The Tampa Bay Buccaneers waited nearly three hours for their chance to pick in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft on Thursday night…and then didn't pick anyone at all.
At the last minute, after going on the clock with the 27th pick of the first round, the Buccaneers swung a deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars, trading that selection for picks number 33, 106 and 180. The 33rd pick is the first selection in the second round, which means Tampa Bay will start Friday night as the first team on the clock.
The Buccaneers are now at the top of the fourth and sixth rounds, as well, as Jacksonville sent those selections over in the deal. The fourth round is where the third day of the draft begins, meaning that Tampa Bay will also be first in line when picks resume on Saturday, barring additional trades.
This marks the first time since 1998 that the Buccaneers have began the draft with a pick in the first round but then traded out of the round completely. Tampa Bay was originally set to pick 23rd in that draft but traded down with the Oakland Raiders to number 34 early in the second round and added number 59 later in that same frame. After a subsequent trade back up in the second round, the Buccaneers ended up with wide receiver Jacquez Green and cornerback Brian Kelly.
The move down of six spots likely indicates that the Buccaneers still had multiple prospects they were comfortable with at the 27th spot. The Tampa Bay-Jacksonville swap was the ninth trade of what proved to be a completely unpredictable first round on Thursday evening.
Tampa Bay's trade back helps fill in the gaps in a draft that was previously light on Day Three picks. The Buccaneers sent a fifth-round pick to New England earlier in the offseason for guard Shaq Mason, helping to fill a hole created by the surprise retirement of Pro Bowl guard Ali Marpet. Tampa Bay was already without its sixth-round pick due to a deadline deal with the Jets for defensive lineman Steve McLendon in 2020. The Buccaneers now have two fourth-round selections, one in the sixth and two in the seventh.