Draft weekend is upon us, and that means mock drafts everywhere. We'll have Bucs-specific draft coverage throughout the week, so stay with Bucs Nation if you want to know everything about the Bucs and the draft. One of the mock drafts out there is, SB Nation's mock draft written by Brian Galliford and Dan Kadar. They have the Bucs picking Ryan Kerrigan out of Purdue. It's an obvious choice if Kerrigan does fall that far, but it's doubtful whether that will happen. The Bucs would be happy to have him, but chances are they won't even have the opportunity. Which is where the other part of the mock draft comes in: projected trades.
The Bucs could either trade up to grab a superior talent, or trade down to gather more picks, and the mock draft has examples of both. The Patriots move up 4 spots and give up a third-round pick in the process, and the Bucs could do a similar thing. They've shown they're willing to give up late-round picks to move up in drafts, but a third-round pick may be a little too much for them. They've managed to accumulate talent in all rounds of the draft, so they could be giving up a good player just to move up a few spots.
The other option is to trade down, add more selections and hence more talent. I think the Bucs are more likely to do this if no player they want is available in the first round. Galliford and Kadar seem to think an early second-round pick and a third-round pick are enough to get a first-round pick. That seems low to me, especially if there's a scramble to move up into the late first round, and the Bucs may not be willing to give up over 12 spots for a third-round pick. Still, they could get someone like Jabaal Sheard early in the first round and add someone like Greg Romeus with their third-round pick, and it certainly wouldn't be a bad move.
The first round of the 2011 NFL Draft starts at 8 p.m. (ET) on Thursday, April 28th and SB Nation has everything you need to prepare for it - NFL mock drafts, draft projections, scouting reports, the full NFL draft schedule and more. Check it all out at SB Nation's NFL Draft Hub and our NFL Draft blog Mocking the Draft. Stay here with Bucs Nation for all draft coverage related to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.