The 2021 NFL Draft is going to be here before we know it, Tampa Bay fans. The Buccaneers will be looking to supplement their already talented roster. Tampa Bay could have some gigantic holes to fill depending on how hard free agency hits them. Key players in the 2020 Super Bowl run are in line to get paid this offseason. So where does that leave Tampa leaning in the draft?
It is always a struggle to bring the band back together after winning a title. Everybody wants to take a piece of the pie in the offseason; that being said, with the 32nd pick in this year’s draft, Tampa Bay will select Penn State edge rusher- Jayson Oweh. The length and athletic ability that Oweh brings to the table could pay out big dividends for the Buccaneers. In 2020, he made 38 total tackles in a shortened Big Ten season. Oweh is a high motor guy with extreme explosiveness, bend, and physicality that will translate well in the NFL. He isn’t a ready product, which is not necessarily a bad thing if the Buccaneers can somehow bring back Shaq Barrett. The draft prospect could be learning from Jason Pierre-Paul and Shaq Barrett. Not a bad duo to soak up information from.
The Buccaneers get maybe the most explosive offensive tackle in the draft in the 2nd Round. The 6’5- 319 pound sophomore Jaylen Mayfield from the University of Michigan will be Tampa Bay’s selection. He has the size and physicality to play tackle or guard in the NFL. He is only working with two years of experience, but with the offensive line pretty much set, he would be a great addition. He would join Donovan Smith, Ali Marpet, Ryan Jensen, Alex Cappa, and Tristan Wirfs.
Round 3 could see a surprise pick land right at Jason Licht’s feet. The Buccaneers will continue to add depth with another edge rusher, Tulane’s Cameron Sample. This is a pick that adds versatility to Todd Bowles’ defense in 2021. He is a guy that can play multiple positions on the defensive front. Sample could be compared to Jason Pierre-Paul with continued development. He is 6’2 and weighs 274 pounds. The Tulane Senior racked up 29 solo tackles, 5 sacks, and 1 forced fumble in 2020.
Let’s face it Tom Brady isn’t getting any younger. He is, however, playing at a very high level, and with an offensive line that’s able to keep him upright, the Buccaneers can be patient on selecting the “Heir to the Throne.” That is why the Buccaneers will select Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond in the 4th Round. Mond has thrown for 9,661 yards, 71 touchdowns, and 27 interceptions in his career at A&M. He is a dual-threat quarterback, as well. He ran for 1,600 yards and 22 touchdowns. Mond has proven he can throw into tight windows but also hit the deep ball downfield. When it comes to arm angles, he reminds me of Patrick Mahomes. Mond is a playmaker and doesn’t care how the ball gets to its destination as long as it gets there. This could be a huge pick for the future Buccaneers. Also, Mond will spend time learning from Tom Brady.
The defensive front gets more help in the later rounds. Tampa Bay will select interior defensive lineman from West Virginia – Darrius Stills. The West Virginia defensive stopper had quite the career-making 85 tackles, 25.5 tackles for loss, 11 sacks, and 1 interception. He was also responsible for three pass deflections, 1 fumble recovery, and blocking a kick. This guy can do it all. Stills has incredible hands and uses his leverage at an extremely high level. This aids in his ability to be a dynamic pass rusher. Again, he will add depth and be learning from Ndamukong Suh and Vita Vea. The Buccaneers will also select Iowa edge rusher, Chauncey Golston in the 5th Round. He will bring more versatility to the defensive side of the ball. He can play multiple positions on the right and left sides. Golston even possesses the skill to drop back into coverage. This pick adds much-needed depth to the aging front of Tampa Bay.
The 7th Round brings in two more very important picks for the Buccaneers. I know you are probably thinking what’s with all the defensive picks. Well, Tampa is in a position to take huge hits on that side of the ball. The offense will be losing Fournette, probably. Most experts believe Antonio Brown and Rob Gronkowski will come back to defend the title with Brady. So the first pick in the 7th Round will be Kansas Jayhawk running back Pooka Williams. The former Jayhawk broke out in 2018 and 2019. He was able to rush for 2,167 yards and 10 touchdowns. He would sit out eventually in 2020 due to a fear of covid-19.
Now, the moment we’ve all been waiting for Mr. Irrelevant. Tampa Bay will be selecting linebacker Amari Gainer from Florida State. Gainer is continuing to bulk up, but his athleticism is through the roof. He is very raw and doesn’t have a ton of experience, but given time to develop, Mr. Irrelevant could be a household name before you know it.
This is your 2021 NFL Draft Buccaneers fans. As always, this mock draft doesn’t take into account there could be free agent signings or players leaving the bay. FIRE THE CANNONS!