Just because it’s peak free agency doesn’t mean that the wheels of draft season ever stop turning.

On Saturday, the Indianapolis Colts and the New York Jets struct a deal that will have major implication in the 2018 NFL draft with the moving of first and second round picks.

With so many holes on the Colts roster, a move back from No. 3 overall was certainly alluring to Colts general manager Chris Ballard, especially knowing that there would be quarterbacks to choose from to drive the price up from other teams.

The Jets previously were selecting No. 6 overall, one spot in front of Tampa Bay. Though this trade doesn’t mean that there will be different teams in front of the Bucs’ selection (as it stand right now), that change in the order does impact what might be on the table when Jason Licht and the Buccaneers are on the clock at No. 7.

People were already expecting a quarterback to be a top target for the Jets, even though they just signed Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater — one-year deals each. But, with only four quarterbacks in this class getting Top 5 hype, staying at No. 6 meant the Jets were running the risk of not being able to take one. With this move up to No. 3, that almost guarantees that they’ll be taking a quarterback.

The current order of the draft is now as follows:

  1. Cleveland Browns
  2. New York Giants
  3. New York Jets
  4. Cleveland Browns
  5. Denver Broncos
  6. Indianapolis Colts
  7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Browns are going to take a quarterback at No.1, it’s just a matter of which one. Though we hear that offensive guard Quenton Nelson and running back Saquon Barkley could be options for the Giants at No. 2, it’s more likely that they go quarterback as well to prepare for Eli Manning’s departure in the next year or two. With the Jets moving up to No. 3, they’ll like take a quarterback, too, as one would expect for the price they paid to move up. As for No. 4, I ultimately believe the Browns will trade back with that pick and a team, like say Miami, Buffalo or Arizona, will ultimately be selecting a quarterback there, as well.

With the real possibility that four quarterbacks could all go in the first four picks, that will leave some good players left to round out the Top 10. That is the good news for the Bucs. The bad news might be that who the Bucs really want might line up with who the Colts also want, as both teams are desperate for impact trench players and not interested in quarterbacks.

Any slide in the draft for prospects like Bradley Chubb or Quenton Nelson could be stopped one pick short of becoming Buccaneers by the Colts. Though a quarterback frenzy at the top is what the Bucs want, having the Colts, the team whose needs line up closest to Tampa Bay’s, picking now one spot in front of them is not ideal.

Could a good player still be left for the Bucs after the Colts pick? Yes, absolutely.

But, as stated before, there is a good and bad for the Bucs to what happened between the Colts and the Jets on Saturday.

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Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for PewterReport.com. Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he's not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at: [email protected]

46 COMMENTS

  1. Colts probably aren’t too happy we took Jensen from them either!

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    • Exactly Ron. I think this helps the Bucs chances of getting Chubb too, if thats who they want. I said before the Jets trade and am almost certain now that 4 qbs will be gone in the top 6. Maybe 5, as there will be more trades. So I think the Colts will be selecting between Chubb and Nelson. Since the Bucs just got Jensen, I now think the Colts go Nelson to fill the role Jensen would have. So getting Jensen rather than the Colts getting him could help the Bucs land the best DE too in tbe draft. Love it. Bucs need a pass rushing DE worse than I need a hobby!

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  2. Ugh. I hate this trade for us. It very easily creates a scenario where all three of the top names that fill needs for us (Chubb, Barkley, and Nelson) will be gone by the time we pick. Chubb especially is as good as gone to the Colts if he makes it that far… the scenario I was hoping for is that they’d trade down with the Bills or another team behind us.

    Licht needs to have a trade down plan ready to go on draft day.

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    • It does the opposite Tpe. Means QBs are going early and often. Bucs should have 2 of the 3 to choose from in Barkley, Chubb, and Nelson.
      Nelson or Barkley is the colts pick IMO of the 3, probably Nelson since Luck is coming off a major injury. Gota protect the franchise. Wooohoooo love this trade.

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  3. Would be curious if Licht looks to trade up w/ Denver in order to get ahead of the Colts, being that they’d know neither us or Indy are taking QB’s. They’d pick up more draft capital and still get the QB they would’ve picked at #5. Not a proponent of this necessarily, but just a thought.

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  4. Thanks for the quick hit on a Saturday, Trevor. Is Chub worth trading up one pick?

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  5. Please Licht do not trade up!!!!!!!!!

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  6. 4 QB’s going ahead of us would be perfect then we are guaranteed Chubb, Barkley or Nelson

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  7. I’m hoping Barkley is there for us at 7. We need this missing piece for our offense. Second, and a close second, I’m hoping for Chubb, Nelson is my not too distant 3rd choice. I think Barkley is a generational talent, better than any of the RB’s last couple years IMHO. We would be set at offensive skill positions for awhile. This is going to be an exciting draft, that’s for sure.

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  8. Hey Licht I’d wish you good luck but you wouldn’t know what to do with it!

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  9. Would also be curious if the Bucs tried to get something for Sweezy from a team needing OL help like Indy for example.

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    • Another team would have to be desperate in order to trade.
      IMO the Bucs give him one shot but he is damaged goods.

