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It’s a good thing Mel Kiper isn’t making the Buccaneers’ draft picks

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NFL: Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

How valuable are mock drafts? How good are they really at predicting who the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, specifically, will take? And...how would the Bucs look had they taken who certain mock drafters think they should have taken?

Blogging the Boys came up with the idea of looking at Mel Kiper and Todd McShay, and their last seven mock drafts to see how well they predicted the draft, and how horrible they’d be as general manager. Before we get to that: here’s who the Bucs drafted in the first round the past seven years.

2010: DT Gerald McCoy, Oklahoma.
2011: DE Adrian Clayborn, Iowa.
2012: S Mark Barron & RB Doug Martin
2013: N/A (traded to the New York Jets for Darrelle Revis)
2014: WR Mike Evans, Texas A&M
2015: QB Jameis Winston, Florida State
2016: CB Vernon Hargreaves, Florida

That’s a pretty okay list, honestly. Gerald McCoy and Mike Evans were slam dunks, Jameis Winston looks very good so far, and Vernon Hargreaves could go either way but didn’t have a bad rookie year.

Doug Martin’s a disappointment, but did have two very good years. Mark Barron and Adrian Clayborn are busts, in the sense that they didn’t contribute to the Bucs much, but they’re still starting and are not bad players.

The biggest issue was trading for Darrelle Revis in 2013, and then letting him walk after a single year. That’s just a waste of a draft pick. Even with that, though, the Bucs had two slamdunks, one good pick, and one that could go either way. In seven years. That’s not outstanding, but it’s about what you’d expect out of an average NFL team.

So let’s take a look at what ESPN’s two analysts thought the Bucs should and/or would do (there’s never a really clear line between these two modes of analysis) in their final mock drafts,

Mel Kiper

2010: DT Gerald McCoy, Oklahoma

2011: CB Prince Amukamara, Nebraska

2012: TB Trent Richardson, Alabama

2013: N/A (Traded to NYJ for Darrelle Revis)

2014: QB Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M

2015: QB Jameis Winston, Florida State

2016: LB Leonard Floyd, Georgia

Ehm, yeah, that’s.....thanks for not running the Bucs, Kiper. What a string of busts this turned out to be. Amukamara was a disappointment for the Giants in basically the exact same way Adrian Clayborn was for the Bucs. Richardson was so bad he busted with two teams in three years before leaving the NFL, and Manziel...well, let’s not talk about him.

Leonard Floyd is the only potentially okay pick here, other than the easy Gerald McCoy and Jameis Winston predictions, and even his future with seven sacks as a rookie could go either way.

Todd McShay

2010: DT Gerald McCoy, Oklahoma

2011: CB Prince Amukamara, Nebraska

2012: CB Morris Claiborne, LSU

2013: N/A (Traded to NYJ for Darrelle Revis)

2014: DT Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh

2015: QB Jameis Winston, Florida State

2016: LB Leonard Floyd, Georgia

McShay fares a little better than Kiper, because at least he didn’t pick Johnny Manziel in 2014. Aaron Donald’s a very good player and would be a worthy addition to the Bucs, though it’s unclear whether he’d actually add more value than Mike Evans, what with the Bucs already having Gerald McCoy on the roster.

Claiborne was a bust for his first four years, but did get some good work done in the seven games he played this past season. Injuries continue to plague him, and four bad years aren’t good in a first-round draft pick, but at least he’s better than Trent Richardson.

Conclusion

Overall, I’d definitely prefer the Bucs’ actual draft picks to these fictional ones. Those picks create a more cohesive whole, and they’re just plain better, even the ones that aren’t with the team anymore.

So yeah. Let’s not let Kiper and McShay make the Bucs’ picks. We’ll stick with Jason Licht.