In the world of NFL mock draft’s, seven-round versions are the ultimate glimpse into the potential future of the league’s 32 franchises.
Luke Easterling of The Draft Wire recently published a full slate of selections, and since he took the time to construct it, we’ll take time to break it down.
1st-Round: DL, Ed Oliver - Houston Cougars
The rumblings about Gerald McCoy’s departure from Tampa Bay are getting louder and more direct. Following a series of sub-tweets and cryptic Instagram posts by McCoy, there are those pointing at sources inside the franchise indicating a split is imminent.
It would be a little unorthodox to see a franchise spend their first-round draft pick on interior defensive linemen twice in consecutive years, but the potential for Oliver to be a disruptive presence up front helps to support the hype.
I’m still not a fan of taking Oliver with a Top-5 selection, but a departure by McCoy certainly helps this idea gain traction if it happens.
Notable Players Still Available After Pick: OT, Jonah Williams (Alabama); EDGE, Clelin Ferrell (Clemson); CB, Byron Murphy (Washington)
2nd-Round: CB, Amani Oruwariye - Penn State Nittany Lions
Amani Oruwariye is widely considered the third-best cornerback in this year’s class behind Washington’s Byron Murphy and LSU’s Greedy Williams. His attendance at the Senior Bowl gave him a shot at sticking his nose into the Top-2 conversation, but alas, it didn’t happen.
He struggled to stand-out against expectations and was limited in the game due to an injury. His knee shouldn’t keep him from the combine or pro day festivities, but missing out on his chance to shine under pro tutelage had to be frustrating.
Still, it didn’t hurt his stock. It just didn’t help.
Cornerback is an area of need for the Buccaneers, and Oruwariye its what fans have wanted and what we expect new defensive coordinator Todd Bowles to target in his perimeter defenders.
The Penn State standout is 6’1 with solid size and should take well to an aggressive defensive scheme.
Notable Players Still Available After Pick: LB, Mack Wilson (Alabama); DL, Charles Omenihu (Texas); OL, Chris Lindstrom (Boston College)
3rd-Round: OT, Andre Dillard - Washington State Cougars
Many Bucs fans think the team should jump on an offensive tackle early on in the NFL Draft, but here in Easterling’s mock Jason Licht waits until the third-round to bolster the unit.
After adding Alex Cappa to the interior of the offensive line in the third-round of the 2018 draft, adding a left tackle this year fits. There are a few questions on the line though, so the new coaching staff in Tampa Bay is going to have to figure out a way to make the best of the pieces they have, and one or two potential rookies being added to the mix.
Notable Players Still Available After Pick: CB, Isaiah Johnson (Houston); S, Amani Hooker (Iowa); CB, Rock Ya-Sin (Temple)
4th-Round: OL, Beau Benzschawel - Wisconsin Badgers
Perhaps drafting back-to-back linemen will make the fans happy who were previously upset about the team passing on the group in the first two rounds. Perhaps not.
Benzschawel plays a position of need as the team obviously needs help at the guard position opposite of Ali Marpet.
However, nobody should expect a fourth-round selection to step in as a day one starter. Stranger things have happened, but I don’t see this Wisconsin Badger being the exception to the rule.
Caleb Benenoch and Alex Cappa won’t be too threatened here, so we’ll have to see what happens in free-agency.
Notable Players Still Available After Pick: TE, Foster Moreau (LSU); WR, Andy Isabella (UMass); QB, Tyree Jackson (Buffalo)
5th-Round: RB, Miles Sanders - Penn State Nittany Lions
Didn’t get as much work due to the presence of Saquon Barkley, but has talent of his own to add to an NFL roster.
Sanders was a five-star recruit when he left for college, and if there’s a coaching staff that could help him get the most out of his natural ability it’s Bruce Arians’ collection in Tampa Bay.
With Ronald Jones awaiting his chance to make his sophomore season much better than his first, Sanders will certainly look to take advantage of a wide-open running back race with the Bucs.
Notable Players Still Available After Pick: WR, Parris Campbell (Ohio State); RB, Bryce Love (Stanford); WR, Penny Hart (Georgia State)
7th-Round: LB, Darrius Harris - Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders
Harris (not pictured) represents a draft pick spent on a position group with some debate about the need - or lack thereof - for the Buccaneers.
Lavonte David tops the list of Bucs linebackers with Kwon Alexander a solid co-captain of the group and Kendell Beckwith pending his return from a season-costing ankle injury suffered in the 2018 off-season.
With Beckwith already out, and Alexander suffering a torn ACL mid-season, the depth of the linebacker group was tested throughout the season.
Adding a young prospect to develop who can also contribute immediately to special teams if needed, is a smart move.
Waiting until the seventh-round or not to do so is all going to depend on whether or not the team can secure Alexander’s services for 2019 and beyond.
Notable Players Still Available After Pick: OL, Nick Harris (Washington); QB, Trace McSorley (Penn State); WR, Terry Godwin (Georgia)
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