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NFL Mock Draft 2017: Two multi-rounders for the Buccaneers

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Two multi-round mock drafts give us some perspective on the Bucs’ draft needs.

NCAA Football: Temple at Connecticut David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

One thing we haven’t done much of this 2017 NFL draft season is look at multi-round mock drafts. The first round is kind of played out, so let’s take a look at a couple of multi-round mock drafts. Chad Reuter’s five-round mock at NFL.com, and Behind The Steel Curtain’s four-round mock draft.

One thing they have in common: both have the Bucs taking a safety in the first round, Michigan’s Jabrill Peppers and Connecticut’s Obi Melifonwu, respectively. I’m more of a fan of the second, but he’s more likely to be a second-round pick — and both players have to answer some questions about their ability play the center-field role, which is what the Bucs need out of a new safety.

Beyond that the two mocks start to diverge significantly. Reuter thinks the Bucs will take raw, athletic linebacker/edge rusher Tyus Bowser (the Bucs do like their athletes), while BTSC goes with speedy receiver Chris Godwin—an understudy to DeSean Jackson. The latter seems a little more likely, to me.

In the third round, the Bucs get Toledo running back Kareem Hunt from Reuter, and South Florida’s Marlon Mack from BTSC. Either one would make sense, a backup running back with the potential to play a significant amount of snaps would allow them to more easily move on from Doug Martin, too.

BTSC ends their four-round mock draft with a center, while Reuter gives them a fourth-round tackle. West Virginia’s Tyler Orlosky and Antonio Garcia out of Troy, respectively. The Bucs have made a habit of using a pick or two on offensive linemen, so I could see this — though the Bucs do have quite a lot of depth and youth along their offensive line already. Finally, Reuter ends with LSU’s Malachi Dupre—another bit of depth for the offense.

One thing missing from either mock: tight ends. This draft is both deep at the position, and the Bucs need some added depth at the position beyond Cameron Brate. In fact, arguably, tight end is the team’s biggest need—they have some developmental players with no experience on their roster, but the depth beyond Cameron Brate and Luke Stocker (who doesn’t catch passes) is abysmal.