Say Saquon Barkley, Bradley Chubb and Quenton Nelson are gone by the time the Bucs are up to make the seventh overall pick tonight at the NFL draft.
What should they do? Take a defensive back? Trade down and acquire more picks?
Here's some ammunition for the trade-down crowd: Because of the Jason Pierre-Paul trade, the Bucs don't have a third-round pick. That means that after they make their pick at No. 38, they don't pick again until No. 102.
That's a gap of 64 picks. If that holds, that will be the longest the Bucs have ever had to wait after making a second-round pick.
In 2015, they had a 63-pick gap, but that was the result of general manager Jason Licht packaging his third-round pick in a deal for a second second-round pick, which turned out to be guard Ali Marpet. The next pick was worth the wait. At No. 124, the Bucs chose linebacker Kwon Alexander at No. 124.
While a third-round pick is far from a sure thing, it's still a valuable asset. Teams don't often land an immediate starter, but it happens. In some cases, the talent is there; it just takes a season of coaching and development. Look no further than the Bucs. They landed receiver Chris Godwin with the 84th pick last year.
Here are some players chosen in the third round in recent drafts:
No. 69: S Tyrann Mathieu, Cardinals
No. 73: QB Mike Glennon, Bucs
No. 74: WR Terrance Williams, Cowboys
No. 75: T Terron Armstead, Saints
No. 76: WR Keenan Allen, Chargers
No. 85: TE Jordan Reed, Washington
No. 94: DT Brandon Williams, Ravens
No. 69: RB Charles Sims, Bucs
No. 73: LB Preston Brown, Bills
No. 92: G Trai Turner, Panthers
No. 96: RB Jerick McKinnon, Vikings
No. 69: WR Tyler Lockett, Seahawks
No. 73: RB Tevin Coleman, Falcons
No. 77: RB Duke Johnson, Browns
No. 84: LB Jordan Hicks, Eagles
No. 86: RB David Johnson, Cardinals
No. 88: DE Danielle Hunter, Vikings
(Bucs traded picks No. 65 and No. 109 to Colts for picks No. 61 and No. 128.)
No. 69: DE Yannick Ngakoue, Jaguars
No. 73: RB Kenyan Drake, Dolphins
No. 78: G Joe Thuney, Patriots
No. 89: DT Javon Hargrave, Steelers
No. 91: QB Jacoby Brissett, Patriots
(Bucs traded picks No. 74 and No. 106 to Chiefs for pick No. 59.)
No. 69: WR Cooper Kupp, Rams
No. 84: WR Chris Godwin, Bucs
No. 86: RB Kareem Hunt, Chiefs
No. 107: LB Kendall Beckwith, Bucs
The Bucs also own a fifth-round pick (No. 144), two sixth-round picks (No. 180 and No. 202) and a seventh-round pick (No. 255).
Contact Thomas Bassinger at [email protected] Follow @tometrics.