We’re over halfway through the 2017 season and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have basically been eliminated from the playoffs, which means it’s draft season once again. Today’s 2017 NFL mock draft comes to you courtesy of SB Nation’s Dan Kadar, who has the Bucs picking LSU defensive end Arden Key with the tenth overall pick.
The Buccaneers are one of the worst teams in the NFL at getting after the quarterback. If Tampa wants to add an edge player, Key would be a good selection. He’s somewhat of a pass rush specialist, but he has a lot of speed and length to get around the edge.
Despite the Bucs’ five-sack performance against the New York Jets, pass rush is probably their most urgent need— a need they’ve been trying to fill ineffectually ever since Simeon Rice. Yes, for that long.
The Bucs aren’t entirely without talent at the defensive end position, but those players all have some issues: Noah Spence is highly talented, but has suffered a recurring shoulder injury and has yet to turn that talent into consistent production. Robert Ayers is solid, but not a pass-rush specialist and he’s getting old. And William Gholston is mostly just a run defender—a very good one, but a bit one-dimensional.
So, yeah, this pick makes a lot of sense—especially because there are no overwhelmingly talented cornerbacks or offensive tackles available.