2023 NFL Draft Grades: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The 2023 NFL Draft is now in the rearview mirror, and we have compiled a consensus ranking using NFL draft grades from a variety of sites.

What draft grades have the media given to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers? What are they saying about the Buccaneers' 2023 draft haul?

MORE: 2023 NFL Strength of Schedule

NFL.com - Grade: A

Kancey brings versatility, explosiveness and underrated leverage to the Bucs' defensive line. Trading up for Mauch to fill in at guard made sense because he can also slide outside if the team needs him there. Diaby's an athletic work in progress who must reach his potential to justify the mid-third-round selection.

Dennis attacks the backfield and the ball with reckless abandon, as does Ramirez from the edge. Durham is a nice replacement for Cameron Brate, and Palmer gives the team a deep speed option if he's able to clean up his drops. Tampa Bay needs to sign some offensive linemen after the draft.

ESPN - Grade: B

This Bucs class isn't flashy, but it shouldn't go under the radar. General manager Jason Licht landed three really good players with his top selections. Calijah Kancey (19) is a penetrating defensive tackle with elite first-step quickness who had 7.5 sacks last season. He might have been a top-five pick if he were a couple of inches taller.

Offensive lineman Cody Mauch (48) impressed by taking a step up in talent level at the Senior Bowl. It sounds like the Bucs see him as guard, but I think he could start at right tackle in time. And defensive end YaYa Diaby (82), who made my pre-draft favorites list, has the tools to become a steal. He had nine sacks last season and was extremely impressive during the athletic testing at the combine.

On Day 3, I liked edge rusher Jose Ramirez (196) as a late flier and tight end Payne Durham (171) as an upside play to find a pass-catcher. Licht did a good job this weekend.

SI - Grade: C+

Tampa Bay started by adding Kancey, an athletic playmaker who can pair with Vita Vea in the middle of the defensive line. However, he lacks ideal size and strength for the position. The Buccaneers had the option of drafting offensive tackle Anton Harrison, and probably should have prioritized the offensive line in the first round. Mauch, however, offers versatility because he plays tackle and guard. Perhaps Diaby is a value pick because some viewed the athletic edge rusher as a second-round prospect.

PFF - Grade: A-

Day 1: He might be undersized, but Kancey is a phenomenal pass-rusher on the interior of the defensive line. His first step is elite, and he's coming off a season where he led all players at the position with a 92.4 PFF pass-rushing grade and should make an immediate impact as a pass-rusher.

Day 2: The Buccaneers trade up with the Packers for Mauch after trading 2022 starting right guard Shaq Mason to the Houston Texans this offseason. Mauch played tackle in college and offers inside/outside versatility at 6-foot-5 and was dominant at North Dakota State in a gap rushing scheme with a 91.1 grade. He'll need to improve as a pass protector, especially if he does stay at tackle, which may not be likely at the outset.

The Buccaneers continue to add to the trenches. Like their first-round pick, Calijah Kancey, Diaby is a tremendous athlete (97th percentile 40-yard dash), but he also adds more size to the edge at 263 pounds. Diaby graded out well against the run at Louisville, finishing in the 75th percentile among qualifying edge defenders since 2020.

Day 3: Dennis is on the small end for the position but has the explosiveness to make up for it with a 42-inch vertical jump and a 10-foot-5 broad jump that both ranked in at least the 90th percentile at linebacker. Dennis was elite against the run for Pittsburgh in his final seasons, earning a 92.1 run-defense grade and missing fewer than 5% of his tackling opportunities.

Hayes' coverage grades aren't stellar, though he does make plays on the ball when he's in position. His testing was underwhelming, and h was outmatched in the Bowl Game against Alabama. He will need to be coached up at the next level after transferring from North Dakota State to Virginia and finally to Kansas State.

Durham showcased a safe pair of hands at Purdue, dropping just 3.4% of his targets, and showed some wiggle, forcing 10 missed tackles from 56 receptions. He will likely need to develop as a blocker in the NFL, though, after posting a 56.7 PFF run-blocking grade in 2022.

