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3 Most Likely Players the Buccaneers Will Draft At No. 32 Overall

Max Staley
Three players the Tampa Bay Buccaneers can take in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Three players the Tampa Bay Buccaneers can take in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. / Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are Super Bowl champions, but their quarterback is already looking ahead to 2021. With the organization following his lead, the Bucs' front office will be turning its attention to the 2021 NFL Draft sooner rather than later.

Armed with the No. 32 overall selection, here are three prospects Tampa Bay will likely target at the end of the first round.

Buccaneers 2021 NFL Draft

3. Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota Golden Gophers

Rashod Bateman has been shooting up draft boards recently, but it's not insane to think he'll be available when Tampa Bay is on the clock. And with Chris Godwin likely to be one of the most sought-after WRs on the market, TB could be looking for his replacement in the NFL Draft. Bateman fits the bill. This guy just does everything you'd want a receiver to do. He's not a size-speed freak, but he's an excellent route runner with some of the best hands in the class. That refined skillset is exactly what Tom Brady likes in a receiver. Playing five games for Minnesota in 2020, Bateman tallied 36 catches for 472 yards and 2 scores after posting a 1,200-yard, 11-TD campaign in 2019. If Godwin walks, Bateman could be tough to pass up.

2. Pat Freiermuth, TE, Penn State

Another skill-position player, Pat Freiermuth could also be attractive to Tampa Bay, depending on how a few things shakeout. While he's expressed interest in returning, Rob Gronkowski was retired this time last year. He's not exactly a lock to come back. Similarly, O.J. Howard is coming off an Achilles injury, and the Bucs can free up about $6 million by moving on. That could be huge for a team with a ton of key impending free agents, like Godwin and Shaquil Barrett. Drafting the Penn State tight end could be a great insurance policy in the event that one (or both) of Gronk and Howard aren't with the team in 2020. An excellent pass-catching prospect, Freiermuth is a 6-foot-5, 260-pound tight end that racked up 310 yards through 4 games in 2020. He's not the do-it-all blocker that Gronk is, but he's got the size, speed and ability to contribute as a receiver in Tampa Bay.

1. Joe Tryon, EDGE, Washington

As for the other side of the ball, Tampa Bay's outrageously stacked defense doesn't have many holes. The secondary is locked up for years to come with a host of talented youngsters. And the dynamic duo of Devin White and Lavonte David (assuming he re-signs) can hold down LB corps for the next few seasons. That leaves us with the defensive line, which is the arguably the strongest part of this Super Bowl-winning defense. Addressing it in the Draft may feel counterintuitive, but the Bucs' front four is a little long in the tooth. Ndamukong Suh is 34 with an uncertain future. Jason Pierre-Paul is a free agent after next year, when he'll be turning 33. Barrett is an impending FA who could easily walk this offseason. That unit could really use an injection of young talent. Joe Tryon could be an excellent long-term replacement for Barrett thanks to his versatility to play in a 4-3 or 3-4 scheme. Tryon would be a nice forward-thinking pick from GM Jason Licht.

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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.