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      • Agree he may not have much of a market, but if the Bucs decide he’s not in their plans, even a 6th or 7th would be a plus.

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        • You are right. But I have not seen Light draft anyone in 5-7 . That turn into anything special. IMO 5-7. IS WHERE GM’S earn respect and prove their worth. JMO

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  10. It really sucks knowing that they got all those 2nd rd picks too, taking players ahead of us, maybe that’s when Licht should make his move

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  11. It begins.

    Back when we were discussing the Bills giving 21 and 22 to move to 7, my first response was “you could get more”. We’re seeing that now. Draft value wise, this trade is the Colts robbing the Jets. Do not underestimate how much someone will pay to get “their guy”!

    This probably puts the Colts out of the running for a new QB as well. I was wondering if there was a small probability that they were thinking about moving on from Luck, but this tells me they think he’ll be healthy. We’ll see.

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  12. This trade can only be good for us. Again, I can’t imagine a scenario where 4 of the top 6 picks AREN’T QBs. If one of those teams don’t want a QB there will be plenty of suitors trying to move up. We are almost guaranteed to land Barkley, Chubb or Nelson. If all three are gone then that means that one of the 4 QBs is available at #7. That’s when Licht considers trading back. Do we take Derwin James or Minka or trade down?

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  13. If the Browns were thinking Q.B. with their 4th pick, they now how to use the first pick to get who they want. Jets at 3 forced their hand. So I see the browns going Q.B. with their first, and I would think they would want Chubb at 4. Think we’re more then likely looking at Barkley, or Nelson.

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    • Surfer.. valid point regarding the QB now more likely being the number 1. I don’t see the QB at 2 unless another team gets nervous and jumps up, which now is way more likely. My question is why settle? See what it takes to switch with the Broncos at 5. Chubb and Barkley are very much in play at that spot.

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  14. It simple math, if 4 qbs go before us we are gaurenteed one of Barkley, Chubb or Nelson. I would take the one that is left and go from there

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  15. My question now is what would it take to move from 5 to 7. With that, the Bucs are now almost guaranteed Chubb and at worst Nelson or Barkley.

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    • sorry 7 to 5

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  16. This is the same idiot who traded up to get Agauyo. That was the worst pick in NFL history. What makes you think this guy knows anything about effectively trading up or down. It’s called blind faith. Licht is a joke. This team will be in last place again this year.

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    • So, the Bucs passing on Emmitt Smith at the last two hours of draft day for Keith McCants doesn’t do it for you?

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      • Was Keith McCants a kicker? lol

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keith_McCants

        Actually as much of a bust as McCants was if you follow his history he was in play to be the top pick in the draft that year. A big 6-3 260 LBer, unanimous all-american from Alabama who ran a 4.5 40. Obviously some people are ‘playas’ and and not ‘players’ as Scott likes to point out, and that was most definitely the case with McCants, but let’s not compare his being drafted to trading up in the 2nd round for a kicker who had just finished a season making 80% of his kicks (lower than the Bucs incumbent) and who had cost his college team a game by getting his kick blocked and returned for a TD that year. Sliiiightly different situation than taking a guy who could’ve been the top pick and busted for the Falcons all the same. I don’t recall a single team in play for Aguayo in the 2nd round before or after the draft.

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        • I’m pretty sure the worst pick EVER in TB history is the #1 overall selection of Bo Jackson, who played exactly 0 snaps for the franchise. All other picks pale in comparison

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  17. CLE – Darnold
    NYG – Rosen
    NYJ – Mayfield
    (BUF – via CLE) – Allen
    DEN – Nelson
    IND – Chubb
    TB – Barkley?

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  18. Maybe his trading up to get Marpet? Or maybe his trading up to get Kwon?

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    • And Doug Martin and Kendell Beckwith. Buc76 just wants to cherry-pick and bitch. We all know the drafting of Arguayo was dubious and didn’t work out the way it very well could have. It was essentially our 3rd round choice. Who knew the best kicker in college football history would melt down? Certainly not Buc76. It’s the nature of Draft. Things (players) aren’t always what they seem.

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  19. There’s Chubb and then ther’s Ehhh as far as an edge rushing DE
    There’s Barkley and then ther’s Michel, Guice, Penny, Jones, Chubb, etc….,

    If Chubb makes it to 4, I see what Cleveland wants for that pick, I do not chance any one else moving up, so if we give up next years #1 and maybe either a 2nd or 3rd this year, we get what we need in the best pass rusher and edge player in the draft, plus Cleveland gets our late 1st round pick next year, a hopefully healthy Spence, GMC, (resign Ayers on the cheap) and Chubb with an occassional LB or DB blitz, this team is better.

    If the offensive line is as good as we believe it will be, any of those RB’s will be a threat and difference maker, heck C. Sims could be the 3rd down back we need him to be. That’s a lot of offensive weapons for Jameis.

    Chubb is the only one worth trading up for, not Nelson, not Barkley, imo

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    • Ont thing that has not been much discussed on this board is the relative “bust” percentage of defensive ends. I acknowledge that Chubb looks like a “can’t miss,” but I also have watched a lot of supposedly “can’t miss” defensive ends flame out over the past 25 years. Is there any data on this?

