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Crabbs | Tampa Bay Buccaneers draft class reaction

APR 28 OJ Howard Buccaneers Press Conference
Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire

NFL Draft

Crabbs | Tampa Bay Buccaneers draft class reaction

Over the course of May, both Joe Marino and I will be assessing each team’s specific Draft class. The objective here is to identify value: where it was best and where it was worst. NDT Premium members will soon be able to access the comprehensive breakdowns of draft classes as well, which looks at the pick by pick breakdown of value across our respective 2017 NFL Draft boards. Today I look at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The full list of their 2017 NFL Draft class is below:

Selection Position Player School
19 TE OJ Howard Alabama
50 S Justin Evans Texas A&M
84 WR Chris Godwin Pennsylvania State
107 LB Kendell Beckwith Louisiana State
162 RB Jeremy McNichols Boise State
223 DT Stevie Tu’ikolovatu Southern California


Best Value: RB Jeremy McNichols, Boise State

McNichols has upside as a viable primary back, much like Ajayi; now the feature back with the Dolphins. The Buccaneers have implemented a stable of backs over recent years and McNichols figures to quickly become a prominent name in their backfield.

Should injuries rear their head in the running back group yet again for Tampa, McNichols will be capable of stepping in and keeping the production levels up.

Worst Value: S Justin Evans, Texas A&M

Evans is a splash player with too many red marks on his college film to ignore. There are instances in which Evans gets lost trying to locate the football. Plus, for as heralded as he is for big hits, his film is marred with multiple poor tackle attempts in the open field. The Buccaneers are going to have to try to rein him in. Evans is currently wild with his pursuit and needs to be a more reliable back end defender.

A plus athlete, Evans has the needed skills to become a more sure option on the back end. Yet the value of a raw Safety prospect with the 50th pick in such a deep class did not mesh with my personal draft board.

Potential Surprise: WR Chris Godwin, Pennsylvania State

As much as I feel bad not talking about O.J. Howard here in their summary, it’s not logical to assert that he’s going to surprise anyone. And the Buccaneers landed Howard at 19 and the Alabama product was the 23rd rated prospect on the board. Howard’s value was appropriate and the Buccaneers will be thrilled with what he brings to the table.

But only avid dynasty fantasy players seem to be aware of the sleeping giant that WR Chris Godwin is currently. His jump ball style of play will mesh well with Jameis Winston. If Godwin is able to add more suddenness and precision at the top of his routes, he can be a very high end receiving option opposite Mike Evans.

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Kyle Crabbs

Kyle Crabbs is the founder/Director of Scouting of NDT Scouting Services, a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and the lead NFL Draft analyst for the FanRag Sports Network.

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