The big three draft analysts agree on one thing: the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will pick Leonard Floyd with the ninth overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft. Mike Mayock was the first to say so last night, Todd McShay joined him this morning, and now Mel Kiper's final mock draft says the same thing.
In a draft where there's no perfect pass-rush prospect, Floyd has been a popular name as a potential top-10 pick over the last week. I can also see them targeting a cornerback here.
It's a curious development because up to a few days ago, the only person who was really linking Floyd to the Bucs was Walter Football's Charlie Campbell. Floyd's also a weird fit: he's a lanky pass-rusher/linebacker who doesn't have a clear positional fit for the Bucs, and didn't excel at any one thing in college.
If the Bucs draft him they'd do so as a pass rusher primarily, but he's got a long way to go. At this point, he's not much more than a really tall guy who can run fast and has some quick-twitch to him. That definitely needs to improve if he's going to succeed in the NFL, but there's not a lot of precedent for guys with a 6'6", 240 lbs. frame succeeding as a pass-rusher -- and the consensus is he played lighter than that in college.
This is starting to feel a little like 2014, when the initial consensus was that the Bucs would pick Mike Evans. In the days leading up to the draft, that consensus disappeared and five national writers had the Bucs taking Johnny Manziel, while another four went with Aaron Donald. Key point: the local guys by and large stuck with Mike Evans, and they were the ones who got it right in the end.