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2016 NFL Mock Draft: Does DeForest Buckner fit the Buccaneers?

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Everybody knows that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers desperately need defensive help. In his latest mock draft, Dan Kadar has the Bucs pegged for Oregon defensive end DeForest Buckner for exactly that reason.

Buckner is a high-level athlete who is more pro-ready than former teammate Arik Armstead, who was a first-round pick last year. Buckner has length, and he's an explosive pass rusher who some believe is just scratching the surface of his potential.

Other options: Shaq Lawson (DE, Clemson), Vernon Hargreaves (CB, Florida)

Personally, I don't see what Buckner has to offer that William Gholston doesn't already. Yes, he has length and size, but is he really an explosive edge rusher? The Bucs know  how to defend the run. They've known it for half a decade. What they haven't been able to do is get defensive ends to beat offensive tackles with any kind of consistency. Buckner did have 10.5 sacks last year, but never topped four sacks before 2015. And at 6'7", 290 lbs. he certainly seems like a much better fit as a hybrid defensive tackle/defensive end.

That's a player the Bucs could certainly use. Mike Smith seems more likely to go for a hybrid approach to the defensive line, and he'd certainly find a niche for Buckner. But is that the best use of a first-round draft pick, over a more natural edge rusher like Shaq Lawson, or a star cornerback like Vernon Hargreaves? I don't see it.