Last week, the Los Angeles Rams traded up to the number one pick in the 2016 NFL draft, reportedly (and logically) to draft a quarterback. That has some implications for the rest of the draft, of course -- but it seems that mock drafts don't really see it impacting the Bucs much. Most had two teams drafting quarterbacks ahead of the Bucs before, and that hasn't changed -- the quarterbacks are just going a little higher.
So in Dan Kadar's latest mock draft, he still has the Bucs taking Ronnie Stanley -- or possibly a pass rusher.
There are plenty of good landing spots for Stanley high in the draft, so it's hard to see him dropping out of the top 10. For the Buccaneers, it would give them a high-caliber pass blocker who could push Donovan Smith to the right side. Suddenly, the Buccaneers have bookends for Jameis Winston.
Other options - Noah Spence, OLB/DE, Eastern Kentucky; Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson
If the Buccaneers don't target Stanley with the ninth pick, their top need is obviously getting another pass rusher. Spence is the better player as an outside rusher while Lawson provides more of a power rush.
Stanley would be a luxury pick and it's not clear how he'd fit in the team's current offensive line, but it wouldn't be entirely unimaginable. Similarly, Adam Stites' mock draft roundup has barely changed: Vernon Hargreaves still dominates, though there's more variety: "others" now takes the second spot. Maybe they can write that on their draft card on Thursday next week.
The Rams' trade does open up another possibility for the Bucs: they could trade up, either for safety Jalen Ramsey or defensive end Joey Bosa -- the best players at their top two positions of need. With quarterbacks being picked higher than before and the possibility of a third team, like the Philadelphia Eagles, pulling the trigger helps push those players down a little -- and may incentivize others to trade down, now that they
Of course, the Bucs will have to give up some draft capital to do so, and that's not something Jason Licht particularly likes doing. He's done it before, but later in the draft at little cost. He was also trained in front offices that tend to trade down more than up, like the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles. Having Mike Glennon as a potential trading chip might make a move up a little easier, though.
Fact is, we're just under two weeks removed from the draft and we still don't have a clear picture of what the Bucs want to do. So that'll be fun.