Here are some players the Bucs should keep an eye out for at this year's Senior Bowl, based on their positions of need.
William Jackson III, Houston
Fast and physical, Jackson has the size and length to hang with the NFL's bigger receivers, along with the leaping ability and ball skills to make the big plays Tampa Bay has so sorely been missing on defense. He closes on the ball as well as any corner in this class, and packs a serious punch when he gets there. He's still a bit raw, but with some development, he could become a star at the next level.
Cyrus Jones, Alabama
Jones has been one of the Crimson Tide's most improved players over his four years in Tuscaloosa, especially as a cover man. Tampa Bay needs to improve its depth at corner as well as the return game, and Jones fits the bill on both accounts. He's a dynamic return man who could make an immediate impact on special teams, and he could challenge immediately for playing time as the nickel corner.
Maurice Canady, Virginia
If the Bucs are looking for a big corner with great length and smooth skills, Canady could be their man. He's just as comfortable in run support as he is in coverage, tallying 148 career tackles to go with his five interceptions and 29 pass breakups. He also has experience as a return specialist, another area the Bucs need to upgrade.
Jeremy Cash, Duke
He won't wow scouts with his natural physical tools, but Cash is a smart, versatile player who can line up all over the field and still get the job done. He has plus instincts and plays the run extremely well, is comfortable in the box or over the top, and can even come down and play man coverage in the slot when needed. The Bucs need to upgrade their safeties as badly as any position group on the team, and Cash would be an immediate boost.
Kevin Byard, Middle Tennessee State
One of the more underrated talents in this year's crop of safeties, Byard let the Blue Raiders in 2015 with four interceptions and six pass breakups. He put together a solid performance against Alabama, registering a pick and a tackle for loss against the eventual national champs. He's got a thick, solid frame at 5'11", 217 pounds, but is still athletic enough to be a playmaker in coverage.
Miles Killebrew, Southern Utah
If you're looking for the small-school sleeper of the draft, look no further than Killebrew. He has the prototypical frame for an NFL safety at 6'3", 230 pounds, and he puts it to good use. He's effective down in the box as a run defender, but he's impressively fluid in coverage for someone of his size. A strong week in Mobile should garner him much more attention as the pre-draft process moves forward.
Bronson Kaufusi, BYU
The Cougars put out an raw, imposing pass-rusher a couple years ago in Ziggy Ansah, and they've got another intriguing prospect at the position this year with Kaufusi. Listed at 6'8", 280 pounds, Kaufusi is an impressive athlete for his size, having played basketball at BYU as a freshman. He leaves Provo with 26.5 career sacks (11 in 2015) and 44 tackles for loss, using his size and length to knock down 15 passes over his career and block four kicks in 2015 alone. He's not the speedy edge rusher the Bucs may be looking for, but there's no denying his rare combination of size and athleticism, as well as his production.
Sterling Shepard, Oklahoma
Don't let Shepard's size fool you; he has the skills to be an immediate starter and a productive receiver for a long time in the NFL. His precise routes, toughness over the middle and sure hands would make him an instant upgrade in the slot for Tampa Bay, and he could eventually become a worthy replacement for Vincent Jackson whenever he hangs up his cleats.
Braxton Miller, Ohio State
Once the Buckeyes star quarterback, Miller was moved to receiver and still exhibited the dynamic playmaking skills that made him a star signal-caller. The Bucs could always use another electrifying weapon, especially in the return game, and few players in this class are as explosive as Miller. If he slips to Day 3, Tampa Bay should take a long, hard look at him.
Joe Dahl, Washington State
Though he played left tackle the past two seasons for the Cougars, Dahl will be moving back inside to guard at the Senior Bowl, where he also has starting experience. Versatility is key when evaluating potential depth pieces along the offensive line, and Dahl's experience at both guard and tackle only adds to his value when projecting him at the next level. With possible needs at both left guard and right tackle in the near future, the Bucs should keep their eye on versatile guys like Dahl this week.
Cole Toner, Harvard
Bucs general manager Jason Licht loves sleeper-type offensive line prospects from smaller programs, which should put Toner on his radar this week in Mobile. Listed at 6'6", 303 pounds, Toner has the frame to add a little bulk and get stronger at the next level, but his technique and physical tools make him an intriguing blocker to watch this week. A strong performance against some of the nation's top defensive lineman could greatly improve his draft stock in the weeks to come.