Skip to main content

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Koetter has Realistic Expectations for Draft

Head Coach Dirk Koetter hopes that the Buccaneers can replicate last year's draft success, but knows that landing four starters in one class is not the norm.

Last season, the Buccaneers secured four starters – Jameis Winston, Donovan Smith, Ali Marpet and Kwon Alexander – in the NFL draft. All four played significant roles on the team, with Winston and Alexander winning multiple Rookie of the Week honors, Smith starting every game at left tackle and Marpet being regularly graded as one of the NFL's best run-blockers.

With less than a month to go, Head Coach Dirk Koetter and the Bucs' front office are working tirelessly as they hope to repeat last year's success.

"At least about half of our day is still involved in the draft," Koetter said as offseason workouts began on Monday. "The coaches are back from all of their workouts. The coaches have to have their written reports due, I think, either (Monday) or (Tuesday), their written reports have to be in. Then the next step is that we get together with (General Manager) Jason (Licht), the coaches get together with Jason and his guys and we watch some film together and we stack the board – Jason stacks the board and we watch him.

]("But the coaches have input on that and I thought it was very, very productive in the part that I sat in on last year. I'm looking forward to getting in there – I've watched a lot of tape and of course Jason and his guys, that's all they do – and getting our coaches in there and that's what we'll be doing right up until a couple days before the draft."

Koetter knows that landing four starters in the first four rounds is a rarity, not the norm.

"It would be fantastic if we could do that every year," he said, "but I think that's unrealistic to say that we're going to get the same four [starters] like that every year, to get Kwon Alexander, that type of player, in the fourth round. But the draft is still an inexact science. There are plenty of examples. I think we just did a tremendous job in the draft last year and it's important every year. The way the salary cap is, you're feeding your young players and developing your young players, letting them work their way up into their second contracts. That's what's going to get us over the top as a football team, so it's very, very important, but I think it's probably unrealistic to think that we're going to be able to do that every year."

Most mock drafts have linked the Buccaneers to cornerbacks and defensive ends, with Vernon Hargreaves, DeForest Buckner, Kevin Dodd and Shaq Lawson being players most commonly linked to the team. As of recently, though, a few mock drafters have listed offensive tackles and wide receivers as their projections for the Buccaneers. Licht has said that he will choose the best player available and the team's selection won't be based on a perceived "need". But the projections will keep coming anyway. For a look at the Bucs' latest Mock Draft Roundup, click **HERE**.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Latest Headlines