It’s NFL Draft Week! We’ve finally made it, and along the way we’ve been monitoring the mock drafts dropping each week leading up to this weekend’s big event. Things will be a little different this time around as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the rest of the NFL’s franchise’s have to approach operations a bit differently, but it should be a fun event nonetheless.
As unique as this year’s draft will be, everyone is hoping it’ll be an anomaly. The players and teams are hoping it will spark a new generation of success for their teams as well.
For the last time before the 2020 NFL Draft, let’s take a look at who the predictors see landing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, starting with the league’s flagship network.
On a recent live mock draft, Peter Schrager represented the Bucs’ pick.
Bucs Pick: 1st Round - OT, Andrew Thomas (Georgia)
“This is all about playing chess, and the first thing you learn about chess: Protect the King! Well the King is Tom Brady. Andrew Thomas helps them build a fortress in front of Tom Brady. So now he can throw comfortably. If he throws comfortably he is going to hit a pair of dynamic playmakers in Chris Godwin and Mike Evans. I like the pick.” - Bucky Brooks reacting to Peter Schrager’s selection of Andrew Thomas for the Buccaneers
For the last time (this draft season), Carmen Vitali and Scott Smith got together to create a first-round mock draft.
Bucs Get: 10th Pick in the 2020 NFL Draft - OT, Mekhi Becton (Louisville)
Bucs Send: 14th and 76th Picks in 2020 NFL Draft and 3rd-Round Pick in 2021 NFL Draft
“This is going to require a willing trade partner, but here I’m guessing Cleveland is willing to make the small move down to 14 if the Bucs pay a little extra. On the draft value chart, the difference between the 10th and 14th picks is 200 points, and the Bucs’ third-round pick (#76) is worth 210. Perfect, but to sweeten the deal the Bucs also throw in next year’s third-rounder. I would have been happy with either Becton or Andrew Thomas at the 14th pick but I didn’t think either would make it there. If the Browns are dead-set on one of the tackles, though, this deal isn’t going to happen..” - Scott Smith on trading up with the Cleveland Browns to select Mekhi Becton for the Buccaneers
Biggest Surprise: Jacksonville makes a surprisingly uncommon decision to pick an offensive tackle, sparking the inspiration for a Tampa Bay trade up.
TDN returns to the line-up with another unique look at the NFL Draft.
Bucs Pick: 1st Round - RB, Tony Jones Jr. (Notre Dame)
“In this NFL draft, the order in which teams select prospects and the pool they can choose from has nothing to do with where each athlete is from. But what if it did? What if instead of being selected at random from any of the 32 teams in the NFL, prospects could be selected by teams from their hometown? We enjoy one or two of those stories each year, but all 32 picks? In the spirit of that, I created a hometown mock draft.” - Trevor Sikkema on the inspiration for his creative mock draft
Biggest Surprise: The fact the first two picks are Joe Burrow and Chase Young either way. Almost seems meant to be.
Couldn’t go this entire series without involving Peter King.
Bucs Pick: 1st Round - DT, Javon Kinlaw (South Carolina)
“Heard a few things here—that Tampa would love to get a complete running back who can catch to complement Tom Brady, and that they’re jonesing for a top corner. With Vita Vea and Ndamukong Suh big bodies on the defensive front, they’re not desperate for a disruptive defensive tackle here, but the value is excellent. I can also tell you that if Kinlaw is around at 14, Tampa will get some calls from teams—and not just for Kinlaw, but for Jerry Jeudy and maybe Henry Ruggs. One of the things the Bucs would love about adding an impact player along the front seven: Suh is 33 and Jason Pierre-Paul is 31, and defensive coordinator Todd Bowles is very big on disrupting the pocket. You can’t have enough impact players up front.” - Peter King on selecting Javon Kinlaw for the Buccaneers
Biggest Surprise: More first-round offensive linemen selected than wide receivers.
Rounding it out with perhaps the longest tenured draft expert in the business.
Bucs Pick: 1st Round - OT, Andrew Thomas (Georgia) | 2nd Round - RB, Jonathan Taylor (Wisconsin)
“How about this help for Tom Brady? Ronald Jones II was in and out of Bruce Arians’ doghouse last season, so it wouldn’t be surprising for the Bucs to target a running back on Day 2. Taylor rushed for 6,174 yards in his career, but he also lost 15 fumbles, and that’s how you catch Arians’ ire. Taylor’s 4.39 40-yard dash at the combine was an eye-opener, though, and there’s a chance he’s the top back off the board.” - Mel Kiper Jr. on selecting Jonathan Taylor in the second-round for the Buccaneers
Biggest Surprise: Taylor over Clyde Edwards-Helaire
One more mock draft to join the group, this one in audio format. On the Locked On Bucs Podcast, my co-host James Yarcho and I are taking our best shot at sorting out the first three rounds of this year’s proceedings. The first episode, and first round, is out now with the second and third coming out over the next two days. Click the link, the embed, or find Locked On Bucs on your favorite podcast platform.
Next week, we won’t be talking about mock draft predictions, we’ll be talking about results. For the final preview, this one was a solid group.
Which mock draft in our final grouping, is your favorite?
This poll is closed
NFL Network (Peter Schrager)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Carmen Vitali and Scott Smith)
The Draft Network (Trevor Sikkema)
Pro Football Talk (Peter King)