The 2018 Buccaneer draft review
The Bucs picked from 7th, 6th, 5th and 8th during the draft. They
swopped 1st round picks with Buffalo for two 2nd round picks. They
traded a 3rd round pick the Giants for DE Jason Pierre-Paul. Other
trades were made with Minnesota and New England to move
selections in the 3rd and 4th rounds. The 7th round pick was
traded to Miami as part of a deal made the previous year.
DRAFT ANALYSIS - This is a truly outstanding draft. The move
back in the first round and the selection of Vita Vea at the start, followed by starters in the
form of Davis, Cappa and Whitehead. Even the trade for JPP was excellent. The only possible
downside is that Ronald Jones did not become a really top back but that is just nit-picking.
1 - DT - Vita Vea - Washington
Has become one of the most dominating run-stuffing nose tackles in the NFL and was signed to a lucrative contract extension late in 2020.
Led the Bucs in sacks in 2022 despite missing three games through injury. Missed much of the 2020 season but returned in time for the
Championship Game win over Green Bay. Has also played snaps on offense as a blocker and scored on a goal-line pass play in the 2019
win in Atlanta.
2 - RB - Ronald Jones - USC
Lost his starting role to Leonard Fournette in 2021 and hence only saw action as a back-up before getting hurt late in the season and missed
the two playoff games. Had established himself in 2019 as the Bucs' primary tailback and only fell short of his first 1,000-yard season in
2020 when injury cost him two games late in December. Set a franchise record with a 98-yard scoring run in the win over Carolina. Signed
with the Chiefs in April 2022 when it was clear the Bucs would not re-sign him.
2 - CB - MJ Stewart - North Carolina
Saw some starting action as a rookie but moved to the back of the secondary rotation during 2019 and was released just prior to the start of
the 2020 training camp. Was drafted with the 53rd overall pick, the first of two second round cornerback selections in 2018.
2 - CB - Carlton Davis - Auburn
Has become one of the best cover corners in the NFL during his six years with the Buccaneers and has started all but one game he was
healthy for during his career. Was signed to a big contract extension during the 2022 off-season. Recorded his first NFL interception in 2019
against the Falcons and then led the team in that category in 2020.
3 - T - Alex Cappa - Humboldt
Moved into a starting role during 2019 and made 13 starts at right guard impressing in the process. Wound up starting every game in 2020
and gained recognition around the NFL for his improvement followed by a 2021 Pro Bowl alternate season. Missed the Super Bowl having
broken his ankle in the Washington playoff win. Was the first player drafted from Humboldt State since 1992. Moved on to Cincinnati under
free agency in April 2022.
4 - S - Jordan Whitehead - Pittsburgh
Has been a starter at safety since October 2018 and played every game he has been healthy for since then. Was selected 117th overall out
of Pittsburgh and started 30 games on defense as well as seeing some time in the offensive backfield. Left as an unrestricted free agent
after the 2021 season to move to New York.
5 - WR - Justin Watson - Penn
Played four seasons with the Bucs but saw his receiving role diminish during 2020 with the arrival of Antonio Brown and wound up only
really playing special teams by the end of the season. Did become the first offensive player in franchise history to record a sack when he
stopped a fake punt in the road win over Carolina. Caught his only two Buccaneer touchdown passes in 2019.
6 - LB - Jack Cichy - Wisconsin
Had two separate stints with the Bucs during 2020 re-signing with the team in late December after a spell with the New England Patriots.
Has been limited to special teams duties during his three years in the NFL and has dealt with the kind of injury issues that affected his
college career. Was not offered a contract for the 2021 season and did not catch on anywhere else in the NFL.