Skip to main content

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Draft Grade Roundup: Bucs' Brass Receives Praise 

The Buccaneers received high praise on their post-draft report card from a variety of outlets


Finally, there is no speculation. The NFL Draft prompts a year-long process of evaluation from pundits across the NFL landscape. The 2024 edition of the three-day spectacle event has passed, and every club has selected their draft class.

This year, the Buccaneers essentially passed the exam with flying colors. The team's brass received a favorable report card, with a B+ as the general consensus. Granted, none of these players have stepped foot on the gridiron just yet, so the grades are subjective. Here are a few of the draft evaluations:

Reuter gave the Graham Barton pick an A and handed out grades for each of the days of the draft. He followed suit by handing the Bucs a B on Day Two and a C+ for Day Three.

"Barton's versatility, intelligence and toughness will make him one of the top linemen in this draft despite falling into the back part of the first round. Braswell met the team's need for an edge rusher but will need to prove he was worth his draft standing. Smith should contribute immediately, and McMillan could be a playmaker as his game matures."

The Bleacher Report Scouting Department discussed Barton's potential role as the long-term replacement at center for Ryan Jensen. In addition, the staff noted the club bolstering the other side of the line of scrimmage with Alabama edge-rusher Chris Braswell. The writers praised Tykee Smith's versatility and Jalen McMillan's route-running.

"The Tampa Bay Buccaneers did the sensible thing at No. 26 and took Duke interior lineman Graham Barton. While fans may not get excited about picking a center, Barton has the tools and the technique to be a stalwart at the position."

Pisco had three categories, naming receiver Jalen McMillan as the best pick and dubbed the Buccaneers as a team that landed solid players at positions of need throughout the three-day process.

"They did a nice job landing good players and also filling needs. It started with first-round guard-center Graham Barton, who will likely be the starting center. Braswell was picked for need and will be a rotation player early. I do like McMillan and fifth-round running back Bucky Irving."

Kiper dishes on how he believes Barton will boost the Bucs' run game and names receiver Jalen McMillan as a steal in the third round, with the potential to lock in the No.3 spot behind Mike Evans and Chris Godwin.

"The Bucs had a balanced first two days of the draft. Graham Barton (26) is my top-ranked center, and he'll immediately help a run game that ranked 32nd in yards per attempt (3.4) last season. While he played left tackle at Duke, he has All-Pro upside at the pivot. Chris Braswell (57) has been underrated for the past few months. The edge rusher isn't the flashiest player, but he is an all-around defender with an interesting skill set as a pass-rusher. Tampa Bay has to get better on the edge in 2024."

*Requires subscription to ESPN+

Auman noted that the Buccaneers did not make a single trade during the three-day festivities but managed to get talent at key positions of need.

"The Bucs made no trades but still pulled in a strong class that hit on key needs. Center Graham Barton leads the way, with edge Chris Braswell, nickel Tykee Smith and receiver Jalen McMillan all in the top 100 picks."

Related Content

Latest Headlines