Tampa Bay Buccaneers Final NFL Draft Grades 2024: Bucs Improve the Trenches With Home-Run Picks Graham Barton, Chris Braswell

Did the Tampa Bay Buccaneers move closer to another NFC South crown with their 2024 NFL Draft moves? Here's a look at their grades.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are looking to use the 2024 NFL Draft to build on their surprising win against the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2023 NFL Wild Card Round and seek their fourth-straight NFC South division crown.

Let’s take a closer look at the Buccaneers’ grades for the 2024 NFL Draft to see how they filled their needs during the annual selection event.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2024 NFL Draft Grades

Round 1, Pick 26: Graham Barton, C, Duke

The Buccaneers entered this draft needing to address the interior of the offensive line and landed arguably the best prospect in the class in Graham Barton out of Duke. Barton has exceptional versatility, spending time at both left tackle and center during his days with the Blue Devils. He should thrive on the interior of the offensive line at the next level and an immediate upgrade over either Robert Hainsey or Aaron Stinnie from last season.

The Blue Devils’ standout has exceptional explosive athleticism, a consistent ability to sift through defensive line stunts, and top-tier consistency working to the second level in zone concepts.

That combo make him an ideal addition to an offensive line unit that desperately needed help along the interior of a position group that finished in the bottom two in rushing yards per game for a second straight year.

Grade: A

Round 2, Pick 57: Chris Braswell, EDGE, Alabama

The Buccaneers lost veteran pass rusher Shaq Barrett this offseason, which left a glaring need for Todd Bowles’ aggressive defense. Fortunately, explosive edge rushing prospect Chris Braswell from the University of Alabama fell into Tampa Bay’s lap at No. 57 overall.

Braswell is built like a firecracker, compact and explosive. He has a blistering first step, which helps him run the arc against sluggish offensive tackles. He could be a bit of a liability as a run defender, but he certainly could factor into the edge rotation alongside YaYa Diaby and Joe Tryon-Shoyinka on passing downs early in his NFL career.

Grade: A-

Round 3, Pick 89: Tykee Smith, S, Georgia

The Buccaneers had their fair share of struggles at the safety position opposite of Antoine Winfield Jr. in 2023 and appropriately addressed the position by selecting Tykee Smith out of Georgia in the third round.

Smith has exceptional range for a safety prospect, running a 4.44 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. He can operate in space but also showcased a willingness to provide run support for the Bulldogs’ defense.

Smith’s lack of elite size and length could limit his assignments in Todd Bowles’ defense, but his burst, competitiveness, and flashes of top-shelf ball skills could make for a versatile chess piece as a rotational piece for the Tampa Bay secondary early in his career. Replacing Jordan Whitehead as a full-time starter down the road isn’t out of the question.

Grade: B-

Round 3, Pick 92: Jalen McMillan, WR, Washington

The Buccaneers spent their second of two third-round picks on Washington WR Jalen McMillan at No. 92 overall, and he’ll join a receiver room that has Mike Evans and Chris Godwin firmly atop the depth chart.

McMillan has a plus-level collection of athletic traits, with plenty of linear speed to threaten defenders vertically, ankle flexion to break off defenders at the breakpoint, and the fluid movement abilities to operate out of the slot or outside. Don’t be surprised if he sees more snaps than Trey Palmer in 11 personnel in 2024.

Grade: A-

Round 4, Pick 125: Bucky Irving, RB, Oregon

The Buccaneers’ rushing attack slightly improved last year with Rachaad White taking the featured back role in 2023. But Tampa Bay spent the No. 125 overall pick on Oregon running back Bucky Irving to provide a reliable pass-catching option out of the backfield — he led all FBS backs with 55 receptions in 2023 — while playing in a complementary role to White to start his career.

MORE: 2024 NFL Draft Complete Results, Recap, Order, and All 257 Picks

Yet, Irving’s limitations with his size and athleticism don’t exactly give Tampa Bay any sort of different skill set to what they already have in White.

Grade: C

Round 6, Pick 220: Elijah Klein, G, UTEP

After the Buccaneers spent the 26th overall pick addressing the interior of the offensive line, they returned to the position group by making UTEP guard Elijah Klein the final pick of the sixth round. Klein has extensive starting experience at guard and possesses ideal length and polished footwork when working combo blocks in the run game, but could have issues anchoring down against the powerful bull rushers at the NFL level.

Grade: C

Round 7, Pick 246: Devin Culp, TE, Washington

The Buccaneers have starter Cade Otton and last year’s fifth-round pick Payne Durham currently on the roster, but Washington tight end Devin Culp has the type of elite vertical speed to create mismatches in the NFL game. Sure, Culp isn’t going to offer much as an in-line tight end at just 231 pounds, but his movement skills could provide an extra element for a Tampa Bay offense that doesn’t currently have exceptional athleticism at the tight end position.

Grade: B

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2024 NFL Draft Summary

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers managed to hit a pair of home runs early in the draft by landing arguably the best interior offensive line prospect in the class — Duke’s Graham Barton — at No. 26 overall, followed up by selecting Alabama edge rusher Chris Braswell when he fell in general manager Jason Licht’s lap at No. 57 overall.

KEEP READING: NFL Draft Grades 2024

Washington WR Jalen McMillan at No. 92 overall was another solid pick, but missteps with Georgia safety Tykee Smith (89th overall) and Oregon running back Bucky Irving (125th overall) prevent this class from receiving an elite grade.

Final Grade: B+

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