As we head toward free agency and the 2023 NFL Draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers sit with major holes and questions throughout the roster.
Quarterback is the most glaring need, and voids litter the defense and offensive line. With the pending release of Leonard Fournette, running back could be in play for Tampa as well to pair with 2022 third-round pick Rachaad White.
There has been some discussion about the Bucs possibly snagging the top RB in the draft in Bijan Robinson, who had a massive day at the NFL Scouting Combine over the weekend. Given where they are in the first round at No. 19 overall, there is some logic to taking the top player at a position rather than the fourth or fifth-best edge rusher or corner, depending on how the draft unfolds. It's also become very divisive to draft a first-round RB.
NFL Network Draft Analyst Daniel Jeremiah pegged Robinson as his pick for the Bucs in his latest mock draft, noting that providing an offensive workhorse could aid whoever winds up under center.
White has heard the chatter of Tampa adding a player like Robinson, recently telling Pewter Report that he isn't fretting about any competition.
"I don't have no problem with Bijan," White said. "The thing is, at the end of the day, what I have learned even though I'm young -- [from] my agent and what people in my circle taught me -- it's a business, we all know that. Tampa Bay has to do what's best for Tampa Bay. My coaches have to do what's best for my coaches. Everybody has a little selfishness in them -- you have to. Me, I'm selfless. You can draft Bijan, you can draft whoever, at the end of the day, I'm going to win that job, that's just what I've always done.
"That's what I always did with my track record, no matter what. No problem with Bijan or whoever Tampa drafts. Obviously you have to draft a guy, it's the league. I don't have any problem with that, the only problem I have is people saying, 'We don't know if he can be Kenneth Walker -- if he could be a budding star.' Kenneth and I are like close friends in real life, we talk a lot. I'm just saying if you give me 200 carries in a season -- if you give me the opportunity and I don't make anything out of it, then you can say we don't know if he can be a budding star."
White carried the ball 129 times for 481 yards and one touchdown in 17 games as a rookie, netting eight starts down the stretch. The 24-year-old showed some pop and muscle when given the chance, including a 105-yard game on a 22-carry day in Week 10's win over Seattle in Germany.
With the Bucs moving on from Fournette and importing a new offense under Dave Canales, White has the chance to improve across the board in 2023 -- unless Tampa uses significant assets to leapfrog the former third-round pick.
Robinson owns the talent of a workhorse back, but with a ton of needs this offseason and not much salary cap space to play with, it feels extravagant for Tampa to use a high pick on an RB, particularly with the depth of this year's draft class.