The Bucs are making moves in free agency, but they also have an NFL draft coming up in late April. Everyone has a mock draft, so here’s my first-round mock first selection for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Round 1 – pick 27: OG Zion Johnson, Boston College. If Johnson is there at #27, he should quickly come off of the board to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Brady is back; Alex Cappa and Ali Marpet are not. Licht and company have done a pretty good job selecting offensive linemen in the draft, so I’d expect another homerun selection from those fellas. If the Bucs believe that Aaron Stinnie is the guy moving forward, then a lineman may not be on their list; However, when you have the chance to take a stout lineman, such as Johnson, you take him. The team did trade for the veteran lineman Shaq Mason, but that only fills one of the needs on the line; they still have the other guard position up for grabs.
Zion Johnson is smart, strong, and capable of being dropped onto the line on day one. He could play tackle, but he’s a true guard through and through. Johnson completes all of his blocking assignments but has the awareness and ability to break away and pick up on a blitzing defender who has broken free. He has great footwork and can move in any direction needed, and has the power to get the job done. At 6’2 5/8″ 312 lbs, he’s pretty fast. He can snap off the line hitting defenders quickly, but if he is late to the party, he does have a tough time recovering. He will certainly need to work on that. Johnson sets with a low center of gravity, but if he is taken off guard, he is doomed. All coachable. If Johnson is there at #27, it should be an instant win for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Zion Johnson’s Career highlights and awards via ESPN:
- First-team All-American (2021)
- First-team All-ACC (2021)
- Second-team All-ACC (2019)
- Third-team All-ACC (2020)
- First-team All-PFL (2018)