ATB TEAM SPECIAL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2018 Mock Draft 1.0
With the NFL Draft around the corner, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have given themselves the opportunity to go into the draft without having to pick a specific player.
With the recent Free Agent signings, the Buccaneers are looking a whole lot better within the trenches of the defense and the offensive lines. This gives Tampa a chance to take best player available, without having to draft for a specific need. But who do the Bucs Draft?
This week I asked the writers of All Things Buccaneers who’d they see the Buccaneers drafting in the first three rounds. Keep in mind Tampa gave their third round pick to New York for Jason Pierre-Paul.
There are some common choices between our writers and a few players that the Bucs could target in the fourth round that not many fans have heard of.
As the battle for free agents have cooled off, the draft is main upcoming event for our favorite NFL organization. Jason Licht was able to plug a few holes the roster but there is are a couple areas that I feel in this draft we can elevate our team to a place that has eluded the franchise since 2007. Here the first of many wrong mock drafts from me:
1st Round: CB, Denzel Ward, Ohio State
Jason Licht and Dirk Koetter are in win now mode. Many of us fan thought Koetter should have been let go for another head coach. The Glazers have faith in them to right the ship, and quite frankly, I don’t make the big bucks to make those decisions sooooo I’ll have faith too. Corner is a premium position in this league and you want guys who can lock up the NFL’s best in this era of professional football. After Brent Grimes there is significant drop off in CB play. I really like Hargreaves and some of our other younger corners, but we need results. Ward looks every bit of the Shutdown CB type. He would bring the flash and eventually replace Grimes after this season.
2nd Round: RB, Nick Chubb, Georgia
After free agency, RB is the 1B need on this team to take us to the next level. Our offense is like a Dodge Charger on the outside, its super sexy but we missing the Hemi. We got all these weapons from Mike Evans, D-Jax, Brate, Howard and Jaboo, but no true engine to get the offense flow. We must have a feature 3-down back to unlock the potential of this team. I will be honest and admit I thought Doug Martin could be that guy again…..boy was I wrong! We cannot, and I mean cannot wait after the 2nd round to get an RB this year PERIOD! Nick Chubb is the best available falling to us in the second round. Barkley, Guice and Michel will be off the board. They are all that good. Chubb however has great vision, burst and has shown he can bounce back from injury. Look for him to come in and immediately take over as top dog in the RB house.
4th Round: OL, Alex Cappa, Humboldt St.
Jason Licht has proven to us that we can trust him when it comes to small school prospects, especially on the offensive line. He drafted Ali Marpet in the 2nd round, I believe he can strike gold again. Alex will need a little bit of time to develop, but the talent is there for him to become a starter before the end of his rookie deal. They will for sure cross train him at guard as well. He may eventually replace Demar Dotson, I do not foresee him playing for us after his contract is up. Look for Mr. Licht to continue to add depth in the trenches with Cappa!
ROUND 1 Pick 7
Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame
Drafting a guard is never going to be a fun or flashy pick, and let’s be honest you’re probably not going to buy a Quenton Nelson jersey. However drafting this big man out of Notre Dame at pick 7 could help this Bucs offense explode, of could with the assistance of Tampa’s future 2nd round pick…
ROUND 2 Pick 38
Sony Michel, Georgia
Sony Michel plays no games when the ball is in his hands. A very disciplined ball carrier, his acceleration and burst is NFL ready. Tampa Bay is in need of a premier running back and Sony could definitely fill that void.
ROUND 4 Pick 102
Josh Sweat, Florida State
The Bucs recently traded for star DE Jason Pierre-Paul but he is entering his 9th year in the NFL. Josh sweat showed glimpses at FSU that reminded me a lot of JaDaveon Clowney. Sweat has suffered from his fair share of injures in college, if he can stay on the field he could be the perfect successor to JPP.
Round 1: Quenton Nelson (OL) – The Bucs will get a much needed pickup on the O Line with Quenton Nelson. Nelson will be added to a line that just added Ryan Jensen and moves Ali Marpet back to Guard. This tandem will be a 3 headed monster.
Round 2: Sony Michel (RB) – The Bucs backfield gets a boost with this pick. Sony Michel will add speed and agility out of the backfield which is something the team has lacked for the last few years.
Round 4: Ogbonnia Okoronkwo (DL) – The Bucs address more depth for the defensive line. The Bucs made a lot of revamps to the defensive line in free agency but this will just be the icing on the cake. On paper the defensive line will now look more solid than it has been in the last 10 years.
