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How Mike Mayock ranks the 2016 draft prospects at Buccaneers' needs

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Mayock's draft rankings are always relevant. He's a good tape evaluator, but he's also very plugged-in and that's reflected in his rankings. That doesn't shine through as much this early in the process, but he's still got a good feel for how good each player is.

Mayock published those 2016 rankings for the first time yesterday, so let's take a look at how he ranks the Bucs' top three needs.

Defensive end

1. Joey Bosa, Ohio State
2. Noah Spence, Eastern Kentucky
3. Shaq Lawson, Clemson
4. Leonard Floyd, Georgia
5. Kevin Dodd, Clemson

The hope for the Bucs is that Noah Spence drops to number nine, but that seems increasingly unlikely. Edge rushers are in high demand every year, and Spence is a terrific prospect. Spence's ecstacy addiction that got him kicked out of Ohio State no longer appears to be an issue, but teams can be very skittish with some off-field problems. If Spence is gone, the Bucs may go with Shaq Lawson instead -- but he represents a big step down.


1. Jalen Ramsey, Florida State
2. Vernon Hargreaves, Florida
3. Mackensie Alexander, Clemson
4. Eli Apple, Ohio State
5. Cyrus Jones, Alabama

Ramsey will almost certainly be gone by the time the Bucs pick, and every other cornerback has issues. Hargreaves may be too small and slow to be a top 10 pick, Alexander has no interceptions in his college career and Apple generally isn't seen as a top 10 candidate. The Bucs need help in the secondary, but it's not clear they're going to find it in the first round of the draft.


1. Karl Joseph, West Virginia
2. Vonn Bell, Ohio State
3. Darien Thompson, Boise State
4. Miles Killebrew, Southern Utah
5. Jeremy Cash, Duke

None of these players are going to be a top ten pick, but they'd be interesting candidates for the Bucs in the second round, or perhaps late in the first round after a trade. But for their first-round pick, the Bucs are going to have to look elsehwere.