Projected roles for every Tampa Bay draft pick

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ draft picks showed a little of what they were capable of at rookie minicamp last weekend, and it’s possible the team’s coaching staff is getting a better idea of where they’ll fit in for 2023.

Some positions are currently established by veterans, while other rookies will be immediately stepping into a place of need. Here is Bucs Wire’s projections for the role of every 2023 Bucs draft pick:

DT Calijah Kancey

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Day 1 starter

This is how it is with most first-round picks, and Kancey is no exception. He’s a bit of an awkward size for the 3-4 that Todd Bowles runs, but he’ll be a 3-4 DE and a big part of Tampa Bay’s defensive line rotation from the jump. He’ll probably play with DT Logan Hall across from him in the same role with Vita Vea and Greg Gaines alongside him.

OG Cody Mauch

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Day 1 starter

Todd Bowles and Jason Licht have both confirmed that Mauch will bump inside as a guard, and it’s almost certain that he’ll win one of the team’s two guard positions. Who wins the other one is up for debate, but coaches have been hinting that recent FA pickup Matt Feiler could end up playing that role on the left side with Mauch on the right.

EDGE YaYa Diaby


Rotational piece

Diaby is the first of Tampa Bay’s draft picks that probably won’t start. EDGEs Shaq Barrett and Joe Tryon-Shoyinka will set the left and right edges, and EDGE Anthony Nelson will likely sub in for one of those players in rotation. Diaby could come in as a sub piece as well, but don’t expect him to get starting reps in his first year.

LB SirVocea Dennis

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Special teams player

Dennis is similarly sized to LB Lavonte David, so perhaps that was among the inspirations for Jason Licht and Todd Bowles, but don’t expect him to play right away. LB K.J. Britt is also in line behind David and LB Devin White at interior linebacker, so he’ll likely first sit in a special teams role before starting.

TE Payne Durham


Rotational piece

TE Cade Otton should keep his starting tight end spot, but Payne could be a part of some red zone packages or specialty packages during games. He’s a notable receiving threat and not a bad blocker, so he’ll find himself in games alongside TE Ko Kieft.

CB Josh Hayes

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Special teamer

Hayes was projected by many to be undrafted, so his selection here was a confusing one. He’s not particularly athletic and he played safety in college, so he doesn’t have a lot of immediate experience at corner. He’ll likely get the majority of his playing time on special teams.

WR Trey Palmer


Rotational piece/Special teams

Palmer may be busy in his rookie year. Not only will he certainly get some offensive reps in the regular season in certain packages as a wideout, but he’ll also likely take over as the team’s punt and kick returner after filling in that role at LSU and Nebraska in college.


EDGE Jose Ramirez

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Special teams

Ramirez is an incredible athlete who has potential to develop into an NFL starter, but any rotational duties on the line will likely be YaYa Diaby’s. As such, he should get some reps on special teams in his rookie year with some room to move in the future.

Story originally appeared on Buccaneers Wire