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NFL Mock Draft 2017: Needs for the Buccaneers

NCAA Football: Sun Bowl-Stanford vs North Carolina Ivan Pierre Aguirre-USA TODAY Sports

It’s the offseason for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and it’s a Monday, which means it’s mock draft time. This time, Dan Kadar over at SB Nation looked at every team’s top needs and tried to construct a good mock draft based on that information.

For the Bucs, he went with a defensive end, though wide receiver was at the top of the list. No good receivers were available, I guess, so Stanford’s Solomon Thomas became the pick.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford

Key needs: WR, DE, C

The Buccaneers are on the brink of being a playoff team, and a very good secondary wide out to go along with Mike Evans could put the offense over the top. At end, run stopping ace William Gholston is a free agent. A defensive end who can rush the passer would be a good fit as well. It won’t be a first round need, but the Buccaneers should be one of the first teams to take a center in this year’s draft.

Yup, that sounds about right. I’m not sure I’d put defensive end that high on the list — that depends on how much you think Robert Ayers has left in the tank and how likely Jacquies Smith is to come back and make an impact and how likely Will Gholston is to resign — but it’s certainly an option. Every team always needs more edge rushers.

Center is an option as well, but not a particularly pressing one. Joe Hawley is okay, if oft-injured, and while the Bucs could certainly improve on him, it’s hard to find true difference-makers at that position. I’d also consider putting safety on this list of needs — the Bucs still don’t have a good option at deep safety, though Keith Tandy impressed the last month of 2016.

I still think wide receiver is by far the most likely option for the Bucs at this position. Not just because it’s the team’s top need, but because there are likely to be a few good options at that position. Like Corey Davis. He seems good.