SB Nation has published its latest 2012 NFL Mock Draft, and they've done something interesting this time. Quarterback Robert Griffin III falls, as QB Andrew Luck, T Matt Kalil, CB Morris Claiborne and WR Justin Blackmon are the first four picks of the NFL draft. With the next pick they have the Tampa Bay Buccaneers picking....tackle Riley Reiff?
Josh Freeman needs help, lots of it. Tampa's two starting tackles, Donald Penn on the left and Jeremy Trueblood on the right, allowed 13 sacks and almost 80 pressures according to the stats at Pro Football Focus. The re-signed Penn last season. Drafting Reiff gives them a better pair and insurance in case Penn underwhelms as he did in 2010.
Hit the jump for my thoughts.
Josh Freeman certainly needs help, but Donald Penn has played well at left tackle and doesn't really need to be replaced. Jeremy Trueblood does need to be replaced at some point, but fifth overall is much too high for a right tackle.
So, who else could the Bucs select there? Well, there's always CB Dre Kirkpatrick, who is a top-notch and very physical cornerback. RB Trent Richardson is always an option as well, while instinctive linebackers Luke Kuechly and Courtney Upshaw have to be considered as well. But ultimately, the Bucs don't have a lot of terrific options in this situation. The best option may be to trade down with a team that wants to desperately wants to get ahead of the Washington Redskins to draft Robert Griffin III.
Interestingly, NFL.com's first mock drafts have much more interesting players available for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In every single one of those mock drafts, CB Morris Claiborne drops to the Bucs at #5, and only one of those draft experts has the Bucs selecting someone else: Trent Richardson.