TAMPA, Fla. -- You have to play with the semantics a little bit and use some imagination. But, when you do that, it’s possible all seven of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' draft picks will be starters in 2015.
That’s almost unheard of, but it’s not out of the question for the Bucs. Let’s take a look at the draft picks and see where they could fit.
Jameis Winston, first round, quarterback. He was the first player taken in the draft, and the Bucs want to build their franchise around him. There’s little doubt he’ll be the starter on opening day.
Donovan Smith, second round, offensive tackle. The Bucs have made it clear Smith will play left tackle. His only competition there is Kevin Pamphile, a late-round pick last year. Smith is the favorite to win the job.
Ali Marpet, second round, offensive guard. He’s a product of Division III Hobart, but the Bucs have big plans for Marpet. He’s likely to be the immediate starter at right guard.
Kwon Alexander, fourth round, linebacker. The first three draft picks are pretty much automatic starters. Alexander doesn’t quite fit that category because the Bucs have incumbent starter Danny Lansanah on the strong side. But Alexander will get a chance to compete with Lansanah for the starting job. Alexander is quick and athletic and may have a shot to win the job.
Kenny Bell, fifth round, wide receiver. There is no true starting spot available here because Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson already are in place. But the third receiver plays almost as much as the starters, and Bell will have a chance to compete with Louis Murphy for that spot. Bell looked particularly impressive in the team’s recent minicamp.
Kaelin Clay, sixth round, wide receiver/return man. Clay isn’t likely to get much time at receiver, but he was drafted to handle kickoff and punt returns. He should get the first crack at both positions.
Joey Iosefa, seventh round, fullback. It’s rare for a seventh-round pick to start right away, but Iosefa is going to get that chance. Jorvorskie Lane is the incumbent starter, but he’s ordinary. Iosefa will have a chance to beat out Lane in training camp.