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Buccaneers, Saints make big draft day trades to land defensive linemen

Both were surprises.

NFL Combine - Day 4 Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

While we wait for the Falcons to trade up or stand pat and make a pick, we can take a look at what the Buccaneers and Saints did tonight. And man, it was not what I expected.

Start with the Buccaneers, who swapped down from #7 to #12, picking up two second rounders from the Buffalo Bills and swapping away a seventh. Instead of picking Derwin James, the consensus best safety in the class and a sore need, they picked Vita Vea out of Washington. Vea has the marketings of a terrific defensive tackle, and an extremely impactful one against the run, and now the Bucs have a terrific defensive line. There are still real holes at linebacker and in the secondary for that team, though, and their pass rush wasn’t all that special a year ago. They’ll hope Vea changes that.

The Saints, meanwhile, went batcrap crazy. They traded their first, their fifth rounder, and their 2019 first rounder not to get a future franchise quarterback in Lamar Jackson, but to snag Marcus Davenport. He’s a legitimate talent, but one who needs some molding, and it’s stunning to see a team with a 40 year old quarterback trade their first rounder next year for a defensive lineman who may or may not be special in 2018 and 2019, presumably some of the last years of Drew Brees’ career. It’s a swing for the fences and maybe I’ll be eating crow, but I don’t really get it.

We’ll see what Atlanta and Carolina end up with in the first round, now.