In Mel Kiper's latest mock draft (ESPN Insider needed to see the full content), the Bucs pick DE Ryan Kerrigan out of Purdue. This is, of course, perfectly logical and not worthy of a newspost. Ryan Kerrigan visited the Bucs yesterday, he's clearly on their radar, and he was a hugely productive college player. The Bucs would be happy to have Kerrigan at that point. At the same time, though, McShay's mock also demonstrates the problem of this year's draft. Kerrigan is the only one of the top defensive ends to still be on the board at that point, and it's arguable whether he can even be seen as a top defensive end. The Bucs sit right at the edge of the top of the defensive end class, and could be sitting at #20 with no valid pass rusher to draft.
McShay's mock(again, Insider content), though, has an interesting twist. We'll start with two decisions in his three-round mock. In round three, the Bucs pass on Greg Romeus to draft Shane Vereen, a running back. I can see that happening, Vereen's a useful player who could do well as a change-of-pace back. But in the second round he has the Bucs taking CB Ras-I-Dowling while both ILB Martez Wilson and DE Jabaal Sheard are still on the board. Simply put: I don't see this happening, at all. The Bucs need both linebackers and pass-rusher more than they need a cornerback.
The real twist, though, comes in the first round. He has Clemson's Da'Quan Bowers dropping all the way to #20. As I've written over the past days, Da'Quan Bowers' stock is dropping because of medical concerns, but there's little doubt he's a top 10 talent. If healthy, that's where he'll be selected. The medical recheck coming up in Indiana is crucial for Da'Quan Bowers for that reason. But there are some other question marks, too. Bowers only produced in his last (junior) year at Clemson. Is he a one-year wonder? He hasn't been consistently productive throughout his career.
Those are questions the Bucs will have the answers, because it could also be possible that the Bucs are faced with the decision of drafting Kerrigan or Bowers at #20. Do you take the safe pick with low upside in Kerrigan, or the medically risky and less productive pick in Da'Quan Bowers? What say you, Bucs Nation?