It’s a Monday in draft time, so it’s time for another 2017 NFL mock draft. Dan Kadar decided to focus on whether each time could draft a quarterback (spoiler alert: the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won’t, at least not until later in the draft), and go through the first round as a regular mock.
The result for the Bucs is, once again, Jabril Peppers. The Michigan safety who keeps reminding me of Mark Barron.
This is a pick I continue to be locked on because the fit is natural. Peppers was miscast at Michigan last season. He skill set should allow him to be a versatile safety who can eliminate mismatches an offense tries to create.
I can see Peppers being a useful safety, and even a valuable player, but I continue to have massive reservations about his ability to play deep, which is a major part of being a successful NFL player.
More importantly, perhaps: is there a receiving target the Bucs could draft instead? With Alabama tight end O.J. Howard and Miami tight end David Njoku available, there’s two other potentially good fits. Washington receiver John Ross is also there, but it seems he’s fallen out of favor as a potential first-round pick.
Those players would fill a bigger need, and are likely to make a bigger impact on the field. Peppers’ impact is more difficult to project. There’s a chance he’ll be an all-around playmaker in the NFL, and he could be a weapon for a defensive coordinator willing to get creative. Or he could struggle to find his position. It’s hard to say right now.