The Tampa Bay Buccaneers haven't been in the playoffs since 2007, by far the longest streak in the NFC South. But Tampa appears headed in the right direction with an exciting nucleus on offense consisting of quarterback Jameis Winston, running back Doug Martin and wide receiver Mike Evans. On defense, though, the Buccaneers don't have many big name players beyond defensive tackle Gerald McCoy.
Holding the ninth pick in the draft, the Buccaneers can change that, and it's just what Sander Philipse of Bucs Nation has done.
9. Buccaneers: Noah Spence, DE/OLB, Eastern Kentucky
Philipse: At No. 9, the Bucs will want to find an impact player -- preferably on defense. Unfortunately, most of the impact players are off the board. That means either settling for a solid but not difference-making player like Vernon Hargreaves, or swinging for the fences on a riskier pick.
If Spence can persuade the Bucs that his off-field problems won't be an issue in the NFL, this is the player they should pick. That's a big if, though.
Analysis: Whatever team takes Spence will have to get comfortable with the off-field issues that got him kicked out of Ohio State. But if you purely look at Spence on the field, he's a sensational player. He was stellar as a freshman at Ohio State, continued that at Eastern Kentucky and starred during Senior Bowl practices. He can be a good pass rusher early in his career, as long as he keeps on the straight and narrow. It's a risk, but potentially a good one.
Dan's top five players remaining
- 8. Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
- 10. Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida
- 11. Darron Lee, LB, Ohio State
- 12. A'Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama
- 13. Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson
- 1-9: Noah Spence, DE/OLB, Eastern Kentucky
- 2-39: (Coming April 12)
Complete draft results:
1. Tennessee Titans - Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss (Link)
2. Cleveland Browns - Jared Goff, QB, Cal (Link)
3. San Diego Chargers - Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State (Link)
4. Dallas Cowboys - Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State (Link)
5. Jacksonville Jaguars - Myles Jack, LB, UCLA (Link)
6. Baltimore Ravens - Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State (Link)
7. San Francisco 49ers - DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon
8. Philadelphia Eagles - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State