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First wave of free-agency leaves a familiar 2021 NFL Draft need for Buccaneers

According to newest mock draft from Lance Zierlein

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Cincinnati Bengals Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have done an amazing job bringing back nearly all of the key talent from their 2020 Super Bowl roster.

Of course, there is always room for improvement and always spots on any NFL roster which deserves some attention. No team is ever perfect. Period.

For teams with remaining needs after free agency, the NFL Draft offers one big shot at plugging holes before turning to lesser-desired veterans who didn’t find a home before the end of April.

Where there’s draft build-up, there are mock drafts. The yearly practice insights excitement and criticism across all levels of media and football knowledge. It’s just a big barrel of fun, to be honest.

One of the better ones putting out mock drafts this time of year is the NFL’s own Lance Zeirlien, and following the first wave of free agency, he’s put one out reflecting the changes to all 32 NFL teams.

To be clear, this was a predictive mock draft, reflecting what Zierlein believes would happen if the NFL Draft were to take place with all the rosters in their current state.

And with the Buccaneers’ roster as it is right now for the 2021 NFL season, this mock draft predicts Jason Licht selecting Alabama running back, Najee Harris. Writing,

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship-Ohio State vs Alabama Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

“Assuming the Bucs’ focus is on their championship window, Harris would offer a three-down option who can help the run game and take pressure off of Tom Brady’s shoulders.”

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Harris’ name going in this spot, and it won’t be the last. Although, the return of Leonard Fournette could change all that. With or without Fournette, Harris is a talented player who immediately upgrades just about any NFL running back room.

However, with title number two in their sites, we could see how the Bucs might go another direction if Fournette is back with Ronald Jones II and Ke’Shawn Vaughn for 2021.

Seattle has been a rumored suitor of Fournette in free-agency, but with the news breaking on Friday they had re-signed running back Chris Carson, I don’t see that happening.

There have been rumors of the Patriots potentially being in on the Fournette talks as well, but there aren’t many other options for Fournette, it would seem.

Many more mock drafts to come between now and the 2021 NFL Draft, and it’ll be fun to see how they continue to shift and take shape based on what happens in the coming weeks.

Of course, with a Sunday morning run time for this, it’s possible Zeirlien’s entire mock draft is already cold based on what the Tampa Bay Buccaneers - and other teams - do or don’t do.

To read the full mock draft, go here.