The 2019 NFL draft is over, and now comes all of the second guessing and backseat general managers. The Buccaneers had eight selections, focusing mainly on their weaknesses.
Linebacker Devin White was the team’s first-round selection. Following that, the Buccaneers selected three defensive backs, cornerbacks Sean Bunting and Jamel Dean, and safety, Mike Edwards. Defensive linemen Anthony Nelson and Terry Beckner rounded out the defensive players taken by Tampa.
Tampa surprisingly selected kicker Matt Gay in round five and wide receiver Scott Miller in round six, the only two non-defensive players in the draft.
This was an average draft for the Bucs according to the experts. Dan Kadar of SBNation gave them a B-, noting that White was one of the best picks in the first round, but it was a surprise that Tampa went with Bunting instead of LSU cornerback Greedy Williams.
Chad Reuter from NFL.com gave Tampa a C+ noting that Kentucky’s Josh Allen, who the Bucs passed on in favor of White, could be a sore spot for fans if he becomes a star player. Meanwhile, Bunting again came up as a reach with Reuter also noting other high-value prospects at that position.
Finally, Pete Prisco from CBS Sports also gave the Bucs a C+. Prisco also praised the White pick, noting his speed and how he can help cover the field. Prisco also disagreed with the team taking Gay, especially in the fifth round, widely considered a huge reach for a position that is not a big priority on draft day.
This draft was an opportunity for the Buccaneers to improve but there will still be plenty of challenges ahead for the team, especially considering their salary cap situation. Tampa had only $1.778 million in cap space, meaning they need to make some moves to afford their rookies.
They started with making six cuts to the roster, waiving linebacker Riley Bullough, kicker Phillip Andersen, punter Hayden Hunt, quarterback Joe Callahan, and defensive ends Hunter Dimick and Nick Thurman. This is just a start, as there will be plenty more moves to come before the season starts on September 8.