Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2014 Draft Preview
By John McMullen, NFL Editor
(SportsNetwork.com) - The professionalism is back in the Tampa Bay organization after veteran coach Lovie Smith was brought in to replace the train wreck that was Greg Schiano.
And so is the intrigue.
Smith, a defensive-minded guy, and new general manager Jason Licht need to rebuild the offensive line and add depth at all three levels on defense, especially cornerback after trading away star Darrelle Revis.
The new Bucs regime also signed veteran quarterback Josh McCown in free agency and has made it very clear by its actions that they don't have all that much confidence in second-year signal-caller Mike Glennon as a long-term answer
All of that means a number of positions could be in play when Tampa selects at No. 7 overall.
Keep an eye on Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles, who could stay in the Sunshine State if he's still on the board.
If he's gone the Bucs might shift to receiver after moving on from the troubled Mike Williams in the offseason. The lengthy Mike Evans of Texas A&M could team with Vincent Jackson to give McCown a similar set-up to what he had in Chicago last season (Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery).
2013 Record: 4-12
Top Needs: QB, DE, LB, TE
First Three Picks: No. 7, No. 38, No. 69
Number of Selections: 6 (1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7)
CALLING THE SHOTS: Licht and Smith were brought in as a team with both getting four-year deals with an option for a fifth with Lovie getting final say on the roster. It will be interesting to see how they work together.
RECENT FIRST ROUND HISTORY: 2013 - none; 2012 - Mark Barron (S, Alabama); 2012 - Doug Martin (RB, Boise State); 2011 - Adrian Clayborn (DE, Iowa); 2010 - Gerald McCoy (DT, Oklahoma); 2009 - Josh Freeman (QB, Kansas State); 2008 - Aqib Talib (DB, Kansas); 2007 - Gaines Adams (DE, Clemson); 2006 - Davin Joseph (G, Oklahoma); 2005 - Cadillac Williams (RB, Auburn); 2004 - Michael Clayton (WR, Louisiana State); 2003 - none.
05/01 14:10:56 ET