The Buccaneers have been busy this offseason bringing back Chris Godwin, Lavonte David, Shaq Barrett, Rob Gronkowski, and Tom Brady restructured his contract. These types of moves open up the draft drastically for the Buccaneers. We have all assumed that with the 32nd pick, Tampa would most likely pick an edge rusher. I am going to look at it a little differently, so stick with me.
The Buccaneers have a Hall of Fame quarterback in Tom Brady, but Tampa Bay could land their next franchise quarterback with the 32nd pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Tampa Bay will select Alabama quarterback Mac Jones in the first round. He fits the same type of physical and intellectual style as Tom Brady. Jones could sit for a couple of years learning from the future Hall of Famer. He had a Heisman-worthy season in 2020 for the Crimson Tide. 2020 Stats: 4,500 Yards, 41 Touchdowns, 4 Interceptions
In the 2nd Round, Tampa Bay will beef up the offensive line. They will be selecting Notre Dame Tackle-Liam Eichenberg. He was a huge asset to Ian Book and the Irish this past season. Eichenberg is a physical presence on the offensive line standing 6’6 and weighing 302 pounds. He is a very strong blocker that uses solid techniques to outmaneuver the defense. He uses proper lean, and his vision is one of the absolute best coming out of this draft class. He will probably be playing on the right side but is skilled enough to play anywhere.
The 3rd Round brings the first defensive player to Tampa Bay. Tulane’s Cameron Sample will be the pick for the Buccaneers. Sample was a three-year starter at Tulane that shows the ability to use his quickness and agility to be a difference-maker at the next level. He is a very versatile player that would benefit the defensive front for Todd Bowles in 2021. 2020 Stats: 29 Tackles, 5 Sacks, 1 Forced Fumble
In the 4th Round with pick 137, the Buccaneers will select defensive tackle Marlon Tuipulotu. The USC product plays with high-end athleticism. He is a very good pass rusher utilizing his best move, the bull rush. He reminds me of Vita Vea the way he takes on blocks and uses his leverage to stuff the opposing running backs. 2020 Stats: 12 Tackles, 2 Sacks, 1 Forced Fumble
In the 5th Round, Tampa Bay will be able to make selections at 176 and 226. They will spend their first pick to help out the secondary in Oregon Duck cornerback Deommodore Lenoir. The former Oregon Duck brings physicality to an already talented secondary. Lenoir is known for his willingness to come up and make tackles. He is very smooth when it comes to coverage but is best utilized in zone. He would be a great pick in the 5th Round.
The Buccaneers will use their second pick in the 5th Round to select Penn State center Michal Menet. He comes from a school that spits out solid lineman. He is a very good blocker and uses a savviness found only in a veteran lineman. Menet is a very good leader at the center position; he reminds me a lot of Ryan Jensen. This is a nasty lineman that loves seeking out contact.
Finally, in the 7th Round, Tampa Bay will select two more very important players on the defensive side. Their first pick will be Florida State linebacker Amari Gainer. The former Seminole is growing into his body and could still decide to return to FSU next season. His athleticism makes him the perfect pick for Tampa Bay’s defense. He would be able to learn and grow from Devin White, Lavonte David, Shaq Barrett, and Jason Pierre-Paul. He is still very raw, and his statistics don’t jump off the page, but the Buccaneers will be able to utilize him. Now, Mr. Irrelevant is safety Trey Dean III. He is an extremely long, lanky, and slender-bodied safety the Buccaneers could use in multiple positions. Dean played mostly in the slot against the bigger wide receivers but with the ability to use his hands and play press coverage; he can really play anywhere. The NFL shows him converting to safety, but as of now, he sits at corner. There was no offseason for the Gators to explore the options of playing him in other positions.
There you go, Bucs Nation. Hopefully, you stayed with me during this most recent mock draft. FIRE THE CANNONS!