- As mentioned, there are more obvious needs on the Buccaneers' depth chart. The team re-signed center Joe Hawley and lost only reserve tackle Gosder Cherilus to retirement. The Bucs entire starting five returns intact from 2016, as do its top reserves. In addition, guard J.R. Sweezy could figure prominently in the lineup after missing all of last season due to a back ailment. The Buccaneers signed Sweezy as an unrestricted free agent a year ago with the idea that he would take over for retiring left guard Logan Mankins. Instead, Kevin Pamphile stepped into that role and performed well. Pamphile, Evan Smith and Ali Marpet all offer the type of position flexibility that will allow the Buccaneers to get their best five blockers on the field. After a slow start, the Bucs' offensive line improved during the second half of the 2016 campaign, and the team seems to be confident in its group of blockers.
If the Buccaneers choose to add to the wide receiver position at #19, they'll have some pretty strong selections to challenge. The Eagles took Jeremy Maclin at that spot in 2009 and he has put up 474 receptions for 6,395 yards and 46 touchdowns so far in his seven-year career. Maclin doesn't take the receiver trophy at #19, though. That would belong to Marvin Harrison, taken by Indianapolis at that spot in 1996. Harrison, of course, was just inducted into the Hall of Fame last summer.
Tampa Bay has been linked with some of this year's top running backs, too. That position has been a mixed bag at #19. Seven different running backs have been taken 19th overall since the merger, though none since the year 2000. That most recent pick was Seattle's Shaun Alexander, who made three Pro Bowls and was the NFL's Most Valuable Player in 2005. James Stewart, the 19th pick in 1995, had a decent eight-year career, though his best seasons came after he left his drafting team, the Jaguars, for Detroit. The other five are largely forgotten names – Tony Smith, Darrell Thompson, Paul Palmer, George Adams and Steve Owens. Owens made one Pro Bowl; otherwise that's a list of several busts and no 1,000-yard rushers.
Other notably good NFL players selected 19th overall since the merger: cornerback Antonio Cromartie (2006, San Diego), defensive tackle Casey Hampton (2001, Pittsburgh), defensive end Vonnie Holliday (1998, Green Bay), defensive end Wayne Martin (1989, New Orleans), safety Joey Browner (1983, Minnesota), linebacker Otis Wilson (1980, Chicago), tackle Brian Holloway (1981, New England) and safety Jack Tatum (1971, Oakland).