Tampa Bay Buccaneers

4 Questions Following the 2016 Draft

A few things to think about now that the NFL Draft is in the books.

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  1. Which rookies can be starters?**
    The Buccaneers selected seven players in this year's draft, with several of them on the fast-track to become starters as rookies. Roberto Aguayo, the highest-drafted kicker in a decade, is expected to step in and start right away, as would any kicker selected that high. Two other players, Vernon Hargreaves and Noah Spence, could become starters as well. The Buccaneers landed four starters in the 2015 draft and it will be interesting to see if the team can match that feat this year. 

2. Who will fill Logan Mankins' shoes at left guard?
The Buccaneers return four of their five starting offensive linemen from a year ago, but the team will surely miss the player not coming back. Following the 2015 season, Logan Mankins announced he would be retiring, opening a spot on the line at left guard. The Bucs signed J.R. Sweezy this offseason and Sweezy will play left guard for the time being. But Sweezy has been a right guard for his entire career and will have to beat our Kevin Pamphile, among others, to be named a starter.

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  1. What will Alterraun Verner and Johnthan Banks' roles be?**
    The Buccaneers signed Pro Bowler Brent Grimes in the offseason and just drafted Vernon Hargreaves in the first round of the draft and it appears those two will be the Bucs' men on the outside. The team still has two proven starters at cornerback in Alterraun Verner and Johnthan Banks, though. And both players will be playing in a new system this year. It will be interesting to see how they are used within Mike Smith's defense.

READ: COMPLETE OFFSEASON CALENDAR4. Who will step in as the third receiver?
The Buccaneers saw several different wide receiver combinations take the field in 2015 due to injuries; Louis Murphy missed nearly the entire season with a knee injury, Kenny Bell missed the whole year with a hamstring injury and Vincent Jackson was battling a knee injury. Some suggested that the Buccaneers would draft a wide receiver as high as the third round, but the team didn't select a single pass-catcher in Rounds 1 through 7. Who will step in behind Jackson and Mike Evans as the Bucs' No. 3 receiver? At a first look, it appears Bell and Murphy will compete for the job, along with Adam Humphries and Donteea Dye.

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