Just this past week the Tampa Bay Buccaneers released former second round pick Roberto Aguayo who they famously moved traded up into the second round to take the kicker that was widely considered the best kicker to come out in years. Only twice in the past 17 years has a kicker been drafted this high and Mike Nugent wasn’t considered a success. While many considered Aguayo to be an elite kicker, taking one so high and moving up to get him was a bold move. Now that Aguayo is gone let’s look back on what the Bucs could have gotten if they didn’t draft him.
Trade Still Happens
In the process of drafting Aguayo they traded away the 74th and 106th picks in the draft to Kansas City to move up and take Aguayo. Heading into the draft the Bucs listed needs were CB, OL, WR, DL and S. Through their six other picks they took two CBs, OT, DE, OLB and a FB. So let’s assume they still made that trade, who could have the Bucs have selected?
CB James Bradberry
S Von Bell
DT Maliek Collins
DE Yannick Ngakoue
The clear name that stands out is Ngakoue who has emerged as one of the better pass rushers in this class and is likely starting over #3 overall pick Dante Fowler for Jacksonville. Yes the Bucs drafted Noah Spence in round two, but this would give them two young talented ends. Bradberry was a lesser known prospect out of Stamford but is developing into Carolina’s top cornerback in a similar zone heavy scheme.
Bucs Stay Put
If the Bucs don’t move up they still have the their two early 3rd and 4th round picks. Who could they have taken at each spot?
OG Joe Thuney
DT Javon Hargrave
S Justin Simmons
CB Tavon Young
There was still plenty of talent available in the third round as all three of these players have made in instant impact on their respective teams. Thuney could have filled into one of the holes on the interior of the offensive line while Hargrave could have given them another interior pass rusher. The Bucs took two cornerbacks but adding Young would have been an upgrade over Ryan Smith.
LB Nick Kwiatkoski
LB De’Vondre Campbell
The amount of talent in the fourth round wasn’t as deep at the Bucs needs (or what they drafted) but there was still a pair of quality linebackers. Both Kwiatkoski and Campbell could have been an upgrade over what they had at middle linebacker and could have lead them to not needing to draft Kendall Beckwith this past year.
Hindsight is always 20/20 taking Aguayo was a bad move for the Bucs, but it was only one pick and it didn’t cripple the franchise. However you have to wonder what could have been. Could a combination of Thuney and Kwiatkoski along with a bit of a different 2017 draft make this team even stronger? I guess we’ll never know.