NFL Mock Draft 2014: Jake Matthews over Sammy Watkins?

Joe Robbins

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers pass on Sammy Watkins to draft Jake Matthews in this mock draft.

In their latest mock draft, the guys over at Mocking the Draft have the Buccaneers drafting an offensive tackle, while passing on Sammy Watkins. Ruh-roh.

At the combine, Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith seemed content with the talent he has in place on defense. If that leaves Tampa to choose between the best offensive player on the board, it's Matthews in this scenario. It's not a fun pick, but Matthews is a plug-and-go for a decade lineman. Whether it's the left or right side, he'll be good.

Interesting to note that once again, no quarterback worthy of a top ten pick is available for the Bucs to pick. Blake Bortles, Johnny Manziel and Teddy Bridgewater are all gone. As are Jadeveon Clowney, Greg Robinson and Khalil Mack -- so then we're stuck with a bunch of secondary options and Sammy Watkins. And the Bucs would pass on Watkins?

I don't even mind Jake Matthews, honestly. He doesn't really fill a need, but Donald Penn will have to be replaced at some point over the next couple of years, and the Bucs would get a quality starter for a low salary, allowing them to spend elsewhere.

But passing on Sammy Watkins? Nah. I can't see that. Watkins is much, much too good for that. His combine performance was impressive, but it was little more than confirmation of what we already knew: He is the best receiver prospect since Julio Jones and A.J. Green. So ehm, three years.

Sure, the Bucs have Mike Williams and Vincent Jackson, but this is a league of three-receiver sets. Plus, there are Williams' off-field issues and Jackson's age, and probably some rookie transition problems for Watkins, too.

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