Todd McShay has a new mock draft out, and that means we can talk about it. Hurray. Todd McShay does something a little different this time. He gives the Buccaneers Tavon Austin in the general mock draft, with Xavier Rhodes off the board to the Miami Dolphins. That makes some sense: Austin is a unique player in the mold of Percy Harvin, and he'd be a great asset for any offense. In addition, no available cornerback would be worth the thirteenth overall pick.
But McShay went through the draft by scenarios, and those are a little more interesting to examine than just Tavon Austin, who we've talked about before.
Scenario 1: The Bucs would likely prefer to use this pick to address a glaring hole at cornerback. There is talk about trading this pick as part of a package for Revis, and I'm also hearing buzz about potential interest in Rhodes.
Scenario 2: If Tampa doesn't deal and Rhodes is off the board, then Austin gives the Bucs a dynamic weapon who can line up all over the field and help open things up for QB Josh Freeman and his other weapons, and also contribute in the return game.
Scenario 3: Should corner or an offensive playmaker not be the pick, the Bucs could opt for the top defensive lineman on the board. In this case, that's Mingo.
Stats and Info: The Buccaneers' pass defense allowed an NFL-high 17 passing plays of at least 30 yards outside the numbers, 15 of which were thrown to wide receivers. No team allowed more receiving yards per game to wide receivers than Tampa Bay (203.7).
So the three options are: Darrelle Revis/Xavier Rhodes, Tavon Austin and the top defensive lineman. Sheldon Richardson would then be a more likely pick than Barkevious Mingo in my opinion, simply because the Bucs have a bigger hole at defensive tackle than they do at defensive end. Still, either player would be a good addition to the team -- as would Rhodes and Austin.
The point of all of those options should be obvious: the Bucs have several quality options with their first-round pick, provided they keep it. And while not all of those players will fall to the #13 pick, one or two of them will likely be available. None of these players is much better than the other, which means that selecting the right player will come down to need and availability more than simply taking "the best" player available.