What Are The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Team Needs In The 2022 NFL Draft?

The 2022 NFL Draft starts on Thursday, April 28. 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 the current depth chart and how big of a need each position is in the upcoming draft. You can find the rest of the team needs (as they’re updated) and the rest of our draft content in the 2022 NFL Draft hub.

Sharp Football Betting Package
Take 15% off NFL Betting + Props

What Picks do the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have in 2022

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have six picks.

Round 1 (27)
Round 2 (60)
Round 3 (91)
Round 4 (133)
Round 7 (248)
Round 7 (261)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Top POSITIONS OF NEED

  1. LG
  2. Slot CB
  3. Future plans at LB & S

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Strength of Schedule, 2022

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have the 12th easiest NFL strength of schedule for the 2022 NFL season.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Offense

By Rich Hribar


Tom Brady
Blaine Gabbert
Kyle Trask
Ryan Griffin

Tom Brady had a change of heart after announcing his retirement earlier in the offseason, coming back for another run at a Super Bowl.

Brady will turn 45 years old this August but even at age 44, Brady was incredible, throwing for 5,316 yards and 43 touchdowns while attempting 42.3 passes per game.

Brady’s retirement scare let the Bucs know that the sand is thinning here, but it is hard to see the Bucs use any of their limited draft capital looking for a successor now, especially after taking Kyle Trask in the second round a year ago.


Leonard Fournette
Ke’Shawn Vaughn
Giovani Bernard
Kenjon Barner

The Buccaneers were eighth in the league in expected points added via their rushing offense in 2021 (28.7 EPA).

The Buccaneers retained the core component of their rushing offense this offseason, signing Leonard Fournette to a three-year extension.

In 22 career games with Bucs, in which he played just half of the team snaps, Fournette has averaged 17.6 touches for 89.2 yards per game with 4.7 receptions per game and 19 total touchdowns.

Tampa Bay did lose early-down banger Ronald Jones, but still has Ke’Shawn Vaughn with two years left on his rookie deal as insurance while Giovani Bernard was retained as a viable pass catcher. 

The Buccaneers could still add depth here, but if so, that would come in the later rounds and is far from a necessity.


Mike Evans
Chris Godwin
Russell Gage
Jaelon Darden
Tyler Johnson
Breshad Perriman
Scotty Miller
Vyncint Smith
Cyril Grayson
Travis Jonsen
Austin Watkins

Brady gets all positions involved, but the Buccaneers fielded one of the best wide receiving units in the league in 2021. 

Tampa Bay wide receivers ranked fourth in the league in targets per game (23.5) and third in yardage per game (206.1), while catching 26 touchdown passes (fourth). 

On an efficiency level, Tampa Bay was sixth in success rate targeting their wideouts (55%) and ninth in yards per target (8.4 yards) targeting the position.

Mike Evans just continues to get there every season. 

Evans is coming off his eight consecutive 1,000-yard season to open his career while catching another 14 touchdown passes. When the Bucs lost Antonio Brown and Chris Godwin, we saw early-career Evans return with the Bucs forced to lean on him, seeing 10 and 16 targets in the postseason versus Jalen Ramsey and Darius Slay, showing that there is plenty of ability there when he is tasked with carrying a passing game, having games of 9-117-1 and 8-119-1.

Chris Godwin averaged a career-high 7.0 receptions per game in 2021, catching 98-of-127 targets for 1,103 yards and five touchdowns in 14 games. Godwin received a contract extension this offseason but is coming off an ACL injury that ended his season in mid-December, pushing his recovery up against the start of the 2022 season. 

Towards the end of the season, the Tampa Bay depth was dinged after the release of Brown and losing Godwin to a season-ending ACL injury. 

With nobody stepping up on that depth chart, Tampa Bay went out and added Russell Gage in free agency. 

Gage is coming off two productive seasons with the Falcons. After catching 72-of-109 targets for 786 yards for four touchdowns in 2020, Gage stepped up again this past season, securing 66-of-94 targets for 770 yards and another four scores.

Atlanta was pressed to lean on Gage after Calvin Ridley left the team, which let Gage blossom. 

Gage led the Falcons with 2.84 yards per route run against man coverage in 2021 per Pro Football Focus, a mark that was 11th in the league this past season.

Given Godwin’s potential to start the season on the PUP, the depth here not showing much, the Buccaneers’ win-now mode, and having a lot of money tied up at the position, there is still potential in adding another rookie contract to the depth chart.


Cameron Brate
Codey McElroy

As of today, this is the thinnest position the Bucs have on offense.

Of course, they are waiting on whether or not Rob Gronkowski wants to return to play. 

Gronk can still play at a high level, averaging 4.6 receptions for 66.8 yards per game over 12 games in the regular season. 

The Bucs will give Gronk all of the time he needs to decide on a return, but even if he does return, we can only assume it will be a year-to-year commitment. 

Tampa Bay did retain veteran Cameron Brate as a capable player near the end zone, but Brate is a far cry from an explosive player, averaging 10.6 yards per grab for his career, with fewer than 10.0 yards per catch in three of his past four seasons. 


