Thursday, October 13, 2022

Buccaneers should be happy with 2022 draft class so far


by Brandon Thornton | October 12, 2022

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers appear to have struck gold with their draft class. The Buccaneers rookies have looked good, and only getting better.

Despite not having a first round pick due to trading back for the first pick in the second round, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers still appear to have gotten a haul in the 2022 NFL draft. The Buccaneers, and their fans, have to be happy with what they’ve seen so far.

Logan Hall, the defensive lineman the Bucs drafted with the aforementioned second-round pick, has been coming along nicely in the playing time he’s received. The injury to Akiem Hicks has granted Hall with more playing time, and at any time there is a sack while he’s on the field, it always seems like he’s in the backfield for it if not getting the sack himself, which he’s done twice so far this year.

On the other side of the ball, the Buccaneers are getting usable production from their offensive rookie says well. Fellow second-round pick Luke Goedeke hasn’t been perfect at left guard, but due to the preseason injury to projected starter Aaron Stinnie, Goedeke has started every game so far. Despite his imperfections, the Buccaneers do still have a winning record as a result, which is perfectly fine for a second-round rookie guard that was a college tackle.

Elsewhere, Cade Otton has been improving every week, and has seen his role grow after Cameron Brate suffered a concussion, and Kyle Rudolph has been suffering from his age. We don’t want to get too ahead of ourselves, but with the way Otton is projecting upward, the Bucs very well could’ve found their tight end of the future in the fourth round. Sixth-round tight end Ko Kieft can also be seen as the Bucs blocking tight end, or even H-back on the goal line, and has looked VERY good as a blocker so far.

Then there is Rachaad White. The third-round rookie he has not only been returning kicks, and there’s work to be done there, but he has also filled the role of the change-of-pace back for Leonard Fournette, and has done so with great aplomb. White is bigger than you would think given the way he plays, and is a very good receiver out of the backfield. White has seen his role grow more and more with each passing week, to the point where he even gets goal line work on occasion.

Of course special teams is also a third of the game, so we have to mention them as well. While rookie punter Jake Camarda certainly has room to improve, if your rookie fourth-round punter is the “weakest link“ of the draft picks seeing ample playing time, then there are certainly worse problems to have.

At the end of the day, there is still a lot of football to be played, both this season, and in the careers of these rookies. However, both the Tampa Bay Buccaneers franchise and their fans alike, have to be pleased with what they have seen so far from their 2022 draft class, despite the inconsistent, and some may even say frustrating, start for the team as a whole. The future looks bright.

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