clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2016 NFL Mock Draft: Where to find a pass rusher

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The past few weeks, Noah Spence has risen slowly but steadily to become the favorite pick for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The defensive end is perhaps the only exceptional pure edge rusher in the draft. My main fear with Spence is that he won't even be on the board when the Bucs pick -- as is the case with Dan Kadar's latest mock draft. Instead, he gives them Mackensie Alexander, the Clemson cornerback.

Tampa Bay's two biggest needs to address this offseason are defensive end and cornerback. If the three top pass rushers are off the board, the direction turns to cornerback. Mackensie is a talented redshirt sophomore who can lock down a side of the field.

Here's the thing with Alexander: no interceptions in his college career. None. There are reasons for that: he wasn't thrown at much, mostly. But it's still a concern. Interceptions are important, after all, even if they're a lot less consistent than just good coverage.

The bigger issue is that the Bucs may once again be left without a top-tier pass rusher in the draft. It's happened before. In fact, it's happened essentially every time the Bucs have tried to draft a defensive end since arguably 1976, when Lee Roy Selmon came in and dominated.