It's Mock Draft Monday. Dan Kadar has the Bucs going with Clemson cornerback Mackensie Alexander in his latest 2016 NFL mock draft.
Although the Buccaneers of late have had a tendency to not draft cornerbacks, they need to make an exception with Alexander. He could slide into the starting lineup where defensive coordinator Mike Smith's defense requires good cornerback play.
Alexander is intriguing: he's a terrific athlete with good tape for what he was asked to do, but he has no interceptions in his career and few passes defensed simply because he was rarely thrown at. That says something about the respect teams had for him, but it also means there's not a lot of footage of him competing for balls and reacting to passes. That's a pretty important part of any cornerback's repertoire.
Luke Easterling comes up with a different answer in his latest mock for Bleacher Report: DeForest Buckner of Oregon. The massive defensive end has been linked to the Bucs repeatedly, and with Mike Smith supposedly looking for a little more hybrid play on his defensive line, he might actually be a fit -- but what they really need is pass rush, and the question is how much of that Buckner will be able to bring. In the rest of his seven-round mock, Easterling has the Bucs taking Florida defensive tackle Jonathan Bullard, a Rutgers receiver, and a couple of defensive backs in addition to some line depth.
Pewter Report came up with a player who could provide that in their latest seven-round mock draft. They go with Sheldon Rankins, the disruptive Louisville defensive tackle. If you want another quick, pass-rushing defensive tackle, he's your man. The fact that the Bucs already have Gerald McCoy, Clinton McDonald and Akeem Spence will limit Rankins' impact early in his career, but he could be a very good long-term pick. Pewter Report uses the rest of that seven-round mock to shore up the defense.
And now for the weekly look at Adam Stites' mock draft aggregation. There's an intriguing change: with Noah Spence disappointing at the combine, he's mostly disappeared from the picture. Instead, Vernon Hargreaves and DeForest Buckner have become far more popular choices for the Buccaneers.