WE GOT GRONK!
Are you freaking kidding me? First, the Bucs sign arguably the greatest quarterback of all time. And now, they get arguably the greatest tight end of all time. Unbelievable!
I know after my last mock draft, I said that was my last one for this off-season. However, that was BEFORE Gronk. With this trade comes a different set of picks for the Bucs. In case you missed the details, the Bucs gave the Patriots their fourth-round pick in exchange for Gronk AND the Pats’ seventh-round pick. It’s a great deal for Tampa Bay. Not only do they get one of Tom Brady’s favorite targets, but they still walked away with seven picks in this draft. Plus, now they have the freedom to trade OJ Howard if they so choose.
The team to keep an eye on could be the Baltimore Ravens. They currently hold seven picks in the first four rounds of this draft and have no real threat at tight end. The Ravens could offer up their second pick in the second round, 60th overall, in exchange for Howard. That would still leave them with their 55th pick of the second round, plus it gives Lamar Jackson a legitimate weapon at the tight end position. It’s a win-win for both teams.
If the Bucs can make that trade before Thursday, they could then use that 60th pick to trade up into the top ten to get one of those top tier offensive tackles. I think they need to get up to 8th in order to have a shot at either Jedrick Wills or Mekhi Becton. The Arizona Cardinals currently hold that 8th pick, which is worth 1,400 points, according to the NFL Draft Trade Chart. The Bucs 14th pick is worth 1,100 points. That means the Bucs would have to package up at least another 300 points worth of picks to get the Cardinals’ attention. That 60th pick just happens to be worth 300 points. Arizona should be tempted. They only have six picks in this draft, no second-round pick, no fifth-round pick and a ton of holes to fill in their roster. I’d say the Bucs could package that 60th pick of the second (300 points) AND their 161st pick of the fifth round (25.8 points) for the Cards 8th pick.
Another option for Tampa could be to simply cut out the middle man in that deal and try to trade Howard straight to the Cardinals along with their 14th pick for Arizona’s 8th pick. This enables the Bucs to move up for their offensive tackle without giving up anything extra, plus it would give Kyler Murray a legitimate weapon at tight end. Either way, the Bucs end up with the 8th pick in this mock, but we’ll go with Option #2 here to make it easier. So let’s take a look at what I’ve come up with for the Buccaneers and their new set of draft picks.
DEEZ MOCK DRAFT 7.0: AFTER GRONK
Rd.1/Pk.8 (from Cardinals)
OT Jedrick Wills, Alabama
They got their man at right tackle! The Bucs had to make a move up six spots to get him, but he’s worth it. Not only are they getting the most technically sound offensive tackle in this draft, but he played right tackle at Alabama protecting Tua Tagovailoa’s blindside.
RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, LSU
The Bucs need a smaller power back to compliment Ronald Jones II in their backfield, and this guy is a keg of dynamite. At 5’8″/210lbs, he’ll provide a nice combination with Jones and allow the Bucs to keep fresh legs in the game behind Tom Brady.
RB/WR Antonio Gibson, Memphis
I’ve had this guy in every mock for a reason. He’s a weapon. He averaged 11 yards per carry and 19 yards per catch in a shared backfield at Memphis. Not only does he give the Bucs the third-down back they need, but he can step out and play wide receiver and return kicks too.
WR Tyler Johnson, Minnesota
I had this guy in my Mock 6.0 and I brought him back again. I like him a lot because he’s a Chris Godwin clone at 6’2″/205lbs with decent speed and great hands. He’s an extremely polished route runner and very dangerous after the catch. Sounds familiar huh. Why not add another guy like that to this already stacked receiving corps?
G Cameron Clark, Charlotte
This guy has been considered a late-round “sleeper pick” by some scouts. The Bucs could use some depth on the o-line and this guy can play guard or tackle. He’s a mauler with a ton of starting experience and a team captain, so he’s just what Jason Licht looks for this late in the draft.
DT Raequan Williams, Michigan State
The Bucs need to add some more depth to their interior d-line as well. There’s slim pickins in this draft as far as defensive tackles go, but he’s worth a look at this point in the draft. At 6’4”/305lbs, he’s a solid run defender with an ability to disrupt the pocket up the middle.
Rd.7/Pk.230 (from Patriots)
LB Krys Barnes, UCLA
The Bucs could also add some depth at inside linebacker behind Devin White and Lavonte David. They re-signed Kevin Minter but probably shouldn’t count on anyone else in that room. At 6’1″/235lbs, he might be considered slightly undersized for some teams, which could cause him to fall this late. But with his speed and athletic ability, he’s perfect for Todd Bowles defense.
With the draft fast approaching, this should be my last mock of the year, but ya never know. I can’t wait to see what Jason Licht decides to do on Thursday night!
Until then, as always, GO BUCS!!!