Tampa Bay entered the draft with a clear plan to address needs after free agency. Jason Licht and Todd Bowles exited the draft doing a solid job bringing in players that could help them make a run to the Super Bowl in 2022.
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Let’s take a look at the 2022 draft results and grade how the organization did overall.
Round 2, Pick 33: Logan Hall, Defensive End, Houston
There was a high likelihood that the Bucs were going to address the defensive line in this draft. Hall played inside and outside at Houston and Tampa Bay plans to use him primarily at the three-technique. It will take some time for him to learn and adjust, so he’ll be able to offer some versatility early on. There’s a lot of upside here as Hall is a plus athlete for a defensive lineman.
Round 2, Pick 57: Luke Goedeke, Guard, Central Michigan
Before the draft, I wrote a piece discussing Tampa Bay’s need to replace Ali Marpet. I’m a huge fan of offensive linemen that play angry all the time. Goedeke fits this mold. He did a pre-draft interview with Adriana Torress where he said “I’m a straight-up glass eater.” He’s a finisher, and he’ll get a chance early to earn a starting spot.
Round 3, Pick 91: Rachaad White, Running Back, Arizona State
White is the latest Day 2 and 3 running back drafted by the Bucs. He’s a fluid runner that possesses good feet. He needs to work on his inside running game to become a more well-rounded runner, but he will be an instant impact contributor as a third-down back. With a guy like safety Nick Cross across still available, there’s some discussion that Tampa Bay reached a bit here.
Round 4, Pick 106: Cade Otton, Tight End, Washington
This pick came from trading out of the first round. Otton is someone the organization had a lot of interest in throughout the draft process. They spent time with him at the combine and they hosted him on a top 30 visit. He was clearly a top tight end target for a team that needed to address the position. Otton is a good route runner and a good blocker. Really solid pick with great value.
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Round 4, Pick 133: Jake Camarda, Punter, Georgia
Interesting pick here in round 4 when you look at the roster and the cap. Bradley Pinion has struggled the past two seasons – moving on from him could save the Bucs $2.9 million as they look to get under the cap and possibly find money for Rob Gronkowski or Ndamukong Suh. Puntalytics was high on Jake, comparing him to 8-year punter Pat O’Donnell. At the same, picking a punter in round 4 means this grade can’t be too high.
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Round 5, Pick 157: Zyon McCollum, Corner, Sam Houston State
They gave up what will result in a late 4th round pick to move up to get Zyon. I’m a fan of this pick. He was a 3rd team All-American coming from a small school. He blew up the combine with his 4.33 40 at 6’2”, 199 pounds. His 11’ broad jump and 39.5” vertical show his explosiveness. McCollum had 54 pass break-ups and 13 interceptions in college. The Bucs needed to address corner in this draft and they got a guy that they had a ton of interest in at a great spot. Reportedly the Bucs told him if he ran sub 4.5 at the combine they were going to draft him. They followed through on that.
Round 6, Pick 218: Ko Kieft, Tight End, Minnesota
As mentioned earlier, the organization was going to address the tight end spot in this draft. Were two needed with the possibility of Gronkowski coming back? I’m not so sure. Ko is an elite in-line blocker which is something I’m sure Licht and Bowles considered as they run a lot of 12 personnel. I don’t understand trading up to get him but overall, it’s inconsequential with this being a late sixth round pick.
Round 7, Pick 248: Andre Anthony, Defensive End, LSU
This seems like a shot in the dark pick. Anthony turns 26 soon and is older than 23 current players on the roster. He missed most of 2021 due to a knee injury. With someone like Florida State edge Keir Thomas on the board, this one is a head-scratcher.
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