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Having the seventh overall pick in the 2018 draft puts the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a precarious spot. It’s early for sure, but not low enough to guarantee a player like Saquon Barkley, the top guy on their wish list. Since he likely won’t be available at seven, would it be best for the Bucs to trade down and accumulate more picks?

Should The Bucs Trade Their First Round Pick?

Needs and Links

The Bucs obvious needs are along the offensive line, a pass rush, and in the secondary. If they were to stay at seven, Tampa Bay has been linked to these players as potential pick:

Quenton Nelson– G, Notre Dame

Bradley Chubb– DE, NC State

Marcus Davenport– DE, UTSA

Minkah Fitzpatrick– S, Alabama

Trading Down

Quenton Nelson might be the top guard in the draft and certainly would help, but should they spend a top ten pick on that position? Since 2008, Guards drafted in the first round have gone between numbers 23 through 30. Only Chance Warmack has been picked within the top ten over the last decade. If this was an offensive tackle, sure, but not a guard. There are other glaring needs that need to be addressed.

Depending on how far the Bucs were to trade down, they could still get a pass rusher from their desired list. Chubb might be gone as high as three, but Davenport may still be there if Tampa remains in the teens. Other suitable replacements should be available late, such as Arden Key out of LSU.

That same formula goes for secondary help. Even if Tampa trades into the 20’s, there’s still value in ending up with Josh Jackson from Iowa or Florida State’s Derwin James. It’s well known that the Bucs like to draft players from Florida schools, for obvious reasons.

What About Trading Up?

If the Buccaneers truly felt that Barkley was the missing piece, it would cost them big time. Trades to move up often cost future first or second round picks. The Bucs would need to guarantee themselves making the playoffs next year, or a gamble like this would cost them big in the long run. A team in the building process can’t afford to lose many picks, especially when running backs drafted in later rounds have thrived in recent years.

More Picks, More Wealth

Tampa is lucky to have so much talent despite a failed season. They’re not looking to replenish every position, just upgrade certain spots. By trading at seven and remaining in the first round, the Bucs can add some valuable extra picks, whether it be early second and third rounds, or even for future drafts. Obtaining wealth in the draft isn’t always about taking the big name, it’s about securing a teams future for years to come.

Sports Al Dente 2019

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