Bucs general manager Jason Licht believes in flooding certain positions in the NFL Draft with multiple picks. Since his first draft in Tampa Bay in 2014, Licht has doubled up at the same position a total of nine times in eight drafts.

That year starting with Mike Evans, the seventh overall pick, he drafted two wide receivers and also two offensive linemen. Most recently, Licht doubled up on inside linebackers last year, drafting K.J. Britt in the fifth round and Grant Stuard with the final pick in the seventh round.

Could he double up again at a certain position this year? It’s quite possible.

Before we reveal which position Tampa Bay might flood with multiple picks, here is a list of all the times Licht has selected two players from the same position since 2014.

Wide Receiver

2014: Mike Evans – first round
2014: Robert Herron – sixth round
2015: Kenny Bell – fifth round
2015: Kaelin Clay – sixth round

Offensive Line

2014: Kadeem Edwards – fifth round
2014: Kevin Pamphile – fifth round
2015: Donovan Smith – second round
2015: Ali Marpet – second round

Cornerback

2016: Vernon Hargreaves III – first round
2016: Ryan Smith – fourth round
2018: M.J. Stewart – second round
2018: Carlton Davis III – second round
2019: Sean Murphy-Bunting – second round
2019: Jamel Dean – third round

Running Back

2020: Ke’Shawn Vaughn – third round
2020: Raymond Calais – seventh round

Inside Linebacker

2021: K.J. Britt – fifth round
2021: Grant Stuard – seventh round

So which position could use two or more players in this year’s draft? Look no further than tight end.

The Bucs only have two on their roster in Cameron Brate and Codey McElroy. Brate turns 31 in July and the 29-year old McElroy has been on the practice squad for years. He’s not a lock to make the team by any means.

Bucs TEs Rob Gronkowski and Cam Brate

Bucs TEs Rob Gronkowski and Cam Brate – Photo: Cliff Welch/PR

The belief is that Rob Gronkowski might re-sign with the Bucs prior to training camp, but so far he’s been non-committal about returning to football. Injuries have taken their toll on the 33-year old’s body over the years, and he already retired for one season in 2019. Gronkowski came out of retirement to help Tampa Bay win a Super Bowl in 2020, but then missed five games last year with broken ribs and a punctured lung.

Even if Gronkowski returns, it will likely only be for one more season. There is a good chance that none of the existing tight ends on the Bucs return in 2023.

Look for Tampa Bay to draft a tight end in rounds 2-4 and then possibly come back and grab another one with one of its two seventh-round picks.

The Bucs like Colorado State’s Trey McBride, who could be drafted in the second round. Tampa Bay had him in as a Top 30 pre-draft visit, in addition to Washington’s Cade Otton. The Bucs have also shown interest in Virginia’s Jelani Woods, who has had multiple Zoom calls with the team. Otton and Woods will likely be third-rounders.

If the Bucs wanted to grab another tight end in the seventh round after selecting one in the middle rounds, there will be plenty of options. Nebraska’s Austin Allen, Iowa State’s Chase Allen, Pittsburgh’s Lucas Krull and San Jose State’s Derrick Deese, Jr. could be possibilities in the seventh round.

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About the Author: Scott Reynolds

Scott Reynolds is in his 27th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive coordinator/defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]
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fredster
fredster
2 months ago

If the Bucs double dip any position it would seem TE early and late is most likely scenario.

WhatTheBuc
WhatTheBuc
2 months ago

It wouldn’t surprise me if the Bucs took McBride in the 1st if some of their guys are off the board.

Alldaway 2.0
Alldaway 2.0
2 months ago

The Bucs run game suffered without Gronk so drafting two TEs isn’t a bad idea. But I think drafting another WR is probably a higher priority if they have already drafted a TE IMO.

Horse
Horse
Reply to  Alldaway 2.0
2 months ago

Agree.

Horse
Horse
2 months ago

Gronk is looking for one final big pay check and the Bucs shouldn’t be the one. My guess he will come in not in football shape and will have injuries which will be similar to what happen to Richard Sherman; let him go from our radar.

scubog
scubog
Reply to  Horse
2 months ago

What makes you think Gronk won’t be in shape?

magoobee
magoobee
2 months ago

If the Bucs trade out of the 1st round, they could have enough draft capital to get McBride and Woods. McBride should help immediately but Woods can be a excellent blocker and goal line pass option. The other advantage of TEs are they cost a lot less than a WR or OL at contract renewal time. I would also trade away both 7th round picks. You get basically the same value from UDFA and Licht’s history that late is poor. He is actually better at UDFA. I still would love to know why OJ Howard never worked out. Was it… Read more »

scubog
scubog
Reply to  magoobee
2 months ago

The problem with UDFA players is they are free to go to any team, but with those two 7th round picks you own their rights.

Captain Sly
Captain Sly
2 months ago

Licht is certainly a “double dipper” but I strongly doubt it’ll be a TE. Linebacker seems more likely or maybe even CB but not TE. The Bucs just washed off the OJ experiment because of an offense that doesn’t use them so why Double Dip unless we’re talking 6th & 7th rd guys

scubog
scubog
2 months ago

I think the double-dipping for TE’s is highly probable.