Tampa Bay Buccaneers

John Clayton Ranks Bucs Draft Class No. 2

ESPN's John Clayton believes the Buccaneers had one of the best drafts of any team in the NFL.

A look at the newest members of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Last season, the Buccaneers landed four starters in the draft when they selected Jameis Winston, Donovan Smith, Ali Marpet and Kwon Alexander in Rounds 1 through 4. Following their success, a handful of media outlets, including NFL.com, rated Tampa Bay's draft class as the best in the league.

The 2016 draft concluded just days ago, but another big-name media outlet feels that the Buccaneers may have struck gold once again. ESPN's John Clayton recently broke down his five favorite draft classes, with the Buccaneers appearing at No. 2.

"The Bucs filled their two biggest needs with their first picks, taking cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III in the first round and pass-rusher Noah Spence in the second," Clayton wrote. "They signed cornerback Brent Grimes and defensive end Robert Ayers in the offseason, but the Bucs needed young talent in both positions. Now the two veterans can help groom Hargreaves and Spence.

"The extra beauty for the Bucs was getting an extra fourth-round choice in moving down two spots to take Hargreaves at No. 11. They used that fourth-round pick to move into the second round to take kicker Roberto Aguayo. Trading up to take a kicker in the second round might seem questionable, but Aguayo is supremely talented and gives the Bucs an immediate upgrade. I thought GM Jason Licht had a great draft."

In addition to Hargreaves, Spence and Aguayo, the Buccaneers picked up defensive back Ryan Smith, along with offensive tackle Caleb Benenoch, linebacker Devante Bond and fullback Dan Vitale. 

For high-round draft picks, the expectation is usually to start. It appears Aguayo is penciled in to start right away, with Hargreaves and Spence on the inside track to run with the first team. It will still be a tall task to one-up last year's draft class, though; the Bucs would need one other draft pick to become a starter to match last year's success. Still – three starters in one draft class would be an impressive haul.

Clayton's favorite draft class was Jacksonville's, with Seattle, Cincinnati and Detroit also making an appearance. For his complete breakdown, click HERE.

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