I've been ignoring mock drafts the past few days, mostly because they don't go beyond the first round and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers don't have a first-round pick anymore after trading for Darrelle Revis. And I'm absolutely fine with that! But we finally have a mock draft from a quality outlet with trades, and the Buccaneers trading up into the first round. In comes USA Today!
28. Buccaneers (PROJECTED trade with Denver Broncos) DE Bjoern Werner, Florida State: Denver owns just six choices and might still net a pass rusher such as Damontre Moore, a Texas A&M teammate of Von Miller's, by adding the No. 43 pick from Tampa Bay. (DE Dwight Freeney could also join the Broncos at any time, so reaching for a defensive end doesn't seem necessary.) The Bucs, meanwhile, are a team boldly making moves in a bid to return to prominence. Their league-worst pass defense was markedly improved by Revis' arrival, but another pressure player would obviously help. And don't forget, the D-line lost half its starters in free agency. A high-effort guy like Werner would be a perfect base end on the left side.
Aaaaand out goes USA Today!
Sure, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could easily trade up, but to do so for Bjoern Werner would be foolhardy. The Buccaneers have only one issue on the defensive line, and that's depth. Their starters are fine (yes, even their nose tackle with Derek Landri and Gary Gibson, though they could upgrade there), but they need more depth. Do you think trading up into the first round is a good way to build depth? I'd reserve that for significant contributors.
And Werner won't be that. He's not an upgrade over Adrian Clayborn, lacks the ability to bend the edge consistently, and gets stonewalled too easily. Most disturbingly: he seems to give up when he does get stonewalled. For a guy who has the reputation of being an effort player (I wonder why), he doesn't actually display a lot of hustle.
In other words, taking Werner would only upgrade a backup position with a player who has no special traits. If you're trading up for a defensive lineman there, I'd much rather pick up UCLA's Datone Jones, Texas A&M's Damontre Moore (who actually is an effort guy) or North Carolina's Sylvester Williams.Most intriguingly, even Tank Carradine is on board -- and he may be the best 4-3 defensive end in this draft when healthy. He probably would represent an upgrade over Clayborn, or at least over an injured Clayborn.
Otherwise, linebackers Kevin Minter or Arthur Brown would make sense as both should be an upgrade over Mason Foster in coverage, which would allow him to move to outside linebacker. Tight end Zach Ertz might make some sense, too, and any of the approximately half-dozen cornerbacks worthy of a late first-round/early second-round pick could go there, too.
Anyone but Werner, really.