Free agency starts in a couple of days, and teams are already talking to and even negotiating with NFL player agents. We'd almost forget that the draft is a thing that happens next month. Not so Mel Kiper, who produced his third mock draft of the year today. In it, he mocks Vernon Hargreaves III to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The cornerback is a popular pick for the Bucs.
No change here from the previous mock. Hargreaves is highly regarded throughout the league and could certainly be drafted before this point.
Free-agency effect: The Bucs could get secondary help in free agency, but Hargreaves at this point would be hard to pass up, too.
The Bucs haven't been linked to any of the free agent defensive backs, so taking one with the top pick would make some sense. Jalen Ramsey isn't going to be available, and it seems like Hargreaves is turning into the consensus second-best defensive back around. He has some athletic and size limitations, but his production and tape is more promising than that of Mackensie Alexander.
In fact, the Bucs appear to be set on addressing all of their top needs in free agency: they've scheduled a visit with Charles Johnson and they have shown interest in several offensive linemen and running backs. The only need they haven't addressed is defensive back, and unless that changes, it's hard to see them passing up the opportunity to address the secondary in the draft.
After all, each of the past two years the Bucs used their top pick to address the biggest need on their team. There's no reason to believe Jason Licht is about to change his strategy.