The NFL draft is days away and a lot of Bucs fans are wondering what the team will do with the 7th overall pick. The Bucs and their fans are hoping to land a pro bowl player at 7, but that’s not the only place you can find good players. There will be a lot of very good players found on day 2 of the draft and more importantly for the Buccaneers, who do not have a 3rd round pick, the 2nd round. This draft class is loaded at RB and CB, let’s see if the Bucs end up with one of these guys at the end of the 2nd round.
UCF CB, Mike Hughes
The Buccaneers need a cornerback, it’s not a want, it’s a need. The Bucs have Brent Grimes as their number 1 Corner, but who plays the 2nd Corner spot? Enter Mike Hughes. Mike Hughes just fits what the Bucs like to do with their corners. With the scheme that defensive coordinator Mike Smith runs, you have to have smaller corners, hence why they have Brent Grimes, Vernon Hargreaves and Ryan Smith. Hughes had a productive year at UCF, he had 4 interceptions and 49 total tackles. That is not all Hughes can do though, he wasn’t productive returning kicks and punts as well. He had 2 kickoffs and 1 punt return, he could give the Bucs an option on special teams as well as give them their number 2 corner.
UGA RB, Nick Chubb
I am a big fan of both Georgia running backs, however, I do not believe Sony Michel will be available for the Bucs in the 2nd, so the Bucs should be looking at his running mate in college. Nick Chubb’s story is a feel-good one. He was one of the best running backs in the country before he had an absolutely awful knee injury in 2015. Chubb came right back from injury in 2016 and had a great campaign that included over 1,000 yards rushing and 8 rushing touchdowns. In 2017 he continued his success, racking up over 1300 yards rushing and 15 rushing touchdowns. He did all of this while not being the clear cut number 1 back at Georgia. The only concern with Chubb is if that knee will hold up long term. If it does, Chubb will be a very good running back for someone, hopefully, the Bucs.
SDSU RB, Rashaad Penny
Some may think this is a reach, but not me. Rashaad Penny is not only one of the most underrated running backs in this class, but he is also one of the most underrated players in the whole draft. Penny is a pure home run hitter. Now, I know that Penny was not playing the greatest teams in the world but Penny had over 2,000 rushing yards last season with 23 rushing touchdowns. The year before, when he wasn’t even the starter he had over 1,000 yards and 13 rushing touchdowns. The only issue I see with Penny is his pass blocking ability. That may not look too good to Jason Licht and Dirk Koetter. They both like a running back that can do it all. Pass blocking is not Penny’s best skill, but it’s not something that is impossible to learn. Penny is one of my favorite players in this class and he is fully capable of being a feature back in the NFL.
So, like I stated earlier, the 7th pick is an absolute must hit for Jason Licht and Dirk Koetter. They need to draft a difference maker at 7, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find difference makers at other spots in the draft. Kwon Alexander was drafted in the 4th round, Ali Marpet was drafted in the 2nd round. That’s just the Bucs. There are a ton of stars in the NFL today that were drafted in the later rounds and since the Bucs are picking high in the 2nd round, they may end up with a 1st round talent. Time will tell what will happen, that time is almost here. Sit tight Bucs fans, it’s gonna be a crazy ride.