Bucs draft DT Logan Hall with 1st pick of second round
By FRED GOODALL
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) The Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicked off the second night of the NFL draft by selecting Houston defensive lineman Logan Hall with the 33rd overall pick on Friday night.
Coach Todd Bowles said the 6-foot-6, 285-pound tackle was one of several players the Bucs were considering taking at No. 27 before deciding to trade out of the first round on Thursday night.
In return for allowing Jacksonville to trade up to take linebacker Devin Lloyd, Tampa Bay moved down six spots to No. 33 and also picked up the first pick of the fourth (No. 106) and sixth (180) rounds on Saturday.
Bowles said the team never seriously considered moving down again before selecting Hall.
"We had a few players at 27 we targeted. Moving back to 33 ... we had one guy left there," the coach said. "The other ones went off the board, so it wouldn't have been smart for us to trade back down and leave the guy we wanted."
Hall could wind up being a replacement for Ndamukong Suh, who is a free agent and remains unsigned after spending the past three seasons with the Bucs.
Bowles said one decision doesn't impact the other and that drafting Hall won't necessarily impact Tampa Bay's effort to re-sign Suh as he and general manager Jason Licht continue to try to give Tom Brady everything he needs to pursue an eighth Super Bowl title.
"We need d-linemen," said Bowles, promoted from defensive coordinator to coach when Bruce Arians stepped down. "We like depth. We play a lot of people down there and platoon a lot of people, so it has no bearing on the other guys."
For the second straight year, the Bucs entered the draft without any pressing needs on offense or defense, primarily aiming to bolster their depth for next season while selecting players who ideally will develop into potential starters in the second or third seasons of their careers.
Brady's decision to end his brief retirement resolved questions about the club's quarterback plans for 2022, as well as set the stage for Licht to re-sign Pro Bowl center Ryan Jensen, running back Leonard Fournette, cornerback Carlton Davis and several other key players the Bucs could have been lost in free agency.
A year ago, the Bucs defied the odds by returning all 22 starters from the roster that won the previous season's Super Bowl, a move that helped them set a franchise record for regular season wins (13) and the team's first NFC South title in more than a decade in 2021.
Over the past two months, Licht wasn't able to keep the starting lineup intact. He was able, however, to retain most of the team's own free agents. Licht also made a traded to acquire a replacement for retired Pro Bowl guard Ali Marpet and landing receiver Russell Gage, offensive lineman Fred Johnson and defensive backs Logan Ryan and Keanu Neal in free agency.
With Suh and tight end Rob Gronkowski still unsigned after helping the Bucs win 29 games over the past two seasons, it was no surprise Bowles and Licht targeted one of those positions with the team's first pick.
The Bucs were scheduled to have two more selections Friday night, No. 60 and No. 91 overall.
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Updated April 29, 2022