on when we need it. 50 yard kick? Put him in. Longer than that? Hell, take your shot, see what happens with him.
Pick grade = C+
Round Four: CB Ryan Smith
Another defensive end that really deserved to be selected earlier was selected way late. Ryan Smith has incredible talent. I wish I could try to be a critic about Smith but I haven’t seen a lot of tape on him and I don’t really know what the kid is about. However, he looks to be in incredible shape and he has incredible stats to boot.
With over 250+ tackles in his career at North Carolina Central University. For kick returns he got the impressive touchdown after running for 95 yards. Even though I’ve not seen a lot of tape on him, I certainly remember that viral video of his touchdown.
Pick grade = B-
Round Five: OT Caleb Benenoch
I strongly suggest you watch some YouTube videos on this kid because he is a BEAST. I’m impressed at his agility the more and more I watch him defend and concur every one he lines up next to. 6’5 and 305 pounds, under his leadership, starting all 13 games last season with nine games at tackle and four at guard, created a season with just 14 sacks to their quarterback at UCLA, lowest in school history. As well as creating holes and openings for Paul Perkins scored third of all time rushers in the schools history.
He has a strong resume and was the smartest pick the Buccaneers made during the NFL Draft.
Pick grade = A+
Round Six: L Devonte Bond & FB Dan Vitale
To finish off the Tampa Bay Buccaneers draft, we have these two monsters. Devonte Bond is probably one of the scariest guys that was at the Oklahoma Sooners, with 72 totals tackles for 10-11 yards for loss average. That’s actually really insanely good. I need to say no more.
Fullback Dan Vitale… my goodness, what to say. With 1’400+ yards in his entire career, with 300+ yards in 2015, he was an incredible talent but unused. Fullbacks are usually used every once in a while, maybe less than 4-5 times a game. He has scored 11 touchdowns his entire career with 10 yards a play average.
These two are INCREDIBLE additions to the offense and that the Buccaneers truly needed.
Pick grade = A-
Overall grade from the 2016 NFL Draft for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers: B-
The Buccaneers needed big picks in the draft, mainly for the defense. While they didn’t get the huge picks that we all expected, they certainly scored players who could be built into maximum profit players in the NFL.
Here at cover32.com we want to congratulate all mentioned on this list for getting into the NFL and landing a spot on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I personally look forward to following and writing your careers!