The 2019 NFL combine is officially over and teams are preparing for free agency to start in just over a week. With that being said, draft season is upon us and based on team needs, I have put together a seven round mock draft for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers using the new draft machine over at The Draft Network
Round 1, pick #5: Devin White, ILB, LSU.
Even if the Buccaneers do come to a contract agreement with Kwon Alexander, I still believe picking White is at the top of their wish list, unless a player like Quinnen Williams, or Josh allen falls to them at five. White style of play would be a perfect scheme fit for Todd Bowles and lining him up next to Kwon and Lavonte David at the linebacker spots would be something special.
At the combine, White ran the third fastest 40 yard dash time for a linebacker since 2006, when he posted a 4.42 in his first attempt. To simply put it, the man can fly and has all the tools to be a terrific linebacker in this league.
Round 2, pick #39: Jachai Polite, EDGE, Florida.
After coming off a less than stellar combine, there is a real chance Jachai Polite will be there in the early stages of the second round. He was said to be dealing with a hamstring injury that limited his performance, but he also underwhelmed in the interview process as well and complained about teams bashing his game at the college level. Now, many players have bounced back from a poor combine, so Polite still has a great shot at a successful NFL career, but he may have ruined his chances of being picked in the first round.
With that being said, in between the lines, Polite can rush the passer. In 2018, he had 19.5 tackles for loss, while also posting 11 sacks and forcing 6 fumbles. The Buccaneers still need a pass rusher or two and to be able to grab a talent like Polite in the early stages of the second round would be a home run for Todd Bowles.
Round 3, pick #70: Rock Ya-Sin, CB, Temple
Perhaps the coolest name in the draft, Rock Ya-sin’s draft stock has been rising ever since he impressed at the Senior bowl and then again at the NFL combine. He put up solid numbers in several key drills and according to several scouts, he is very comfortable being a press corner, which is something that Todd Bowles likes his corners to do.
It’s a known fact that he Buccaneers need to address the cornerback position this off-season and the former Owl could be at the top of the list in terms of day two cornerbacks that Tampa Bay will be targeting. If this is the first three picks for Tampa Bay, I would feel much better going into 2019 then I do right now.
Round 4, pick #107: Beau Benzschawel, IOL, Wisconsin
As it stand right now prior to free agency, the Buccaneers do not have a starting right guard. This was expected as the team simply couldn’t continue to give Caleb Benenoch another opportunity at that position, but it does leave question marks as to who will be the team’s starter in 2019.
Could it be Evan Smith or Alex Cappa? Could it be a free agent acquisition? We will soon find out, but regardless, Benzschawel is a solid pick at the top of the fourth round and at the least adds depth to an offensive line that doesn’t have much depth at all.
He likely won’t be a day one starter, but he could be developed into a solid right guard for the future in Tampa.
Round 5, pick #145: Hunter Renfrow, WR, Clemson
With the uncertainty surrounding both the futures of DeSean Jackson and Adam Humphries right now, this pick could make a ton of sense if both players don’t return next year. Bruce Arians has spoken very highly of Adam humphries ever since his arrival and wants to bring him back, but as the old saying goes, you simply can’t keep everyone.
While they may not be able to keep Humphries, they can replace him with his clone. Literally. Watching Renfrow, it’s hard not to see a whole lot of Humphries in his game. Heck, they both went to Clemson as well. This pick could change at a later date, but with doubts in my mind about a Humphries return, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to draft him in the fifth round.
Round 7, pick 215: Brett Rypien, QB, Boise State
This pick is a total guess. In two weeks time, Tampa Bay could very well have their backup quarterback situation solved. Who knows if the Buccaneers will draft a quarterback or not, but Rypien is a solid option if they do. He put up very impressive numbers at Boise State and would have one of the best in Bruce Arians helping him adjust to the NFL game.
This mock draft will be updated after the first and second wave of free agency are over with and we have a better idea of the team needs.