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Tampa Bay Buccaneers Draft 2020

contributed by Tyler Brickwood

Twitter: @adventtau

 


Tristan Wirfs - Offensive Tackle - Iowa


Tristan Wirfs steps into a greatly improved Tampa Bay offensive line. The interior is anchored by Ali Marpet and Ryan Jensen, two of the most underrated and underappreciated interior offensive lineman in the league. Alex Cappa joins them as a promising young guard. Cappa faced injury in 2019 and showed an eye-opening amount of toughness as he finished a week 5 loss with a broken arm and proceeded to miss just week 4 with the injury. Things get rockier on the outside for Tampa Bay. The right side features Demar Dotson, an 11-year veteran with Tampa Bay, whose been quietly putting together a solid career in Tampa. Dotson, though appears to be nearing the end of his career, as his performance has been on the downturn in recent seasons, led the Buccaneers in penalties in 2019 with 10 - 5 of both false starts and holding. The left tackle position is likely Tampa Bay's trickiest, as Donovan Smith's bloated 14.5M guaranteed contract means he isn't likely to be on the chopping block this year. His performance since being drafted in 2015 has been lackluster at best. Wirfs, coming in as one of the drafts top tier of tackle prospects will likely end up replacing Dotson at the right tackle position in his rookie season, and will likely slide into the left tackle spot in 2021 when the guarantees dry up in Donovan Smith's contract. Wirfs was a standout at Iowa, with freakish athleticism (Pool jump anyone?) and a knack for making pancake blocks. Wirfs will need to improve his kickstep at the pro level because he's going to be facing quality opponents that were seldom seen at Iowa in the Big 10. In college his athleticism often compensated for his lack of polished footwork, but in the big leagues he will need to improve.


Antoine Winfield Jr.- Safety - Minnesota

Antoine Winfield steps into a Tampa secondary that has had a very very rough decade. The Buccaneers secondary has consistently been victimized by the NFL. The group has been a revolving door of D+ talent, as 2019 saw the Buccaneers mask many of their troubles with an outstanding front seven, but also the emergence of Sean Murphy-Bunting as a serviceable starter. Winfield steps onto a roster in which he can make an immediate impact as a rookie as his time at Minnesota showed that he has the coverage skills and athleticism to succeed in the NFL. His contributions might be easy to spot amongst one of the worst secondaries in the NFL. Winfield will likely step into the free safety position using his range and athleticism to create the kinds of turnovers and difference making plays that Minnesota fans became accustomed to seeing during his tenure with the school.



Ke'Shawn Vaughn- Running Back - Vanderbilt

Ke'Shawn Vaughn will look to make in immediate impact in the backfield for Tampa Bay. He joins a group that consisted of Ronald Jones, Peyton Barber, and Dare Ogunbawale in 2019. Ronald Jones has failed to establish himself as the highly touted 2nd round talent out of USC. Vaughn will have the opportunity to see snaps day one with Peyton Barber gone. If he manages to capitalize on those snaps, the path is clear to moving from the 1B role right into the 1A role. He will be joined by fellow rookie Raymond Calais and will likely be competing with him in camp for a spot on the team, as the Buccaneers have shown a fondness for 3rd down back Ogunbawale.


Tyler Johnson - Wide Receiver - Minnesota


Tyler Johnson will join his former teammate Winfield Jr. from Minnesota with the Buccaneers, though the path to immediate success will be much tougher in the Bucs receiving core. Johnson capped off his junior and senior years with 1100+ yards and 12+ TD's in each. In any other draft Johnson would have been a late 1st round or early 2nd round pick, but in an absolutely loaded receiving class the Bucs were fortunate to grab him all the way at 161. The ceiling for Johnson will likely be playing the slot on 3 wide receiver sets, as Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Rob Gronkowski should dominate the target share in Tampa Bay. Johnson will serve as an intriguing insurance policy against injuries in Tampa's receiving core.


Khalil Davis - Defensive Line - Nebraska

Khalil Davis rode the wave of a strong senior season and a standout performance at the combine to being drafted in the 6th round by the Buccaneers, finishing the year at Nebraska with 8 sacks and a 4.75 40 yard dash at over 305 pounds! The eye popping athleticism helped him to dominate the opposition during his time in college, but in Tampa it is unlikely that he will find immediate success thanks to Vita Vea. Vea has been an absolute stud for Tampa Bay when healthy. Davis can hope to make an impact in a rotational role, spelling Ndamukong Suh and Vita Vea... if he can bring the same explosiveness to the NFL as he had in college he can make a major impact in bigger formations and on special teams.




Chapelle Russell - Linebacker - Temple

With 9 turnovers and 19.5 tackles for loss at Temple, Chapelle Russell joins one of the leagues stronger linebacking corps. Taking a seat behind Lavonte David and David White will be an opportunity for Russell to learn and grow as a player, while providing much needed depth at the oft injured linebacking position. He will find himself competing with Kendell Beckwith and Kevin Minter for playing time, as the position is mostly set for Tampa Bay, and Russell will struggle to make much of an impact on defense given the existing lineup. Russell’s best chance to make an immediate impact is excelling on special teams and soaking up as much as he can from the veteran leadership in the linebacker room, as he could find himself thrust into the lineup at any time.


Raymond Calais - Running Back - Louisiana-Lafayette

Raymond Calais didn't have an exceptional college career, failing to eclipse 900 yards in either of his full years as a starter. What he lacks in production he makes up for in potential as his ridiculous athleticism and 4.4 speed will give him a chance to make an immediate impact on special teams. Calais has experience as a kick returner and the Buccaneers failed to pop from that position in 2019 - TJ Logan will be fighting for his job on the team after a lackluster year as a return man. Calais has the athleticism to succeed in the league, but his football skills leave much to be desired, it's unlikely that he will challenge the top 3 backs on this roster for meaningful snaps on offense. Calais best chance is to focus on developing his game and becoming a standout on special teams, otherwise his career could be short-lived.

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