The Tampa Bay Buccaneers finished last season 5–11, marking their second-consecutive losing campaign.
Tampa Bay hasn't made the playoffs in 11 years. But the Bucs hope to turn things around under new head coach Bruce Arians, who was hired earlier this offseason.
Last year, the Bucs selected Washington defensive tackle Vita Vea with the 12th pick of the 2018 draft.
How will they use their picks in this year's NFL draft? We’re breaking down every selection below, with grades from The MMQB's Andy Benoit.
Here's the full list of picks the Buccaneers hold in the 2019 draft, which will be updated as each selection is made.
Round 1, Pick 5 (No. 5 overall):
Devin White, STACK LB, LSU
Andy Benoit's grade: B
Talk about a team having speed at linebacker. White is a classic undersized run-and-chase guy…just like the newly signed free agent Deone Bucannon, who played for new defensive coordinator Todd Bowles in Arizona. And remember, incumbent Lavonte David, an everydown stud, can also run. The beauty of this pick is it plays off last year’s pick of Vita Vea, a bigger-bodied athlete who can occupy blockers, keeping White, David and Bucannon clean. White flashed both as a designed blitzer and improvised blitzer at LSU. That interior pass-rushing prowess will be critical in Tampa Bay, as Bowles loves to pressure the quarterback up the middle.
Round 2, Pick 7 (No. 39 overall): Sean Bunting, CB, Central Michigan
Andy Benoit's grade: A-
A long corner with press-man and zone abilities is exactly what new defensive coordinator Todd Bowles wanted. (Remember, Bowles was the head coach with the Jets last year when they spent big free agent money on a similarly built specimen, ex-Ram Trumaine Johnson.) Bowles believes in overload blitzing, especially right up the middle where it’s a shorter path to the quarterback. To do this, you must trust your perimeter defenders in solo coverage. With 2018 second-rounder Carlton Davis coming on strong down the stretch after a poor start, the Bucs are solid on both sides. Vernon Hargreaves will move to the slot (a better fit) and M.J. Stewart (also a 2018 second-rounder) becomes a utility backup, if not a contender for a starting safety job. This secondary now has options and depth.
Round 3, Pick 30 (No. 94 overall): Jamel Dean, CB, Auburn
Andy Benoit's grade: C+
That’s two corners drafted in one night for the Buccaneers, which makes you wonder how the new coaching staff views 2016 first-round pick Vernon Hargreaves.
Round 3, Pick 35 (No. 99 overall): Mike Edwards, S, Kentucky
Andy Benoit's grade: A
Edwards was a versatile four-year starter in the SEC. Now he joins a Bucs scheme that places a premium on safety versatility, with Todd Bowles at defensive coordinator. The new staff is not tied to any of the incumbent safeties, and none of those incumbent safeties—save for maybe Justin Evans—are clear starters. Could Edwards become a first-unit player?
Round 4, Pick 5 (No. 107 overall): Anthony Nelson, DE, Iowa
Round 5, Pick 7 (No. 145 overall): Matt Gay, K, Utah
Round 6, Pick 35 (No. 208 overall): Scott Miller, WR, Bowling Green
Round 7, Pick 1 (No. 215 overall): Terry Beckner Jr., DT, Missouri
See every NFL team's 2019 picks by clicking the links below.
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