The 2014 NFL draft was an important stepping stone for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. How did they compliment their whirlwind free agency?
Round 1 – #7 – Mike Evans – WR – Texas A&M
This was the pick that had to happen. I never bought the Manziel stuff. Mike Evans was a no-brainer after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers traded Mike Williams. He’s a giant, athletic target who will take heat off of Vincent Jackson and provided another red zone option.
Round 2 – #38 – Austin Seferian-Jenkins – TE – Washington
Josh McCown did his best work in Chicago when he had giant targets to throw to. Tampa Bay went into the 2014 NFL draft thin at tight end so adding the 6’5″ Austin Seferian-Jenkins who can block but also run and catch brought another dimension to life for that new offense.
Round 3 – #69 – Charles Sims – RB – West Virginia
There is no question Lovie Smith saw a lot of Matt Forte when he reviewed Charles Sims. The two players are very similar in skill sets with Sims being an all-around back who can run, receive and block. Personally though I felt the pick was unnecessary given the presence of Doug Martin and needs elsewhere.
Round 5 – #143 – Kadeem Edwards – OG – Tennessee State
The offensive line for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers has undergone some turnover so it was important to keep building the depth chart consider McCown is at his best when protected. Kadeem Edwards comes from a small school but he is humble, well-built and long enough to become a starter once his technique and edge catch up to his talent.
Round 5 – #149 – Kevin Pamphile – OT – Purdue
This pick felt like it was influenced by workout numbers. Kevin Pamphile had a great pro day performance at Purdue and looks like a future starter at tackle given his size and athleticism. I just feel there were better tackles available.
Round 6 – #185 – Robert Herron – WR – Wyoming
Lovie Smith values special teams, especially the return game after watching Devin Hester break records in Chicago. Robert Herron is not a polished receiver but his blazing speed, quick feet and the vision to become a full-time returner.
The top half of this 2014 NFL draft was outstanding for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and should instantly upgrade their offense. However, the rest of their picks hovered between okay and modest.