NFL Football

Tampa Bay Buccaneers draft capsule

By The Associated Press

7. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (5-11)

LAST SEASON: There's no way to sugarcoat disappointment of not ending decade-long playoff drought on heels of going 9-7 two years ago. Shoulder injury that affected QB Jameis Winston much of season was just part of problem. Running game sputtered, Winston had difficulty throwing deep to DeSean Jackson after speedy receiver signed three-year, $33.5 million contract in free agency, and what coach Dirk Koetter believed was capable of being high-scoring offense struggled getting into end zone. Defensively, team took big step backward, too, finishing last with 23 sacks.

THEY NEED: CB, RB, S, DE, DT, RG, RT.

THEY DON'T NEED: QB, WR, TE.

POSSIBLE FIRST PICK: DB Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama; S Derwin James, Florida State; G Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame; CB Denzel Ward, Ohio State, DE Marcus Davenport, UTSA; DT Vita Vea, Washington.

OUTLOOK: With Winston entering fourth season, heat is on Koetter and general manager Jason Licht to not only escape NFC South cellar but make playoffs for first time since 2007. Top priority has been improving defensive and offensive lines. Licht addressed sagging pass rush by trading for former Giants sackmaster Jason Pierre-Paul and bolstered run defense by signing ex-Eagles Vinny Curry and Beau Allen in free agency. Addition of ex-Ravens center Ryan Jensen, whose arrival frees Ali Marpet to move to left guard, is big, too. Still, there are plenty more holes to fill, especially in secondary where CB Brent Grimes turns 35 in July and CB Vernon Hargreaves III, first-round draft pick two years ago, lost starting job last season.

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Updated April 22, 2018

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