Mock drafts are fun. Largely meaningless fun, but fun nonetheless. So, let's round up five of them. What do five guys who say they're draft experts think the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will do come May? Yes, May. The draft was moved.
Let's start with Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com who offers the most intriguing option for the Buccaneers: Blake Bortles. He sees the entire top four passing on quarterbacks, which seems unrealistic at this point -- but then, we're still months removed from the draft, and early mocks are never overly accurate. The Raiders take Johnny Manziel off the board at number five, and the Bucs are left picking between Blake Bortles and Teddy Bridgewater, and go with the higher upside talent.
Blake Bortles is an intriguing talent. He's physically one of the more gifted quarterbacks in this draft, and the fact that he's a local product out of UCF will help him a little in the Bucs' eyes. Still, he's not as pro-ready as Teddy Bridgewater, who has operated in a pro-style system his entire career and has shown an understanding of the NFL passing game.
Bortles beats Bridgewater on two things: size and arm strength. Bortles doesn't have a real cannon, but he has a significantly better arm than Bridgewater does. In terms of size, there's no contest -- and yes, size matters, even after Russell Wilson. Being 6'5" allows you to see the field better, and it makes teams a little less concerned about the hits you'll be taking.
If the Bucs do find themselves in this position and opt for Bortles, we'll know one thing: they have a lot of faith in Jeff Tedford to fix Bortles' flaws, as he needs to correct his footwork in the pocket. That's Tedford's specialty, of course, so the pick would make sense.
The other four mock drafts come courtesy of CBS Sports, and they offer just two different options: Sammy Watkins twice, and Khalil Mack twice. The four CBS Sports draft analysts have the three top quarterbacks going ahead of the Bucs in every instance, which makes for an interesting contrast with Jeremiah, who's a lot more conservative on these quarterback prospects.
Khalil Mack has been an incredibly popular pick for the Buccaneers, as he's generally the top available pass rusher once the Bucs' pick comes around. Mack would probably have to convert to defensive end for the Bucs, but that doesn't need to a problem. The question is whether they will still see pass rusher as a need after free agency.
Sammy Watkins is more interesting, mainly because he rarely seems to fall that far. Watkins has Julio Jones-level talent, and that's very, very hard to pass up. This is a good draft, but Watkins falling seems to be rare. Except, apparently, for Rob Rang and Pete Prisco, who think the Bucs will have the opportunity to grab the best receiver in the draft. Which should make Mike Williams a teensy bit nervous, and Mike Glennon very, very happy.