After a horrible start to last year when many thought the Buccaneers were for real after trading for cornerback Darrelle Revis, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers disappointed.
However, Tampa Bay did finish the year off strong with a very good defense to end the season. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers also had a good free agency, signing defensive end Michael Johnson and cornerback Alterraun Verner to replace Darrelle Revis.
While these signings really do improve an already talented defense that did end last season well, the Buccaneers exited free agency by not helping an already pedestrian offense with losing a few offensive lineman and signing quarterback Josh McCown after only one good season in a stacked offense.
So with that in mind, at least we know where Tampa will look to improve in the draft.
1. Offensive Tackle
While the Tampa Bay Buccaneers struggled in the beginning of the season to run block for running back Doug Martin, they really came on strong towards the end of the year, creating massive holes for running backs Mike James and Bobby Rainey, making each look like studs.
However, with the losses of left tackle Donald Penn and guard Davin Joseph, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could take a tackle seventh overall.
The one name that comes to mind at seven overall is offensive tackle Jake Matthews out of Texas A&M. Jake Matthews provides versatility where he could play either right or left tackle giving the Buccaneers some added versatility to make up for Carl Nick's injury history if it continues.
Also, Jake Matthews is a very finished tackle who, doesn't have a sky high upside, but is already solid as ever and could come in day one and provide a major upgrade to an inconsistent offense line.
2. Wide Receiver
After trading Mike Williams to the Buffalo Bills yesterday for a sixth round draft pick, this gives the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a huge hole at wide receiver opposite of Vincent Jackson.
While Mike Williams never performed much after a great rookie season, at least his size and talent had to be somewhat accounted for. With Vincent Jackson the only weapon in the passing game now, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would be wise to address this position early.
At seven, a name that most certainly will be there is wide receiver Mike Evans out of Texas A&M. For those of you who don't know Mike Evans very well, think of a faster version of Vincent Jackson and you have Mike Evans.
This should really excited Buccaneers fans because, while sometimes people look down on having two of the same skill set wide receivers across from eachother, the size, speed, and strength of both players would give Tampa a huge mismatch with no matter what NFL defense they go up against.
It's rare already to have a corner big and physical enough to take on Vincent Jackson, let alone having two big and physical corners.
What I Would Do
If I'm the Tampa Bay Buccaneers I would take Mike Evans. While I'm known for not being the biggest Mike Evans guy due to his lack of great route running and solely relying on making tough catches with his really strong hands or just simply out running the defender, having both Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans on the same field would be a mismatch nightmare.
While my thing against guys that rely on tough catches is there sometimes inconsistent against bigger corners, like I said earlier, there's no team that has a combo of big corners to shut down both guys.
Having Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson on the same field would not only keep defenses honest and afraid giving huge mismatches in the passing game, but if Lovie Smith and offensive coordinator Tedford really want to be a power run team, then keeping defenses honest and having huge run blocking receivers that can make a huge play at any moment would be perfect for them.
While this is what I would do, this is also the route I believe the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are going to go with the seventh overall pick.