Todd McShay put out his first mock draft of the year, and he has the Tampa Bay Buccaneers picking 13th based on the ESPN Football Power Index. That's fairly realistic, but the pick he goes with is not: Michigan State tackle Jack Conklin.
I'm not sure if Conklin will go pro after this season or not. He could use another season to continue to improve his hands and technique in pass protection. But if he leaves, he has the potential to develop into a starting offensive tackle in the NFL, so there's a strong chance he'd be a first-round pick. The Bucs need to protect their investment in Jameis Winston, and with a massive frame (6-6, 325 pounds), Conklin shows good mobility for his size
I'm slightly confused by the notion of drafting an offensive tackle in the first round a year after drafting two starting linemen in the second round. The Bucs not only have a talented young starting left tackle in Donovan Smith, albeit one who has struggled, they also have two starting-quality right tackles in Demar Dotson and Gosder Cherilus, as well as a veteran left guard in Logan Mankins and a quality starting rookie right guard in Ali Marpet. And then there's vackup Kevin Pamphile, who's looked good when called upon to play left guard or left tackle.
The Bucs do need to look at replacing Mankins sooner or later, and they could upgrade center, but neither is an immediate, pressing need -- and drafting a tackle in the first round isn't exactly going to address either position.
Instead, the Bucs should finally start addressing defense in the draft. They've used just one pick on a defensive player in the past two years, and the resulting lack of quality and depth has been a real problem for the Bucs, with near-weekly defensive end and secondary shuffles as a result this season. LSU cornerback Tre'Davious White, Clemson defensive end Shaw Lawson, Georgia outside linebacker Leonard Floyd and Virginia Tech cornerback Kendall Fuller are all available in this draft at the Bucs' pick and would make for a far more sensible investment.