The Buccaneers are slated to pick 19th in the first round this spring.
The final 14 spots in the draft order are partially determined by when teams are eliminated from the playoffs, and the teams that drop out in the Wild Card Round get picks 19-24. Within that range, the order is determined by the teams' win-loss record during the regular season. At 8-9, the Buccaneers had the worst regular season record of the six eliminated teams and thus got the first of those six draft spots.
Tampa Bay was one of three teams to finish 8-9 but the other two, Green Bay and New England, failed to make the playoffs and were slotted into the 14th and 15th spots, respectively. The first 18 picks were locked into place at the conclusion of the regular season, with the Chicago Bears (3-14), Houston Texans (4-13) and Arizona Cardinals (4-13) scheduled to make the first three selections. In the first round, the Buccaneers will pick right after the Detroit Lions, barring trades.
The Bucs will also be assigned the 19th pick in Rounds Two through Seven. They are the only team eliminated in the Wild Card round to have an 8-9 record so they won't be alternating spots in successive rounds, such as the Lions and Steelers, both 9-8, will be doing in the 17th and 18th spots.
If the Buccaneers remain in their current spot in the first round, it will mark just the second time in team history they have made the 19th-overall pick. Tampa Bay selected Alabama tight end O.J. Howard 19th overall in the 2017 draft. The Bucs were scheduled to pick 19th overall when the 2009 draft began but eventually traded up two spots to snag Kansas State quarterback Josh Freeman.
The Saints had the 19th overall pick last year and used it on Northern Iowa tackle Trevor Penning. Some of the more recent successful selections at number 19 include defensive tackle Jeffrey Simmons for the Titans in 2019, linebacker Leighton Vander Esch for the Cowboys in 2018 and defensive end Shaq Lawson for the Bills in 2016. Going back a bit further, the 19th pick has produced the likes of cornerback Antonio Cromartie, defensive tackle Casey Hampton, running back Shaun Alexander, defensive tackle Vonnie Holliday, tackle Tarik Glenn and wide receiver Marvin Harrison. Perhaps the best player ever selected in that spot is former Vikings and Buccaneers guard Randall McDaniel, who went into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009.
Three trades over the past three years have affected the Buccaneers' current allotment of 2023 draft picks. During the 2020 season, Tampa Bay traded a 2022 sixth-round pick to the New York Jets for defensive tackle Steve McLendon and a 2023 seventh-round pick. During the 2022 draft, the Bucs shipped their 2023 fourth-round pick to Jacksonville for fifth and seventh-round picks in 2022. And in August of this season, the Bucs sent linebacker Grant Stuard plus a 2023 seventh-round pick to Indianapolis for a 2023 sixth-round pick.
The end results of those moves have the Buccaneers in possession of their own picks in the first, second, third, fifth and sixth rounds, an extra sixth-rounder from the Colts and a seventh-round choice from the Jets. Tampa Bay could also be in line for one compensatory pick when the NFL awards those in February.