The 2021 NFL Draft has been called a draft of luxury for the Bucs. Since all 22 starters are returning along with important backups, Tampa Bay could pick the best player available. Their draft pick focus is likely on future seasons, not 2021.
That’s what they’ve done so far with edge rusher Joe Tryon in the first round, quarterback Kyle Trask in round two and Robert Hainsey in the third round. Tryon could replace Jason Pierre-Paul next season, there’s hope that Trask could eventually succeed Tom Brady whenever the 21-year pro decides to retire, and Hainsey may potentially take over as a starter in 2022 if Ryan Jensen or Alex Cappa aren’t back.
But that’s all down the road from now.
On day three of the draft the Bucs will have five picks at their disposal. There’s one current area of the team that Bruce Arians would like to see improve, and that’s special teams. So what kind of players is he looking for?
“We’re always looking for guys that can run,” Arians said. “Speed in any kind of category…defensive backs who can be gunners. We need to improve our special teams. For those guys tomorrow, we’ll be looking at guys who can fill roles, but also be really core special teams players that can help us in those areas.”
As Arians mentioned with cornerback, the Bucs want to find someone to play the gunner role that Ryan Smith vacated. Smith was the best gunner that the Bucs had, but he left in free agency to sign with the Chargers.
The Bucs also lost special teams contributor Andrew Adams this offseason after he signed with the Eagles. He averaged 19 snaps on special teams last season.
One corner to keep in mind for day three of the draft is Boise State cornerback Avery Williams, who is a Bucs’ Best Bet of Pewter Report’s Scott Reynolds and was selected in his final mock draft. Williams averaged 28.1 yards per kick return with two touchdowns in his senior year. He had an average of 15.1 yards per punt return and two more touchdowns.
If the Bucs are looking for an offensive gadget player with return experience to play on special teams right away, UCLA’s Demetric Felton is an option. Felton is a running back and wide receiver hybrid with quickness and a kick return touchdown to his name. We know how the Bucs’ coaching staff loves versatility, and Felton could fit the bill in Round 6 or 7.