The Bucs 5th overall draft selection is an interesting one this year. With a new coaching staff rumored to be possibly changing the entire structure of the defense, the needs of the past year being what they were, and the salary cap issue being what they are, it’s hard to say what is going to happen. Veteran DE Vinny Curry being the first to be released opens a hole leading some fans(myself included) arguing that DE Carl Nassib could fill. Mel Kiper, however, thinks otherwise for now. His 2.0 draft selection has the Bucs taking DE Montez Sweat with the 5th overall if they don’t trade down.
Kiper mocks in his recent 2.0 draft:
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State
The 6-foot-6, 245-pound Sweat, who had 22 sacks over the past two seasons, was the best prospect at the Senior Bowl in January. He keeps rising on my board, and he should have a great combine workout. Tampa Bay’s defense is likely to undergo an overhaul under new coach Bruce Arians and coordinator Todd Bowles, and the Bucs have to add edge rushers. Jason Pierre-Paul had a nice first season in Tampa (12.5 sacks), but he’s 30. Former second-round pick Noah Spence, meanwhile, has just one sack over the last two seasons. This is another spot that could be for sale in a trade as teams try to get ahead of the Giants to grab a quarterback.
I give Kiper credit. At 6’6″ and 245 lbs, Sweat, is a big guy and if Arians, Bowles, and Licht can actually make the full personnel switch to a one-gap defense, his presence will be very welcome on the line. So, this pick could actually make a lot of sense. While we haven’t reached the combine and player stock value will be altered, this isn’t a bad selection as it sits right now. Though, Licht may do what he’s done multiple times in years past and totally conceal his idea for his selection until the actual pick comes. At the current time, that may also not be so bad.
During Sweat’s 4-year career he’s played in 27 games total with two schools starting with Michigan State (two seasons) and Mississippi State (two seasons). He’s recorded 23.5 sacks, 53 total tackles with 27 of them solo, and 14.5 of those tackles for losses.