Hayes' coverage grades aren't stellar, though he does make plays on the ball when he's in position. His testing was underwhelming, and h was outmatched in the Bowl Game against Alabama. He will need to be coached up at the next level after transferring from North Dakota State to Virginia and finally to Kansas State.

Palmer had a breakout 2022 season for Nebraska after transferring from LSU, racking up over 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns in his final season. He might be a one-trick prospect but when that "trick" is 4.33 speed, it'll play.

Ramirez is a smaller edge who was extremely productive against lesser competition at Eastern Michigan. He picked up 90.0-plus PFF pass-rush grades in each of the last two seasons to go along with a pass-rush win rate of 23.2%.

Valentine is a younger cornerback prospect with above-average size and 4.44 speed who has full seasons of experience both in the slot (2021) and outside (2022). That profile is what Green Bay is betting on at this stage of the draft, even if Valentine hasn't had the strongest production profile. His 66.0 PFF grade last season was a career high.

Fox Sports - Grade: B-

There's promising speed all over, from the trenches and top pick Calijah Kancey to receiver Trey Palmer late. Second-round guard Cody Mauch is as colorful a prospect as you'll find. Tampa Bay used the third day to upgrade depth on both sides of the ball. Even undrafted running back Sean Tucker from Syracuse looks like someone who could crack their 53.

USA Today - Grade: C-

Given QB Tom Brady's retirement, the defensive lean was surprising ... unless HC Todd Bowles was making the picks. Pairing first-round DT Calijah Kancey with Vita Vea inside should create a deadly combo. But nice as second-round OL Cody Mauch should be, might have been nice to give QBs Baker Mayfield and/or Kyle Trask more help.

The Ringer - Grade: B+

I'm dubious of the value of drafting an undersized, two-down interior pass rusher with the 19th pick, but I am a fan of Pitt's Calijah Kancey, who plays with explosive quickness and powerful hands. North Dakota State offensive lineman Cody Mauch fits the mold as a gritty Buccaneers interior lineman—and if you think Mauch reminds you of Bucs center Ryan Jensen, well you're not the only one. Mauch gives the team a versatile and tough future starter. And I loved the selection of Louisville pass-rusher YaYa Diaby, who has the versatility to line up across the defensive line. Fifth-round tight end Payne Durham (Purdue) and sixth-round receiver Trey Palmer (Nebraska) should see rotational snaps early on, too. All in all, Tampa Bay put together a solid draft class.

Sporting News - Grade: B-

The Buccaneers filled plenty of needs on both sides of the ball, but outside of the great start with Kancey and Mauch to fill voids on their offensive and defensive line, they underwhelmed with GM Jason Licht's first post-Tom Brady draft. Two glaring omissions from the class is a QB (given just about everyone else took one) and another running back.

Touchdown Wire - Grade: B

Calijah Kancey was my IDL2 in this class, and in other classes without a stud like Jalen Carter, me might have topped the list. Yes, he's just 6-foot-1 and 281 pounds, but he's a perfect attack rusher with ridiculous combine measurables that show up all over his tape. The Bucs have had to deal with Falcons tackle Grady Jarrett twice a year for a long time, and now, they have their own version. I also like Pitt linebacker SirVocea Dennis, who projects well as a speed/chase defender with a fascinating physical profile. He's got Tyree Wilson's upper body, and Russell Wilson's lower body.

North Dakota State's Cody Mauch looks more like a center to me than a tackle or guard, so we'll see where the Bucs think he fits best. And YaYa Diaby, who had 10 sacks and 36 total pressures for Louisville last year, was a common name on sleeper lists.

You still have to wonder what the plan is at quarterback beyond Baker Mayfield and Kyle Trask, but starting with Kancey, who has total game-wrecking potential, there's a lot of talent here.

More: 2023 NFL Draft Grade Roundups

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