The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have seven picks in the NFL Draft, including No. 19 in the first round April 27 in Philadelphia.
There is the belief in Tampa that the Bucs are on the rise, and there is ample support for that confidence. With an always-improving Jameis Winston at quarterback, the Bucs were 9-7 in 2016 and also improved on defense with Mike Smith as coordinator.
Adding to the offensive arsenal is wide receiver DeSean Jackson to go with Mike Evans. A difficult situation exists in the running game with Doug Martin suspended for the first three games of the season. Adding a runner in a deep draft for the position has a strong chance of happening.
Defensively, the addition of free-agent lineman Chris Baker will help, while additions in the secondary are expected.
Here is a look at the Bucs' five-year draft record with roster tallies reflecting totals as of the end of the 2016 season. Below that are key personnel moves made this year and the team's current needs heading into this draft and our projection for all their 2017 picks.
FIVE-YEAR DRAFT BREAKDOWN
. . . . . . . . . . . . . .2012 . .2013 . .2014 . .2015 . .2016
TOTAL PICKS . . . .7 . . . . . .6 . . . . .6 . . . . .7 . . . .7
STARTERS . . . . . .2 . . . . . .1 . . . . .2 . . . . .4 . . . .2
BACKUPS . . . . . .1 . . . . . .2 . . . . .1 . . . . .0 . . . .4
OTHER TEAMS . . .2 . . . . .0 . . . . .0 . . . . .0 . . . .1
OUT OF LEAGUE . .2 . . . . .3 . . . . .3 . . . . .3 . . .0
Top three draft needs
1. Defensive back: The Bucs used their first-round pick last season on Florida cornerback Vernon Hargreaves. Could they double up? Sure. Veteran Brent Grimes will be 34 in July, and even though the Bucs think he has a lot in the tank after tying for the team lead with four interceptions last season, his eventual replacement isn't on the roster. The Bucs also have a need at safety despite signing Cowboys free agent J.J. Wilcox and bringing back Chris Conte.
2. Running back: Doug Martin will miss the first three games serving a suspension for violating the NFL's policy on performance enhancing drugs. He is 28 and has been injured three of his five seasons. The Bucs re-signed Jacquizz Rodgers and both Charles Sims and Peyton Barber return. But the Bucs won't commit to Martin for 2017 and his contract is no longer guaranteed. With a deep draft at running back, it would not be surprising if the Bucs used an early-round pick on one.
3. Receiver: This might not seem as big of a need with the signing of DeSean Jackson. But the Bucs lost one of their wideouts when Russell Shepard signed with Carolina. Adam Humphries is strictly a slot receiver. At some point, they have to develop somebody to play opposite Evans.
Round and overall pick number listed, along with player, position, school, height, weight and 40-yard dash time.
1/19: Obi Melifonwu, S, Connecticut (6-4, 224, 4.40)
2/50: Curtis Samuel, RB/WR, Ohio State (5-11, 196, 4.31)
3/84: DeMarcus Walker, DE, Florida State (6-4, 280, 4.87)
4/126: Howard Wilson, CB, Houston (6-1, 184, 4.53)
5/162: Kenny Golladay, WR, Northern Illinois (6-4, 218, 4.50)
6/204: Jylan Ware, OT, Alabama State (6-7, 317, 4.92)
7/237: Dylan Donahue, DE, West Georgia (6-3, 248, 4.75)
Now it's your turn. NFLDraftScout.com is ready to help with its list of the top 1,000 prospects in this draft.
--Frank Cooney and TSX NFL team insiders contributed to this analysis.