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Bucs 2022 Draft Grades
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs 2022 Draft Grades: Fitting Their System

  • Carmen Vitali
  • May 3, 2022
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Bucs 2022 Draft Grades

As we get set to hand out Bucs 2022 draft grades, let’s take a look at the overall strategy here. The Buccaneers’ 2022 draft wasn’t short on movement as General Manager Jason Licht and Head Coach Todd Bowles executed four trades to maneuver their way around the board and address a multitude of positions. Tampa Bay once again had the luxury of drafting the best players available to them, having very few ‘needs’ as they entered last Thursday night.

As a result, they saw it fitting to trade out of the No. 27 spot in favor of acquiring extra picks from the Jacksonville Jaguars, knowing that one of the multiple prospects they liked would still be there at their new spot kicking off the second round.

In the end, the Bucs not only took good players but they took good players for them. Each draftee fits their specific situation of need on their respective side of the ball. So, while the masses may have questions about overall value of a few of the below, that quite simply doesn’t matter. These players fit Tampa Bay’s system and as a result, the Bucs should get the most out of them.

Let’s get to the Bucs 2022 draft grades, shall we?

Bucs 2022 Draft Grades:

Round 2 (No. 33 overall): Logan Hall, DL, Houston

Hall will insure against the potential loss of Ndamukong Suh on the interior defensive line rotation. The Bucs haven’t ruled out re-signing Suh, but even if they do, Hall will slot in nicely within a unit that thrives on being able to keep fresh legs. Why do you think that run defense is so stout?

Hall brings an extreme amount of athleticism with him to the Bucs, making him an ideal fit for their base 3-4 scheme. He measures 6-foot-6, nearly 300 pounds and still ran a sub-5.0 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine. It makes him an extremely versatile player who should be able to line up in a variety of positions along the Bucs’ multiple front.

Round 2 (No. 57 overall): Luke Goedeke, OL, Central Michigan

If there is anything I trust Licht with – and make no mistake, there are many things – it’s evaluating offensive linemen. Licht has been able to hit on multiple more off-the-radar prospects over the years, including recently retired guard Ali Marpet and new Cincinnati Bengal Alex Cappa. Both were small school interior prospects and homegrown talents in Tampa Bay.

We’re about to add Goedeke to that list, mark my words.

While most of the buzz around Central Michigan offensive linemen started and stopped with Bernhard Raimann, Bucs coaches have long been interested in Goedeke. The intent in Tampa Bay is that he’ll start at guard, though he played both tackle and guard at Central Michigan. He fills the last hole on an offensive line that was shaken up due to the two aforementioned departures. But the Bucs re-signed Ryan Jensen at center, have both tackles Donovan Smith and Tristan Wirfs under contract, and now have Shaq Mason and Goedeke to fill it all out. Tampa Bay also re-signed Aaron Stinnie, who has filled in admirably for both Cappa and Marpet during periods of injury – most notably in the 2020 playoffs en route to their Super Bowl LV victory. He will at the very least provide quality depth while still competing for a starting spot likely with Goedeke.

Round 3 (No. 91 overall): Rachaad White, RB, Arizona State

If I have to pick a favorite among this draft class, it will come as no shock that White is it. Hailing from the alma mater of yours truly, White was a standout hybrid back for the Sun Devils. He has true three-down capabilities; blending speed, change of direction and power with natural hands. He stood out at the Senior Bowl and not just because of the gold helmet with my beloved Sparky on top. I listed him as one of my standouts as he proved he could hold his own behind an unfamiliar offensive line and against top talent.

White will be a complement to Leonard Fournette in the Bucs’ running backs room. He can provide another regular check-down option for quarterback Tom Brady. Fournette led the league at one point in receptions by a running back before injury kept him out a few games. He still ended the regular season catching the third-most passes of any ball carrier. Now, White can help with the load.

Round 4 (No. 106 overall): Cade Otton, TE, Washington

While we all await the (likely) return of Rob Gronkowski, the Bucs have a few holes in the tight end room. O.J. Howard departed in free agency and is now a Buffalo Bill, leaving just Cam Brate and Codey McElroy currently rostered – both of which are pass-catching tight ends. Otton will act as a true ‘Y’, being able to both block and be serviceable catching passes underneath. Most importantly, he’ll be an extension of the offensive line, which is mostly how Offensive Coordinator Byron Leftwich uses the position. The Bucs trotted out at least two tight ends 24.1% of the time during the course of the regular season last year. They ran 12 ‘big’ personnel featuring an extra offensive lineman as the ‘jumbo tight end’ tied for the fifth-highest clip in the league. It was due to the lack of a true blocking tight end and getting the 6-foot-5, 250-pound Otton will be just that.

Round 4 (No. 133 overall): Jake Camarda, P, Georgia

Save me the comments about drafting a punter. Field position is a major factor in a parity-filled NFL. In short, it can win and lose games. We need to start treating punters accordingly. The Bucs have Bradley Pinion, who had offseason surgery and is entering the last year of a four-year, $11 million contract, but can get out of the agreement at any time. Camarda is a more cost-effective option and comes from a big-time program at Georgia that has made him NFL ready out of the gate.

That being said, is the fourth round a little rich for a punter? Probably. But again, as a team that didn’t have a whole lot of needs, the Bucs had the luxury of making a move like this.

Round 5 (No. 157 overall): Zyon McCollum, CB, Sam Houston State

How McCollum was still available in the fifth round is beyond me. It may just be a classic case of a smaller-school prospect going overlooked but the Bucs weren’t taking any chances and ended up trading up to make sure they grabbed him. McCollum can be a contributor to the Bucs’ corner rotation immediately, given his high football intelligence, long 6-foot-2 frame and blazing speed. He can hold his own in zone as a result of said speed but can handle press coverage with the best of him, getting hands on receivers at the line. That physicality should also come in handy when Bowles decides to call his infamous corner blitzes, too.

If the Bucs got a steal at any position – it was likely this one.

Round 6 (No. 218 overall): Ko Kieft, TE, Minnesota

Doubling up on tight ends? Why not? Kieft is yet another blocking tight end who made his mark as an extension of a Big Ten offensive line at Minnesota. He should help the Bucs continue their utilization of tight ends and add depth to a room that still has a question mark at the top.

Round 7 (No. 248 overall): Andre Anthony, EDGE, LSU

Anthony could also end up being a steal for the Bucs. The ending to his LSU career was marred with injury after he tore his ACL last season. Yet, just seven months after sustaining the injury, Anthony ran the 40-yard dash at LSU’s pro day in 4.63 seconds. As someone who witnessed it firsthand, it was a fast 4.63 seconds, too.

Anthony will help an edge rotation that will likely be without Jason Pierre-Paul in 2022. It leaves Pro Bowler Shaq Barrett and last year’s first-round pick, Joe Tryon-Shoyinka, as the starters with Anthony Nelson and Cam Gill for depth. They’ll need more than that as the outside rotation, like its interior counterpart, thrives on switching players in and out to keep constant and confusing pressure. Anthony should add to that depth, as well as play a role on special teams, even as a seventh-round pick.

Overall Grade: B+

Written By

Carmen Vitali