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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Draft Grade Roundup: Bucs 2024 First Round Selection Proves Popular 

The Buccaneers received high praise on their first-round report card from a variety of NFL analysts


In Round One, the Buccaneers solidified the interior of their offensive line with Duke's Graham Barton. Annually, the selection of new players prompts report card grades from a variety of analysts across the NFL landscape. Following the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft and the club's selection of Barton, an athletic specimen, the Bucs' received positive feedback. Here are some of the initial evaluations from Thursday night:

Reuter praised Barton's nasty demeanor and position versatility on the field.

"Barton missed the end of Duke's season due to injury but was still a first-round pick thanks to a strong pro day and fine game film. He started at left tackle for three of his four seasons with the Blue Devils, displaying great pass-protection skills by using natural bend and agility on the edge and a stout anchor. However, Barton projects to play guard or center (where he started as a freshman) for the Bucs due to his intelligence, tenacious blocking and average length (32 7/8-inch arm). Tampa Bay needed to find another interior lineman, so this pick makes a lot of sense."

Sobleski noted Barton's impressing outing at Duke's Pro Day, where he posted a sub-5.0-second 40-yard dash, 4.54-second short shuttle and 7.31 three-cone drill.

"First, Barton's positional flexibility makes him one of the class' most valuable blockers. The 6'5", 313-pound prospect began his collegiate career as Duke's starting center during his true freshman campaign. He then bumped out to left tackle for the last two seasons before declaring early for the NFL draft. He has the ability to play all five offensive line positions if necessary."

Baumgardner and Dochterman describe Barton as one of the most versatile in the class and point out his upside to slide inside for the Bucs at center – where he played as a true freshman (five game starts).

"One of the most powerful linemen in the class, Barton doesn't have ideal length to play outside in the NFL. His power and IQ (along with his feet) are more than enough to be terrific inside, though.. He's probably an interior-only lineman in the NFL, but he has a chance to be very good for a long time."

Athleticism became the key component that solidified his first-round status, repeatedly mentioned by analysts and PFF reiterated the trait.

"Tampa Bay is set at tackle with Tristan Wirfs and Luke Goedeke, so Barton is sure to play inside. He has experience at center and enough athleticism to play anywhere up front. Barton earned an 88.7 overall PFF grade across the last two seasons, which stands as the fifth-best among all FBS tackles in that span."

Prisco described Barton's position flexibility and capability of serving as an immediate impact maker for the Buccaneers at center or guard.

"This is a great pick. They have major issues at center and a question at left guard and he can play both. I love this pick. Barton will move inside from tackle, but he can play there in a pinch too."

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