Round 1: Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame
Reason: More than likely there will be 4-5 QBs taken with those first picks in the 2018 NFL Draft. Teams need franchise QBs for their future, it”s that plain and simple. For that reason alone top tier talent will be pushed to teams that would have no shot to draft these guys otherwise. For that reason the Tampa Bay Buccaneers end up with arguably the best overall player in the entire draft. Cha-ching!
Round 2: Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia
Reason: Many believe that the Bucs will pick Sony Michel as their RB of the future. Personally I think that Michel will be gone in the latter part of the first round. Don’t fool yourself, Nick Chubb is no slouch either. Before his devastating knee injury Chubb was on pace to be a clear-cut top 10 lock. He has since gotten back to form but some in NFL circles have dropped him down their board just a bit in terms of this 2018 running back class. That’s fine…run right on down to Dale Mabry; where the Tampa Bay Buccaneers #FireThoseCannons.
Round 4: Holton Hill, CB, Texas
Reason: The Buccaneers have to add talent to a suspect secondary. Holton Hill has upside, is more than a willing tackler, has some ball skills and coverage ability. I also think that the Bucs want to start drafting taller defensive backs. See Hargreaves, Vernon.
Round One- Derwin James
Why? There is a glaring need at Safety so why not add one of the most dynamic players in this draft to go alongside Justin Evans. James is a big, fast, physical, athletic hard-hitting playmaking safety who can cover and play many different positions all over the field. There is no doubt that James has all the tools to be successful in this league, not to mention he’s a leader. Perfect Match for the Bucs at 7!
Round Two – Ronald Jones
Why? There is a huge need for an explosive Running game that the Buccaneers lack. Pairing Jones up with Barber would give them the thunder and lightning one-two punch. Jones is a threat to take it to the house every time he touches the ball. He would be a very exciting addition to the backfield.
Round 4- Bryon Pringle WR
The Tampa native is a versatile WR who excelled on special teams as well as being a threat catching the ball and making big plays after the catch. I know Wide Receiver is not a huge need but you can never have too many especially when a player like Pringle still on the board. He’s a sleeper.
Kell Pooles (@allthingsbucs)
Round 1 Pick 7: Minkah Fitzpatrick DB
The Bucs need a smart, young, versatile addition to the Secondary to compliment VHIII Brent Grimes. Fitz also can line up basically anywhere from Nickel to Safety.
Round 2 Pick 38: Sony Michel RB
Somehow the Bucs get lucky and find their next playmaker on the Offense. Since other division rivals have speedy playmakers such as McCaffrey & Kamara… Look for the Bucs to try and one-up them by Adding Michel. Michel can play running back and is good at receiving. He can give up many options at returning also.
Round 4 Pick 102: Jayln Holmes DL
Bucs still need to address the Defensive Line. No better than adding more depth. Holmes has a long frame and is very strong. With his length he is more natural to become a dominant player at the point of attack.
Round 1: RB Saquon Barkley
There’s still uncertainty with the first six picks before the Buccaneers with those quarterback needy teams. The Cleveland Brown’s, in my opinion, will be the deciding factor in if the Buccaneers land either Barkley or Quenton Nelson. Depending who they pick at four will leave the Bucs with either one of those players. I believe four quaterbacks will go before the Bucs pick, leaving Bradley Chubb to New York. The Colts may just pick Nelson, leaving the star running back to the Buccaneers.
Round 2: : CB Donte Jackson, LSU
Since the Buccaneers got their hands on a feature back in the first round, they’ll be looking to improve their defensive backfield. Donte is coming off a ten interception season with the Tigers. He could fill a need for an outside player that has speed and overall elite athleticism the Bucs need when covering the outside receiver. Donte could start as a cover corner with the Bucs and will also help in run support. Plus, drafting LSU Tigers have boded well for the Bucs in the past.
Bucs Trade to get back into Round 3: DE Josh Sweat, FSU
Sweat is a raw talented player that could become a situational end for the Buccaneers. His change of direction abilities will benefit any team in the run game and has superior tackling skills. Sweat exceptional burst speed when he makes it through the offensive line to get to the quarterback. Overall, great player who shows no quit in his game. Would bring another level of nastiness to the Bucs new and improved defensive line.
There are many ways the NFL Draft could play out but the Buccaneers can rest easy knowing that they have important pieces of need already on the team.
Thanks for reading the All Things Buccaneers first three round mock draft. Stay tuned this week to read about the last rounds and who we think the Bucs grab.