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      • Excellent point and one I thought about myself, but DE’s are rare. Same with running backs, but Barkley has rare skills. Maybe that’s why Nelson is so appealing to me. Bottom line is any of them will improve our team instantly.

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  20. Asked this in a previous article. why not trade the 7th and a 3rd rounder to the Broncos for their 5th and (either a future pick or 5th rounder and 6th)?
    Broncos could be inclined to do it if QBs went 1-4, we get Barkley they get nelson (Colts still get Chubb).

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    • I’m saying Barkley over Chubb because his the better prospect.
      I don’t agree at all with the there is Chubb then ehhh…..Look in division at Mario Addison, great rusher and was undrafted. There’s guys out there that you may not believe in for some reason but they will work their ace off and put together a great career (see this week resigning Cam Brate).

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  21. Also I was annoyed when we won that last game of the season, now I’m extremely annoyed! Would be sitting at 5 right now, with a guarantee of Barkley or Chubb if 1-3 was qbs.

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    • If, like me, you’d have been sitting behind the Saints fans at the game you might have thought differently. Sticking his nose in it after the last play surprise victory was great.

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  22. Denver unfortunately is in the catbird seat in this draft.

    You hate to lament great plays, like the Jameis TD to Godwin to win the Saints game, but there could not have been a more meaningless win that took the team from pick 5 to 7. If Jason Licht tries to trade back into that spot it will be a heavy price to pay.

    Was it worth winning a borderline-preseason game over? Not for me, but I’m sure other fans will disagree.

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  23. Looks like Barkley, Chubb or Nelson should be there at 7. The best scenario (most likely) for a trade down for the Bucs is if Barkley is there at 7 . If so that will be a hard decision. Someone will definitely have to pay extra to get Barkley from us . Personally Id like more picks than Barkley because we build mostly thru the draft and other high picks could mean more quality starters this season. But that’s a hard decision. It’s possible someone trades up to 4 with Cleveland to get a QB and Denver at 5 still takes a QB. It’s possible 5 QB’s go before us. Not likely but this is some teams only chance to guarantee getting one of the top 5 QB’s. We would than be guaranteed the player we want. GO BUCS!!!

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  24. Correction: We would than be guaranteed one of the players we want

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  25. Personally, I enjoyed the win over the Saints immensely. It made it that much more difficult for the Saints to end up in the Super Bowl. Hard to see how a professional athlete can purposely lose a game or try not to win it.

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    • Anyone who was actually at the game should feel the same as you and me buddah.

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  26. The next person to post some trash about trading up to 4,5 or 6 should go away.
    You forget the pain from the Aguayo trade-up nightmare already?
    Thankfully I think Licht learned his lesson and benefited staying put and watch OJ fall to us last year.
    I see the exact same situation this year: Either Barkley, Chubb or Nelson will fall to 7 and become a Buc. It looks like Nelson right now but Bucs may get lucky if Browns pass on Barkley or Colts don’t want Chubb.

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  27. IMO it almost seems to be a certainty that the Bills will trade up to #4 or #5 (or at least try) for a QB. The Browns at #4 are most likely to accept the Bills offer of #12, #22 and #53.
    #1 Browns QB
    #2 Giants QB or Barkley or Nelson
    #3 Jets QB
    #4 Bills QB
    #5 Broncos Barkley or Nelson or QB
    #6 Colts Nelson or Chubb
    #7 Bucs – Barkley, Cubb or Nelson depending on what the Giants do at #2
    If the Giants take Barkley or Nelson then we are at the mercy of the Broncos.
    If the Broncos don’t take a QB under this scenario the Bucs lose out on Chubb, Nelson
    and Barkley!!!

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  28. If the first 4 picks go to QB and assuming no one else moves, this leaves the Bucs with 3rd pick of the best remaining players who would be Chubb, Nelson, Barkley? So if we assume the Colts take Chubb, would the Bucs be best placed to take the BPA available regardless of who it was? I mean we probably need a Chubb/Nelson more than a Barkley, but like with OJ Howard surely if somehow Barkley is on the board at 7, we have to take him, right?

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  29. This is how I see the results of various Free Agency signings and offseason trades affecting Tampa Bay. If the draft were to be run today the following is a realistic possible outcome.

    1. Cleveland: Quarterback
    2. New York Giants: Quenton Nelson, Guard
    3. New York Jets: Quarterback
    4. Cleveland: Minkah Fitzpatrick, Cornerback/Safety
    5. Denver: Quarterback
    6. Indianapolis: Saquon Barkley
    7. Tampa Bay: Bradley Chubb, Defensive End

    The New York Giants choose to replace Justin Pugh with Nelson and Indianapolis chooses to replace Frank Gore with Barkley. Cleveland is the wild card here.

    It could happen!

    _______________
    Go Bucs!!!!

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  30. I would be very happy as a Buccaneer fan to get RB Saquon Barkley.

    My first pick preference order is Chubb, Nelson, Barkley, Fitzpatrick and even Derwin James.

    ____________________
    Go Bucs!!!!!

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