With just two days before the Tampa Bay Buccaneers finally make (or announce) their pick in the 2015 NFL draft, the consensus is very clear: they'll take Jameis Winston. But that doesn't stop anyone and everyone from putting out mock drafts. And while the number one pick isn't all that interesting, everything after that is. I pulled out a couple mock drafts for your perusal.
Let's start with Dan Kadar's latest mock draft, first. Hey look at that, it's Jameis Winston. Because that's who the Bucs are going to pick, barring some ridiculous turn of fate that no one is expecting. Like Jason Licht secretly being The Joker.
There are two questions remaining about the Buccaneers picking Winston. 1) Has he started home shopping in Hillsborough County? 2) Wouldn't it be funny if Tampa Bay actually takes Marcus Mariota? Like, if they just did it to watch the world burn, it would be hilarious.
This is the easy, obvious pick that almost no one dares go against. Almost no one except Cian Fahey, him of the excellent film breakdowns for Bleacher Report, Football Outsiders and his own Pre Snap Reads. His mock draft has Mariota going first -- presumably going by the "here's what should happen" maxim, rather than the "here's what will happen" maxim. Fahey is far from the only analyst to come out in favor of Mariota the past few weeks, but the Bucs nor anyone who covers them have given any indication that they agree.
More interesting than Fahey's choice for quarterback is his second-round pick: Ereck Flowers, the Miami tackle. Who the Bucs pick after trading down two spots for a fifth-round pick, too. There was an early report that the Bucs would actually try trading up for Flowers, if he fell, so this pick makes a ton of sense. The Bucs do really, really need offensive line help and Flowers would simply fit the bill -- he could play right guard or even tackle, in a pinch, giving the Bucs enough flexibility to fill the other spot with whatever they can pick off the trash heap of free agency, or develop in one of last year's draft picks.
Going back to Dan Kadar, he too sees the Bucs filling their need at tackle (or guard) early in the draft, though not with Flowers. His most likely options in this NFL-wide needs/fits breakdown are Pittsburgh's T.J. Clemmings and Florida's D.J. Humphries. I have no preference. Both are big improvements over what the Bucs have, though neither is ideal. Pick one. They simply can't afford to pass up a starting lineman with their second-round pick.
And finally, Kadar offers us a late-round option: Ty Sambrailo of Colorado State, who Kadar describes as "highly regarded [..] during the season," though apparently not after it. Sambrailo met with the Bucs, so there's at least some level of interest there. The scouting consensus seems to be that he needs to get stronger, but has a lot of potential if he can do that -- and none if he can't. So, he's a developmental prospect -- something the Bucs already have quite a bit, but you're not going to get more than that in the late rounds.