Four years ago, Jason Licht had an attractive trade offer on the table for the seventh pick in the 2014 draft, but he also had his eye on Texas A&M wide receiver Mike Evans. In the end, Licht chose to turn the trade and take his man.
This time, Licht took the picks.
Roughly 50 minutes into the 2018 NFL Draft, with his Buccaneers once again on the clock with the seventh overall pick, Licht swung a deal with the QB-needy Buffalo Bills. To move up from the 12th pick to #7, Buffalo sent the Buccaneers two second-round selections – the 53rd and 56th picks. Tampa Bay also included its seventh-round compensatory pick, #255, in the deal.
The move is reminiscent of the Buccaneers' 1995 draft, in which they moved down from the seventh pick to the 12th, trading with Philadelphia and picking up two second-round selections for their efforts. Tampa Bay took Miami defensive tackle Warren Sapp at #12. Later that day, the Buccaneers packaged one of those picks acquired from Philadelphia with one of their own to move back into the first round and select Florida State linebacker Derrick Brooks at #28. Both Brooks and Sapp are now in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
It remains to be seen who the Buccaneers will now target with the 12th pick, but they are suddenly flush with options during the first two days of the draft. Tampa Bay now possesses four of the first 56 picks and can target a variety of depth chart needs. The team could conceivably make valuable additions at running back, cornerback, safety and the defensive line, just to name one possibility. They could also package several of their second-rounders, as they did in 1995, and move back into the first round to nab a targeted player.