This might catch you by surprise, but even after re-signing their entire starting lineup and all key players from their 2020 Super Bowl team, the Bucs STILL get a full NFL Draft to get even better. It seems unfair, but I checked with the league office, and the Bucs are currently green lit to add more talent to their roster with eight picks this weekend. Amazing.

With Antonio Brown officially re-signed on a one-year deal, wide receiver is unlikely to be a consideration of the Bucs on the first two days of the draft. Armed with this knowledge, I decided to narrow the Bucs potential first round picks to five players that are likely to be on the board at or around No. 32 overall. Here are the 5 players I believe are most likely to be selected by the Bucs if they stay put and use the 32nd overall pick:

1. Washington EDGE Joe Tryon

Washington edge rusher Joe Tryon
Washington edge rusher Joe Tryon – Photo by: USA Today

I won’t belabor this entry, as Tryon was our Bucs Best Bet at edge defender and was the choice in our final Bucs 7-round mock draft and in my final 32-team mock draft. A No. 3 edge rusher is about the closest thing the Bucs have to a position of need for the 2021 season, but regardless of the desire to upgrade Anthony Nelson’s spot, I believe the Bucs will love Tryon as a prospect.

The Washington 21 year-old has all the physical and athletic traits the Bucs gravitate toward, and he plays the game with a hot motor. I’m concerned about his lack of polish, pass rush plan and the fact that he doesn’t always play to his athleticism, instead opting for a more out-of-control style of play. Still, the upside with Tryon is clear and he would at least be a useful part-time player for the first year of his career. Most final mock drafts seem to be connecting the dots from Tryon to the Bucs, as he’s become their consensus Round 1 pick.

2. Oklahoma C Creed Humphrey

Going with Humphrey over Landon Dickerson for this prediction, largely due to Dickerson’s injury history. Dickerson is the better player on my board, but I’m not sure what his injury-riddled past will mean for his draft weekend projection. On the other hand, Humphrey has been very durable, with 36 straight starts at Oklahoma, all at center. He’s ultra physical and competitive, testing far better than most anticipated at his pro day.

The thing I like the most about Humphrey is his wrestling background, a history that is apparent as he grapples for position to seal off blockers. He’d be a good fit schematically in Tampa Bay, but he’s gotta clean up his posture and improve his core strength in pass protection. I think Humphrey can become a better pass protector in the NFL, but it’s still one area where Dickerson is clearly better than him right now. I’d love for Dickerson to be the pick over Humphrey, I’m just not convinced Tampa Bay will be comfortable enough with the Alabama center’s health to draft him this high.

3. Georgia CB Tyson Campbell

Georgia CB Tyson Campbell NFL Draft
Georgia CB Tyson Campbell – Photo courtesy of Georgia

I’m a big Tyson Campbell fan, and I think GM Jason Licht might be too. Blessed with exceptional length, size, quickness and long speed, Campbell is one of the best man coverage options in this year’s class. Before the ball is thrown Campbell is on par with any cornerback in the draft, he just needs to do a much better job of winning at the catch point. Sound familiar? Many of the same criticisms were once levied against Carlton Davis too, and Campbell is an even better athlete.

The Bucs don’t have an obvious need at cornerback, but there is clearly some uncertainty in their current room. Davis will be a free agent next offseason, and Sean Murphy-Bunting and Jamel Dean have been rollercoasters in their career thus far. If there is one position outside of quarterback that you don’t want to be scrambling for options come playoff time, it’s cornerback. The Bucs would be wise to give themselves plenty of talent to choose from in case one of their young starters doesn’t play to potential in 2021.

4. UNC RB Javonte Williams

I really don’t think the Bucs are going to draft a running back in Round 1, but the way I see the first round unfolding, they might not have a million options. It’s hard for me to believe that Javonte Williams won’t be one of the top players on their board Thursday night, especially if the team is simply looking to draft the best player available. Williams hard-nosed running style constantly left ACC tacklers in his wake at UNC, and he’s blossoming quickly as a pass protector and receiver.

The Bucs would have a crowded backfield that could result in a trade of one of their current backs, probably Ronald Jones. At the very least, Williams would be in line to take over as the feature back next year, when Jones, Leonard Fournette and Giovani Bernard are all free agents. Running back isn’t a position you have to plan into the future for, but the Bucs might be in position to do it anyway.

5. Penn State EDGE Jayson Oweh

Jayson Oweh Bucs mock draft Penn State
Penn State Edge Jayson Oweh – Photo by: USA Today

I’m not saying I would applaud this pick, but I think it’s a possibility for Tampa Bay. Oweh is going to enter the NFL as one of the best athletes in the league, and his 2020 tape shows that he’s capable of mental and technical growth as a player. Oweh’s pass rush plan needs plenty of work, but the redshirt sophomore went from being a questionable run defender in 2019 to being one of the better run defenders in the class in 2020. It’s a lot harder to make that leap as a pass rusher however, so the Bucs coaching staff will need to have a plan in place for his development.

The good news is that Oweh will obviously not need to start right away, and as a No. 3 rusher he’s instantly an upgrade over Anthony Nelson. His presence would allow the Bucs to get creative with their edge defender deployments, putting three on the field at once and kicking Jason Pierre-Paul inside. Like Tryon, it’s hard to say if Oweh will disappoint or not by the time he becomes a full-time starter in Tampa Bay, but as a rookie he could be a very useful depth piece.

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About the Author: Jon Ledyard

Jon Ledyard is's newest Bucs beat writer and has experience covering the Pittsburgh Steelers as a beat writer and analyzing the NFL Draft for several draft websites, including The Draft Network. Follow Ledyard on Twitter at @LedyardNFLDraft
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8 days ago

Two centers, and not the drafts best running back in the first round? I sure hope not. Why do you all at PR want Jensen run out next year? They can just redo his deal like they have for so many others. Since D ends have a high bust rate, I’ll pass on Oweh too.

Reply to  surferdudes
8 days ago

Kiper says RBs in this draft have a higher priority than in years past. All 5 of the players Ledyard listed are very good players.

Reply to  surferdudes
8 days ago

Nobody is running Jensen out of town. What they ARE doing is recognizing and working with the reality this team faces in 2021 – 13 starters or co-starters hitting FA, currently $26M in cap space (roughly around $16M once you add in the second year cap hits for the players we draft this year), and only 27 players currently on the roster who are on something other than speculative league minimum contracts (guys who are NOT likely to actually be on that roster). We can’t pay literally everyone. We don’t know who the team will choose to prioritize to resign,… Read more »

8 days ago

Tryon is the only guy I would take at 32 based on need and value in this draft and league for edge rushers. They could trade back a few picks and still get a high quality edge or o lineman. I like Humphrey, but there are other o line choices throughout this class. Minerez is a beast. They would have to trade up in the second for either though. A CB will be picked in some round but Campbell is a day 2 guy. No way to Oweh in the first. I like Edge, O line, CB, DT, RB, WR,… Read more »

8 days ago

Man, I’m going to be really bummed if we take Tryon. Of all 5 of these options, he’s probably my 4th favorite choice, coming in ahead of Javonte, who I actually like a lot more as a player, but I don’t like the value of him for this team right now. If we’re going to draft a high ceiling, toolsy edge rusher who has a lot of risk built into his projection, then give me the higher ceiling of Oweh. I get the fear of him with the 0 sack 2020, but his 2020 tape isn’t ALL that matters. He… Read more »