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Trading for Pierre-Paul now allows Bucs flexibility to trade down in draft

Florida Football Insiders

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Thursday’s huge acquisition by the Buccaneers of Giants DE Jason Pierre Paul by trade definitely bolsters the Bucs pass rush. It also does something else: it allows Tampa Bay to seriously consider trade offers to move down out of the #7 position in April’s draft.

First, Pierre-Paul is a veteran, who even with a serious hand injury is a known threat primarily on the defensive end with 58.5 career sacks. And, the Bucs gave up their third round selection to get him. Still, the argument can be made that he is not only better than anything Tampa Bay would have gotten in round three, but also better for 2018 than any defensive end in this draft will produce.

Look, we know there’s lots of hype around DE Bradley Chubb of N.C. State and he may well turn out to dominate for years, and that could be in his rookie year, too. Then again, it might take a year or two for him to come into his own. Or, he might not ever become a consistent NFL pass rusher.

It’s an unknown.

Still, the Buccaneers were unlikely to get Chubb sitting at #7. Heck, the Giants may now take him with the second pick after trading Pierre-Paul. Even if they don’t, someone will likely trade into the top 5 to grab him. And if not, the Colts, who traded back from #3 to #6 with the Jets last Saturday, will likely select him.

So, the bottom line is: you weren’t likely to get Bradley Chubb. Getting Pierre-Paul, therefore, substitutes for now.

And, even though the Bucs need a premier running back, they likewise would have to move up and possibly to one or two in April, to get Penn State’s Saquon Barkley. Again, they were not likely to do that, including parting with premium draft picks, anyway.

Certainly less likely, now that they gave up their third round pick in the Thursday trade, and their first two picks this year have even more significance.

And, backs like Sony Michel of Georgia, Ronald Jones of USC and Rashaad Penny of San Diego State, etc. will be there later in the first round or day two (2nd and 3rd rounds), etc.

That tells us that the Buccaneers will seriously consider listening to offers for the 7th pick. This is especially if it’s a team wanting a QB like Baker Mayfield, Josh Rosen, etc. who might still be sitting there at seven come night one of the draft.

We are still a month away from the draft, and every team is exploring options of whom to pick and listening to offers. And, once the tense mayhem begins and teams are on the clock strange things can happen.

Like, the Bears out of nowhere last year wanting to trade to #2 with the 49ers last year to get QB Mitchell Trubisky. No one, even in the Chicago media had that info beforehand.

Will the Bucs stay and pick at #7, there’s lots of time to debate.

But getting Jason Pierre-Paul means you can justify to everyone that you didn’t need to pick there and could trade, down.

Stay tuned.

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