Mock drafts have a way of inciting anger and elation as much as they have the ability to break-up lifelong friendships and even cost people full-time employment. These fictitious morsels of uninformed guess work sure do give those of us who love them quite the emotional response some times.
For the record, I’m not entirely sure Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles reads mock drafts or not. I imagine if I were in his position I would, if for no other reason than to just get a beat on how outsiders view my stable of players.
Many mock drafts since Jonah Williams stopped being a consensus Top-5 pick have had the Bucs going defense in the first round. I recently stumbled upon a seven-round mock draft constructed by CBS’ Chris Trapasso, and he agrees with the majority.
In his recent complete mock draft, Trapasso has Jason Licht and the Buccaneers pulling the trigger on selecting LSU linebacker Devin White.
The linebacker has been wowing teams, media and scouts alike since the draft circuit reached full steam, and he did so once again at his pro day.
Bowles is installing a new defense. One many players on the Buccaneers are not familiar with in execution. Having an interior linebacker in the middle of it all to make sure all of his teammates are in the right place for the play call and reads is going to be critical to the success and failure of the unit.
Deone Bucannon provides experience and knowledge with the scheme, but isn’t going to be able to fill the full-time role Bowles needs there. He can however, help incorporate and accelrate White’s learning curve, getting him ready to quarterback the defense in 2019.
Trapasso wasn’t done giving Bowles new faces for his side of the ball though. In the second-round, the writer has Penn State’s Amani Oruwariye heading home to Tampa. Of course, if you’ve listened to any of our draft conversations on the Locked On Bucs Podcast, then you know I smiled at this selection. So hopefully, so does Bowles.
Oruwariye has the size and skill to fit what we think the Bucs will want to do on defense this year. I’ve spoken about being in favor of having a veteran to start opposite of Carlton Davis III this coming season, but if there isn’t one - which there isn’t right now - then I’m all-in on Oruwariye and Davis manning the perimeter for Tampa Bay.
By the end of day two, new offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich is likely to wonder if he did something to make Bruce Arians and Jason Licht angry as the team nabs yet another defensive player.
This time, it’s Texas defensive lineman Charles Omenihu. In his mock, Trapasso compares Omenihu to current player Jason Pierre-Paul. Offensive line truthers will be angry here. But man, Omenihu on the defensive line would really start making this defensive group look dangerous.
Those concerned about the offense don’t have to worry though. While Bowles is likely in his office for most of day three plugging away finding ideas on how to use his significantly re-loaded defense, Leftwich gets three straight picks in rounds four, five and six for his side of the ball. And they’re all good picks too. (Man, Trapasso killed this.)
The final pick for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is my favorite. Not because he’s an instant starter or all-pro in the making, but because he’s a sleeper I personally identified early in this process and have kept an eye on ever since.
I won’t ruin the ending. Just head over and check out how the entire 2019 NFL Draft will pan out. Then get to praying it happens exactly how Trapasso says it might. Because the Buccaneers came away with perhaps the best draft class in the league if it does.