2014 NFL Mock Draft: Mel Kiper, Todd McShay go three rounds

Al Messerschmidt

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers come out looking pretty shiny in the latest ESPN mock draft.

Mel Kiper and Todd McShay held a head-to-head draft yesterday, with the analysts alternating picks throughout that draft. The top two picks for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were fairly predictable, if sensible: Texas A&M receiver Mike Evans, and Nevada guard/tackle Joel Bitonio.

Mike Evans in the first round is a safe, easy pick. Even with Jake Matthews, Teddy Bridgewater and Blake Bortles on the board. The Bucs have a massive need at wide receiver, Mike Evans is the best receiver available at that pick, and he'd allow the Bucs to have a receiving corps similar to the Chicago Bears, which should help Josh McCown.

Joel Bitonio in the second round is also a pretty good pick. He can play tackle, but is more likely to play guard with the Bucs -- and he should be very good in that role. He's fast and mobile, which should fit Jeff Tedford's movement-based offense, and he's both a solid run-blocker and pass protector. No qualms here -- except for the fact that the Bucs keep passing on quarterbacks.

The third-round pick really gets me excited, though: defensive tackle Dominique Easley. Yes, he has injury concerns coming off two ACL injuries, but if the Bucs pick him they will have cleared him medically. And if he's cleared, he has the ability to be a dominant defensive tackle. If it weren't for his injuries, Easley could very well be the second defensive tackle selected in this draft, behind only Aaron Donald. He is that good, and he'd be an ideal fit as a (backup) three-technique for Lovie Smith.

The one question I'd have is whether the Bucs would keep passing on quarterbacks. They've repeatedly alluded to the fact that they see franchise quarterbacks in this draft, and wouldn't pass them up if they fell to them. But they've also noted several times over the past couple of days that they also feel pretty good about their current depth chart at the position.

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