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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs preparing for another trade down?

Florida Football Insiders

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

On Tuesday, Bucs GM Jason Licht held his annual pre-draft press conference to field questions mostly with non-answers about what Tampa Bay may or may not do coming up next week. It’s particularly intriguing for Bucs fans to try to gather as much information as possible, as the team is picking fifth overall, currently, and appears destined to get an immediate impact player.

However, in studying what Licht has done in the recent past and reading between the lines on his comments Tuesday, you should be prepared for Tampa Bay to move down and accumulate another pick or two.

Take as the prime example of a year ago, when the Buccaneers sat in the seven spot in the opening round, but as Licht detailed yesterday, the Buffalo Bills came calling offering two close together second round picks (#’s 53 and 56) to move up five spots in the first round with Tampa Bay. Licht took the deal and the Bucs eventually ended up with defensive tackle Vita Vea at 12.

They later kept those two second-round picks acquired from the Bills and drafted defensive backs M.J. Stewart and Carlton Davis to help bolster their secondary.

Also consider that Licht moved down in the 2016 draft from the 9th spot to 11th in a deal with the Chicago Bears getting an extra 4th round pick to do so. And, the Buccaneers still ended up with a guy that had been targeting, defensive back Vernon Hargreaves, from the Gators.

So, there are two examples in the last three drafts where the Bucs were slated to pick 9th or 7th and elected to move down. And, it’s important to point out that someone trying to move up to as high #5, (more so than 9 last year), they will likely have to offer a first-round pick of some type to do so.

And, there may be several teams interested in a quarterback, like Missouri’s Drew Lock, Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins or Duke’s Daniel Jones that want to make sure they have a chance to get him at number five.

Then again, the Buccaneers have a need at linebacker, and as we wrote previously, if LSU’s Devin White is staring them in the face when they’re on the clock at the five spot, he will be very difficult to pass up no matter what the trade offer potentially is.

We are still a week away from the draft getting underway in Nashville, but clearly the working of the phones and the strategy sessions that lick was referring to Tuesday are laying out all the scenarios for the Buccaneers no matter whom else would be calling wanting to move up into their spot

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