TAMPA- The defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers were in an unfamiliar position when they entered the 2021 NFL Draft and that was picking at No. 32.
With the luxury of being loaded on offense and defense, the Buccaneers decided on selecting outside linebacker/defensive end Joe Tryon with the 32nd pick. Tryon comes in as a potential heir apparent to veteran Jason Pierre-Paul or Shaquille Barrett, as both could become free agents after the 2021 season.
Tryon, who played at the University of Washington in 2020, had himself a strong fall campaign despite playing through a pandemic shortened season with the Huskies. Last fall, Tryon had 12.5 tackles for loss, eight sacks and was named second-team All-PAC 12 honors. Barrett was the NFL’s sack leader in 2019 and Pierre-Paul had a strong 2020 campaign that gives Tampa Bay one of the top front seven units in the league.
The front seven for the Buccaneers should be a scary unit, as they all return fully healthy and loaded. Nose guard Vita Vea returned in the playoffs from a nasty ankle injury, but was a force inside. Vea also played collegiately at the University of Washington. Not to mention that Tampa Bay brings back both linebackers Lavonte David and Devin White. The Buccaneers remain the favorites to win the NFC Conference according to several major betting services.
The Buccaneers went ahead in the draft to select the successor to Tom Brady, as general manager Jason Licht chose Trask with the No. 64 pick. In the 2019 season, the signal caller started to impress as he threw for 2,941 yards and 25 touchdowns. Trask followed that up with a Heisman Trophy worthy campaign, throwing for 4,283 yards and 43 touchdowns versus just eight interceptions.
The 23-year old will get to learn under Brady, who has already reached out to his understudy to begin mentoring him. Despite Brady and the Buccaneers coming off a 31-9 Super Bowl win over the Kansas City Chiefs, Tampa Bay still wanted to address the future of the quarterback position.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2021 Draft Picks:
- Round 1, pick 32 – Joe Tryon, OLB, Washington
- Round 2, pick 64 – Kyle Trask, QB, Florida
- Round 3, pick 95 – Robert Hainsey, G, Notre Dame
- Round 4, pick 129 (from SEA) – Jaelon Darden, WR, North Texas
- Round 5, pick 176 – K.J. Britt, LB, Auburn
- Round 7, pick 251 – Chris Wilcox, CB, BYU
- Round 7, pick 259 – Grant Stuard, LB, Houston
Andy Villamarzo can be reached at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @avillamarzo.