Following the franchise's historic second Super Bowl win in February, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' main task during the off-season was to 'keep the band together,' which they accomplished in unprecedented fashion.
All 22 starting players who took the field against the Chiefs will be back in action in Florida next season. The likes of TE Rob Gronkowski, MLB Lavonte David, WR Antonio Brown and RB Leonard Fournette (and many more) all signed back on for another crack at the Super Bowl, with QB Tom Brady at the helm.
For the Buccaneers, the NFL draft was less like a late-night dash to McDonald's to cram one's face full of cheap fries and more like a luxury Michelin star banquet in which they could simply take a nibble of all the best bits on the table without a care in the world.
So how did head coach Arians and general manager Jason Licht get on in Cleveland at the weekend?
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 2021 NFL Draft Picks
#1 Round 1 Pick 32: Joe Tryon, EDGE/LB, Washington
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers arguably have the most talented group of starting linebackers ever assembled in football - Devin White, Lavonte David, Jason Pierre-Paul and Shaquil Barrett, could be a real nuisance for opposing offenses to navigate on Sunday afternoons, as the Kansas City Chiefs discovered in the Super Bowl.
The bad news for the NFC South is that, in drafting Washington's Joe Tryon, the Buccaneers have somehow managed to upgrade that unit. Tryon provides extra depth and competition among the established ranks at the Buccaneers. He will likely be tasked with forcing himself into the firstteam picture come September.
If his college performances are anything to go by, it seems the Buccaneers have found themselves a future star: Tryon was a COVID-19 opt-out in 2020, but in 2019, his speed and strength enabled him to amass 41 total tackles, including eight sacks, in the Pac 12 with the Huskies.
#2 Round 2 Pick 64: Kyle Trask, QB, Florida
31 NFL teams allowed the Florida man to slip down the board, which gave the Buccaneers the chance to draft Tom Brady's heir-apparent in Kyle Trask. Trask is QB who was tipped to go as high as third overall during the build-up to the big day in Cleveland, Ohio.
Because of his accurate ability to sling deep balls, Trask has been compared to a more athletic version of the current Chicago Bears QB Nick Foles, who in 2018 won the Super Bowl at Brady's expense, with the Philadelphia Eagles.
In 2020, Trask chalked up 4,283 yards passing, 43 TDs and just eight picks. What separates him from most QBs in this year's draft class is his aforementioned ability to throw the long ball. Trask wasn't intercepted once, yet managed to deliver ten TD passes when aiming deep last year.
In short, Kyle Trask, even being on the board at pick 64, was an incredible stroke of luck for the Buccaneers, and I'm not surprised Bruce Arians opted to bring him in to bolster what was a previously light QB room.
However, Trask will have to be patient and wait for his chance, as it doesn't look like Brady plans to retire anytime soon. But what a chance the rookie has to come into a Super Bowl-winning team like the Buccaneers and sit and learn under the GOAT!
It's the stuff dreams are made of.
#3 Round 3 Pick 95: Robert Hainsey, OT, Notre Dame
Notre Dame's Robert Hainsey was one of the most robust, versatile and disciplined offensive linemen to have taken part in this year's NFL draft, committing a total of zero penalties in 836 total snaps during his college career.
At the 2020 Senior Bowl, Hainsey didn't allow a single QB pressure and was the fifth highest-graded offensive player to feature. For my money, at pick 95, the now-former Fighting Irish staple is an absolute steal for the Buccaneers.
Hainsey will be expected to challenge Ali Marpet for the starting RT slot in the Buccaneers' roster come the autumn.
#4 Round 4 Pick 129: Jaelon Darden, WR, North Texas
The Buccaneers had to trade up to the 129th overall pick to select Darden, exchanging their fourth and sixth-round compensatory picks with the Seattle Seahawks to do so.
Darden is a speedy receiver whose shiftiness and mastery of the sidestep make him a harrowing task to tackle in the open field. On his pro-day event, he ran a 4.46 40-yard dash and also put up 6.66 seconds on the three-cone drill and 3.98 seconds on the short shuttle.
Because of his rapid acceleration, quick change of gear and nose for the endzone, Darden, the 2020 Conference USA MVP, who caught 31 TDs over his final two seasons in North Texas, has slotted straight into the WR3 as a back-up to Antonio Brown.
#5 Round 5 Pick 176: KJ Britt, LB, Auburn
KJ Britt spent most of 2020 on IR after undergoing surgery to repair torn ligaments in his thumb. In 2019, though, Britt was ranked the NCAA's 15th best LB by PFF, who awarded him a grade of 84.6.
During Auburn's 2019 campaign, the fully-fit Britt chalked up 3.5 sack and ten TFLs and forced three fumbles to boot.
Britt is an impact player with enough talent to step in and do a job for what is already a superb Buccaneers' linebacker corps.
Never one to shy away from a tackle, Britt will begin the year as a back-up to Lavonte David in the depth chart. With a bit of luck, Britt could even be viewed as David's long-term successor come the season's end, certainly if the above highlight reel is anything to go by (a very different type of LB).
#6 Round 6 Pick 251: Chris Wilcox, CB, BYU
The Buccaneers already boast some of the NFL's top talents in their secondary: the likes of Jamel Dean, Sean Murphy-Bunting and Carlton Davis all excelled during the Super Bowl-winning campaign in 2020.
Depth seemed like a problem, though, so bringing in an athletic specimen in the form of BYU talent, Chris Wilcox makes a lot of sense as he would provide extra competition for the aforementioned stars already on the Buccaneers' roster.
The former Cougar posted a 4.38-second 40-yard dash, 37 1/2 inch vertical and a 126-inch broad jump on his pro day. Wilcox is likely to be a work in progress in 2020, but I expect to see him get some reps out there with the Buccaneers.
#7 Round 7 Pick 259: Grant Stuard, LB, Houston
With the final pick of the 2021 NFL Draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected another LB in Houston's Grant Stuard.
Renowned for much more than his awesome hair, Stuard, a jack of all trades, chalked up 191 tackles, two sacks, 16.5 TFLs, four PDs, a forced fumble and a TD during his 3-year stint with the Cougars.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers roster is just scary now. Overall, Bruce Arians and Jason Licht did a great job in bolstering their ranks in the NFL draft.
I absolutely expect to see The Brady Bunch docking the galleon at the SoFi Stadium come February, not just because of their draft picks, but the excellent work done during free agency in retaining their star players.