The 2020 NFL Draft starts on Thursday, April 23. As a lead up to the draft, we’ll be giving a team-by-team breakdown for positional needs. For each team, we’ll give an overview of each team’s current depth chart and how big of a need each position in the upcoming draft.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2020 Draft Picks Overview

Round 1 (14)
Round 2 (45)
Round 3 (76)
Round 4 (117)
Round 5 (161)
Round 6 (194)
Round 7 (241)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Offense

by Rich Hribar

2019 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Offensive Ranks

*denotes new addition


Tom Brady*
Blaine Gabbert
Ryan Griffin

The Buccaneers made a splash as they went out and added Tom Brady this offseason. They also brought back Blaine Gabbert as a backup. Ryan Griffin is under contract for 2020 with no dead cap penalty. Just one quarterback of age 43 or older has attempted more than 100 passes in an NFL season, with Vinny Testaverde throwing 172 times back in 2007 for the Carolina Panthers. Brady threw 613 times last year and turns 43-years-old in August, but the Buccaneers are not in the early market for a signal-caller.

Running back

Ronald Jones
Dare Ogunbowale
T.J. Logan
Aca’Cedric Ware

Tampa Bay ranked 27th in the league in rushing efficiency and explosive run rate in 2019. Their backs combined to rank 18th in touches per game (26.5), 20th in yards from scrimmage per game (121.5), and 24th in yards per touch (4.6). Second-year running back Ronald Jones made a significant jump up to 203 touches and 5.1 yards per touch from his anemic rookie season usage (30 touches) and efficiency (5.1 yards per touch).

Despite his improvement in year two, the Buccaneers were still reluctant to fully trust him with the offense, allowing Peyton Barber (170 touches) to carve into his workload. A big early-career thorn for Jones has been his effectiveness in pass protection. In 2019, he allowed eight pressures on 49 snaps in protection. This opened the door for Dare Ogunbowale to lead the team in pass protection snaps (72) from the backfield while running a team-high 223 pass routes out of the backfield. The good news for Jones is that he has already survived free agency while the Bucs let Barber and his 170 touches from 2019 walk away. 

That said, Jones is no lock to prevent the Bucs adding to their backfield. Ogunbowale is only under contract for 2020, meaning Tampa Bay could add a back that can replace his role in the passing game while being a larger threat in the rushing department over his 11 carries to circumvent the loss of Barber and insulate themselves if Jones still struggles as an all-around player.

Wide receiver

Mike Evans
Chris Godwin
Justin Watson
Scott Miller
Spencer Schnell
Jaydon Mickens
Bryant Mitchell
Cyril Grayson
Codey McElroy

Tampa Bay is set at the position with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin for the upcoming season. Evans will still only be 27 years old at the start of the season with four years remaining on his deal that runs through the 2023 season. 2020 is the final “big money” season in terms of a dead cap hit if the team decides to pivot towards giving Chris Godwin a lucrative extension as his deal expires after this season, but that’s all far too speculative to assume it is a part of their draft plan. But Tampa Bay should still be expected to dip their toes into adding a receiver.

The team let Breshad Perriman, who was third on the team with 69 targets in 2019, leave via free agency and his line of replacement in Justin Watson and Scott Miller have combined for 29 career catches while having no tangible team investment to them monetarily.

Tight End

Rob Gronkowski

O.J. Howard
Cameron Brate
Antony Auclair
Tanner Hudson
Jordan Leggett

The Bucs are one of the NFL teams with tight end depth. They are returning every tight end who took a snap for them during the 2019 season, including re-signing Auclair, who served primarily as a blocker on 172 snaps played. They also added Rob Gronkowski via trade. Tight end is not an immediate priority for the Bucs. Food for thought is O.J. Howard is in the final year of his rookie contract while 2020 is the final season in which Cameron Brate carries a dead cap hit.

Offensive Line

LT: Donovan Smith/Brad Seaton
LG: Ali Marpet/Zack Bailey
C: Ryan Jensen
RG: Alex Cappa/Aron Stinnie
RT: Joe Haeg*

The Bucs offensive line was a mixed bag in 2019, ranking 22nd in pass pro efficiency per our metrics, 22nd in adjusted sack rate (7.6%) and 23rd in adjusted line yards created (4.0) per Football Outsiders in the run game. Despite collectively ranking 20th or below in all areas, they still had strong seasons from Ryan Jensen (Pro Football Focus’ highest-graded center) and Ali Marpet on the inside (PFF’s 11th ranked guard).

Jensen and Donovan Smith are both under contract through 2021, but neither carries a dead cap hit beyond this upcoming season. Alex Cappa is also under contract through 2021. The team brought in veteran tackled Joe Haeg this offseason, but did so on only a one-year deal. Given their collective team performance and lack of long term contracts allocated to the position, Tampa Bay should be in the market for offensive line depth during the draft.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defense

by Dan Pizzuta

2019 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defensive Ranks

interior defensive line

Ndamukong Suh
Vita Vea
William Gholston
Rakeem Nunez-Roches
Patrick O’Connor

The Buccaneers turned into the league’s best run defense last season (first in DVOA) under defensive coordinator Todd Bowles and a big part of that came from the interior duo of Suh and Vea. Tampa Bay wanted to run that back and re-signed Suh to a one-year deal after he hit the free agent market. Suh is no longer the pass rusher he used to be but Vea turned into a productive one last season, 10th in ESPN’s Pass Rush Win Rate among defensive tackles. 


Shaquil Barrett
Jason Pierre-Paul
Anthony Nelson
Kahzin Daniels

Tampa ranked third in Pass Rush Win Rate as a team last season and Barrett was fifth overall among edge rushers. Like the interior, the Buccaneers worked to bring back the group that showed success last season by re-signing Pierre-Paul to a two-year deal and putting the franchise tag on Barrett. There’s a lot of money tied in the top two edge rushers but not much locked in past the coming season, pending a Barrett extension. There’s also not much depth, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Bucs go edge somewhere in the draft to at least add bodies to the rotation.

Off-ball Linebacker

Lavonte David
Devin White
Kendall Beckwith
Jack Cichy

With a big contract for David and a top-5 pick in White, there are few teams with more invested at off-ball linebacker than the Buccaneers. David and White also play a high number of Tampa Bay’s defensive snaps — David played 99% and White played 73% last season.


Carlton Davis
Sean Murphy-Bunting
Jamel Dean
MJ Stewart

Cornerback is a position of intrigue for the Buccaneers. Tampa threw a bunch of Day 2 picks over the past two drafts and found a few gems. Bunting-Murphy was an above-average corner by Adjusted Yards allowed per coverage snap (which factors in touchdowns and interceptions), as was Jamel Dean, who was an NFL Combine standout last season. Even though there is some youth and promise at the position, there are few teams in the NFL that wouldn’t benefit from taking another shot at corner — something the Buccaneers already have a recent history of trying.


Justin Evans
Mike Edwards
Andrew Adams
Jordan Whitehead

Safety is easily the shakiest position on the Tampa Bay defense. Justin Evans started to breakout in 2018 but missed the entire 2019 season with an Achilles injury. Without Evans, the Bucs ran with a trio of Edwards, Adams, and Whitehead, which was sometimes fine and others not so much — Tampa Bay ranked 29th in DVOA on deep passes against them in 2019. There’s also no guarantee of what Evans will look like when he does return to the field. It’s likely the Buccaneers will come out with a safety by the end of Day 2.