LT: Donovan Smith/ Jonathan Hubbard/ Fred Johnson
LG: Aaron Stinnie/Nick Leverett/Sadarius Hutcherson
C: Ryan Jensen/Robert Hainsey
RG: Shaq Mason/John Molchon/Brandon Walton
RT: Tristan Wirfs/Josh Wells

Things started off ominous across the offensive line for the Bucs this offseason, with Ali Marpet retiring, Alex Cappa leaving via free agency, and Ryan Jensen being courted by a number of teams.

Then Brady returned, immediately leading to Jensen re-signing a three-year extension. 

The team then was able to pull off trading for Shaq Mason, who played with Brady in New England, for only a fifth-round pick. Mason was the fourth-highest graded guard in 2021 per Pro Football Focus and still has two years left on his contract.

With both tackle spots taken care of for multiple seasons, the last remaining spot to fill for the Bucs is the one left vacated by Marpet at left guard.

The team re-signed Aaron Stinnie, who logged 86 snaps at left guard in relief of Marpet last season, allowing just two pressures and a sack, but we should expect the Bucs to pursue adding a guard to push for a starting role.

Sharp Football Betting Package
Take 15% off NFL Betting + Props

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defense

By Dan Pizzuta

Interior Defensive Line

Vita Vea
Rakeem Nunez-Roches
William Gholston
Willington Previlon
Kobe Smith
Benning Potoa’e

Vita Vea was such a force inside that opposing offenses simply avoided attempting to run on the Buccaneers at the start of the season. Vea also continued his pass rush development and ranked 11th among defensive tackles in pressure rate, per SIS. Vea signed a contract extension in January that keeps him until through 2026 — or at least 2023 when there is no more guaranteed money.

Ndamukong Suh is still a free agent, who has let his interest in returning to the Buccaneers to play under Todd Bowles be known.

Rakeem Nunez-Roches has been a useful rotational lineman who played 36.4% of the defensive snaps in 2021. He’s in the final year of a two-year contract.


Shaquil Barrett
Joe Tryon-Shoyinka
Anthony Nelson
Cam Gill
Elijah Ponder

Though Shaq Barrett didn’t come close to replicating his monster 2019 season, he was 14th among edge rushers in pressure rate. Barrett was a productive pass rusher with 22 quarterback hits and 10 sacks. That should be his expectation — a plush pass rusher who shouldn’t be expected to rack up 20 sacks in a season.

Tampa Bay loaded up for the future when the Buccaneers selected Joe Tryon-Shoyinka in the first round of last year’s draft and they got immediate return. Tryon-Shoyinka ranked 20th among edge rushers in pressure rate while he added 10 quarterback hits on 49% of the defensive snaps. He’ll get more playing time in Year 2.

Jason Pierre-Paul had a significant dropoff as a pass rusher (95th in pressure rate) over 12 games and he remains an unsigned free agent.

Off-ball Linebacker

Lavonte David
Devin White
KJ Britt
Grant Stuard

The Buccaneers are a completely different defense when Lavonta David is on the field and when he’s off it. Having David in the middle of the field opens up Devin White to play downhill more and rush the passer.

David can take those coverage responsibilities since he has the range to cover all over the field. Among 85 qualified linebackers, David was seventh in yards allowed per coverage snap. The Buccaneers will need to eventually figure out what to do after David. He’s currently 32 years old and his contract voids after 2022.

White had some improvements in coverage (30th in yards allowed per coverage snap) but that’s not the strength in his game. He had 18 quarterback hits as a blitzer in 2021. The Buccaneers will pick up White’s fifth-year option for 2023 and it’s likely a long-term extension is on the horizon.


Carlton Davis
Jamel Dean
Sean Murphy-Bunting
Ross Cockrell
Dee Delaney
Rashard Robinson

Carlton Davis was a significant return on the heels of Tom Brady’s unretirement. Davis ranked 60th among 93 corners in Adjusted Yards allowed per coverage snap, which accounts for touchdowns and interceptions, but he’s shown the ability to be a top-end corner on a play-to-play basis.

Jamel Dean took over as arguably the most impressive player in the cornerback room. Dean ranked 13th in Adjusted Yards allowed per coverage snap in 2021. As a 2019 third-round pick, he is in the final year of his rookie deal.

Sean Murphy-Bunting had some struggles as the team’s slot corner. He ranked 75th among corners in Adjusted Yards allowed per coverage snap. He’s also in the final year of his deal.

Ross Cockrell has filled in admirably when and where needed and has been an underrated corner throughout his career. He is another corner in the final year of his current contract.


Antoine Winfield Jr.
Logan Ryan
Keanu Neal
Mike Edwards
Chris Cooper
Troy Warner

Antoine Winfield has already turned into a star at safety. He has 12 passes defensed over the past two seasons and has played a majority of his snaps as a deep safety. He’s showed off the range to play downhill and sideline-to-sideline.

Logan Ryan comes in as a veteran addition for the defense. Ryan also has the versatility to play all over the back-end. Ryan was a corner who converted to safety with the Giants. Those cornerback traits are still apparent, even as Ryan reaches his early 30s. Ryan is in on just a one-year deal.

Keanu Neal moonlighted as a linebacker with the Dallas Cowboys last season but he’ll move back to safety with the Buccaneers. Neal is another veteran who can be used in multiple spots but he is also on a one-year deal.

Mike Edwards has flashed when he’s gotten on the field — another 2019 draft pick in the final year of his rookie deal.

Sharp Football Betting Package
Take 15% off NFL Betting + Props