Mock drafts are what make this time of the year go by faster for football fans. Clicking on one can sometimes feel like opening a present on Christmas morning. But every year, there seems to be at least one that has a selection for the Buccaneers that makes you rub your eyes to make sure you’re reading it right.
That obligatory “this is a joke, right?” mock draft selection for this year is here, and it might make even less sense than last year’s did. A year ago, an early Daniel Jeremiah mock had Tampa Bay selecting Alabama running back Josh Jacobs with the No. 5 overall pick. Never mind the fact that Jacobs was drafted with the No. 24 pick and went on to have a great year. The pick just didn’t make sense for the Bucs, at least for the draft slot they had.
But back to this year’s head-scratcher. CBS Sports’ Josh Edwards released a mock on Friday that has Tampa Bay drafting Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy with the No. 14 overall pick. Jeudy is a stud, no doubt, but for the Bucs to take a wide receiver in the first round when they have glaring needs elsewhere (including the trenches and at safety)? That would be a tough pill to swallow. The “best player available” camp has validity, sure, but this just wouldn’t make sense.
It especially wouldn’t make sense given the fact that Edwards has the Bucs passing on A.J. Epenesa (No. 16 overall to Atlanta), Javon Kinlaw (No. 17 overall to Dallas), K’Lavon Chaisson (No. 18 overall to Miami), Josh Jones (No. 20 to Jacksonville) and Grant Delpit (No. 31 to San Francisco). That’s two talented pass-rushers, a future star defensive tackle, a stud offensive lineman and a playmaking safety being overlooked in favor of a guy that would be the team’s No. 3 receiver. That brings us to Edwards’ reasoning for the pick, which has some serious flaws:
I know Tampa Bay has bigger needs but no Buccaneers fan could complain if Jeudy fell into their laps at No. 14 overall with or without Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. Godwin will be a free agent after the 2020 season and would require a hefty contract extension. It would not be fiscally responsible to pay up with so many other needs.
So, at least he acknowledges the fact that the Bucs have bigger needs. But he goes on to say “it would not be fiscally responsible” to give Chris Godwin a contract extension “with so many other needs.” Suggesting that the Bucs SHOULDN’T pay CHRIS GODWIN is absurd. If the team wasn’t going to pay him, then OK, Jeudy as the future No. 2 behind Mike Evans works and would be pretty deadly. But the idea that it would be irresponsible for this team to pay Godwin is silly.
Jeudy is a star-in-the-making (he caught 77 passes for 1,163 yards and 10 touchdowns for the Crimson Tide last year), but this pick just doesn’t work for the Bucs unless they somehow keep their entire defense together, have a quarterback in place and still find a way to address every other hole on their roster in free agency. There’s no way all of that happens.
Jeudy will undoubtedly go on to be a great receiver in this league, but it’ll have to be for some other team.
Agree or disagree? Would you be OK with the Bucs drafting Jeudy with the No. 14 pick this April?