The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 2020 NFL Draft class potentially got a little bigger on Tuesday.
The team has been awarded an additional fourth-round (139th overall) selection via the NFL’s compensatory draft pick process. The pick will be the 33rd selection of the fourth round.
Tampa Bay was award this pick as compensation for the loss of Kwon Alexander, who signed a four-year, $54 million contract with the San Francisco 49ers in the 2019 offseason.
The selection was originally slated to be a third-round pick based on the value of Alexander’s contract, but, due to time missed with injury, was reduced to a fourth-round valuation.
Alexander suffered a torn pectoral muscle on Oct. 31 against the Arizona Cardinals, costing him the balance of the 2019 regular season. However, he miraculously recovered in time to return to the field for the postseason with the help of a harness.
The Buccaneers also lost qualifying free agents Adam Humphries, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Adarius Taylor in the 2019 offseason, but those losses were offset by the signings of Bradley Pinion, Shaquil Barrett, and Breshad Perriman.
Tampa Bay now enters the 2020 NFL Draft with a full complement of seven selections. Previously, they traded their 2020 seventh-round pick to the Philadelphia Eagles along with DeSean Jackson for a 2019 sixth-round pick. That pick was used to select wide receiver Scottie Miller out of Bowling Green.
NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported the full list of compensatory picks:
The full list of compensatory picks in the 2020 NFL Draft: pic.twitter.com/QKADDS4yPu
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 10, 2020
The extra early Day 3 pick affords general manager Jason Licht and head coach Bruce Arians more flexibility in the coming draft as compensation picks are now tradeable thanks to a 2017 league rule change. This could help the team move up to secure a targeted player if they do not believe they will be available when the team is on the board on Days.
The most obvious scenario would be in the first round where as many as four offensive tackles are expected to be selected in the top 15 and possibly all before Tampa is on the clock at No. 14.
Arians recently spoke at the NFL Scouting Combine about the coming offensive tackle class while at the combine:
“I probably watched more offensive line than I have in years because, again, there’s a lot of good, quality guys up and down [the line] – centers, guards, tackles,” said Arians. “I usually like watching skill players more but I spent a lot of time this year on the offensive line.”
The head coach added to the speculation of the team possibly targetting tackle in the first round with a guarded answer regarding the future of long time starter Demar Dotson:
“That’s one of the things we’ll have to talk about some more, what we want to do there, but again, the price has got to be right [to re-sign Dotson].”
Should the Buccaneers choose to hold onto the extra fourth-round pick, that could work in their favor, too. Under Licht, the Buccaneers have done well for themselves in the fourth round.
Licht has landed the likes of Ryan Smith, Kwon Alexander, Jordan Whitehead, and Anthony Nelson in the fourth rounds during his tenure in Tampa Bay.
The NFL Draft begins on Thursday, April 23 and runs through Saturday, April 25.