Back for our third installment of the ‘Mock Draft Monitor’ series, things promise to get a bit more interesting following this one. With tag deadlines and free-agency heat rising to a boil, the NFL landscape is about to get a lot of questions answered, and with them some clarity as to how all 32 teams may approach this April’s NFL Draft.
Until then, let’s take one more gander at how the experts think the selection meeting might pan out as team’s stand, today.
I recently said on the Locked On Bucs Podcast I actually prefer LSU EDGE K’Lavon Chaisson over South Carolina defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw.
Apparently, Jeremiah agrees to a certain point when putting on his Buccaneers colored glasses for his latest mock draft update.
Bucs Pick: LB, K’Lavon Chaisson (LSU)
“The Bucs need to work out the contract situation with Shaq Barrett, who is headed for free agency after posting 19.5 sacks in 2019, but adding more punch on the defensive line would make sense no matter what happens.” - Daniel Jeremiah on K’Lavon Chaisson
Biggest Surprise: Justin Herbert the fourth quarterback taken. At No. 23. By the New England Patriots.
A man after my own heart, Kyle Crabbs goes with three offensive picks in three tries, and dips into the Herman Edwards pool of talent at my alma mater in the process.
Bucs Pick: 1st Round - OT, Andrew Thomas (Georgia) | 2nd Round - QB, Jacob Eason (Washington) | 3rd Round - RB, Eno Benjamin (Arizona State)
“A complimentary pass-catching back in Arians’ offense makes a lot of sense and if the Buccaneers don’t secure a veteran to fill the void, Eno Benjamin has plenty of pass-catching on his resume (82 receptions).” - Kyle Crabbs on Eno Benjamin
Biggest Surprise: Chargers target offensive line help, after signing a veteran to replace Philip Rivers
Another three-round mock draft, and another analyst who thinks Tampa Bay has offensive tackle in their sites by taking Georgia’s Andrew Thomas. Things get a bit more interesting from there however, as Todd Bowles adds an edge defender who most saw as a day one prospect until very recently. Then, we see another running back in the third round.
Bucs Pick: 1st Round - OL, Andrew Thomas (Georgia) | 2nd Round - EDGE, A.J. Epenesa (Iowa) | 3rd Round - RB, Zack Moss (Utah)
“Thomas is the fourth offensive linemen off the board, and he’s the fourth offensive linemen to help himself with a strong combine performance. In Tampa Bay, he solidifies an offensive line that ranked in the bottom third in both pass protection and run blocking, according to Football Outsiders.” - Ryan Wilson on Andrew Thomas
Biggest Surprise: A.J. Epenesa falls to day two
I’ve seen some people criticize team site writers for having an obvious bias towards the team they cover. Not necessarily Buccaneers fans, but fans of sports in general. But after the latest mock draft venture by the Bucs’ own Senior Writer/Editor Scott Smith, and Staff Writer Carmen Vitali, it’s going to be hard to say they have bias when their mock has the Carolina Panthers adding Isaiah Simmons to their defense.
Bucs Pick: OT, Andrew Thomas (Georgia)
“Nah, this one is a no-brainer for me. One of the ‘Big Four’ offensive tackles is still on the board and the Bucs are more than happy to nab Thomas. I know he didn’t have quite the Combine that Wirfs or Becton did but come on, don’t overthink a battle-tested tackle who says he can play on either side of the line and has the size and smarts to back it up. I know I’m leaving Scott’s new favorite prospect K’Lavon Chaisson out there, as well as the oft-mocked to the Bucs Javon Kinlaw, but after all the time both BA and Jason Licht said they spent on the offensive line coming into Indy, I think that’s where their biggest priority lies.” - Carmen Vitali on Andrew Thomas
Biggest Surprise: Jaguars turn a Gator into the new start of their new secondary.
And one more for the road, with a less than surprising result.
Bucs Pick: OT, Andrew Thomas (Georgia)
With the Combine wrapping up I decided to fire up the @DraftNetworkLLC
“As the run on receivers starts, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bucs got plenty of trade interest in this pick, as teams try to jump ahead of the Broncos for Ruggs. But unless they get a blockbuster offer, Tampa Bay would be better off taking the value on the board, and addressing their need for an upgrade at tackle with a prospect who could easily be a top-five pick. Thomas is a well-rounded blocker with few flaws, if any. He would be an immediate upgrade over aging veteran Demar Dotson, and could even push Donovan Smith for the starting left tackle spot.” - Luke Easterling on Andrew Thomas
Biggest Surprise: Colts trade up, in the name of Love
There we have it. Our final round up of NFL Mock Drafts before the free-agent heat really starts to climb. It should be a fun off-season, so let us know who you think is getting it right, so far. The guys taking Andrew Thomas? Or the other guys drafting, Andrew Thomas?
If you happen upon one you want to share with the rest of Bucs Nation, shoot it to me on Twitter @DH82_Bucs with your take, and you might just see your own analysis included in this series.
Which Mock Draft did you like the most, this week?
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