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New mock draft simulation gives Buccaneers an edge in first round

Future pass rush for Tampa Bay would be secure, if this move comes to life

NCAA Football: California at Washington Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

With every move the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have made through much of the off-season it seemed their flexibility in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft only got more and more limber.

Their latest move however, the signing of running back Giovani Bernard, seems to have taken at least one option off the table in round one. Drafting a running back in the first round now would mean giving up on either 2020 third-round pick Ke’Shawn Vaughn, or fourth-year running back, Ronald Jones II. Not something this writer sees as necessary or even likely, as of today.

So the window may have shrunk a little on which position group Jason Licht and the Bucs might add to with the 32nd overall selection, but there are still many options.

I said recently on the Locked On Bucs Podcast I thought edge should be the primary position of focus for the team, and at least one new mock draft seems to agree.

Sports Betting Dime’s Matt McEwan added an interesting twist in his NFL Draft prediction. He’s calculated who will fall where based on all the draft betting odds available and in his take, he has Washington Huskies edge rusher Joe Tryon heading to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Tryon is no stranger to being mocked to Tampa of course. Before opting out of the 2020 college football season, Tryon racked up 12.5 tackles for loss and 8 sacks for the Huskies in 2019.

His NFL Draft profile has him graded out as a prospect who should be starter quality within his first two-years, which is perfect for the Buccaneers who have Jason Pierre-Paul on an expiring contract in 2021.

According to Lance Zierlein,

“Impressive physical specimen with the traits and athletic profile to move up the draft board, but tape shows he might still need more course work before he’s ready to make a difference in the pros. He uses his length and hands effectively at the point of attack, but needs to weaponize them as a pass rusher. Currently, he’s too obvious as a rusher and doesn’t have a myriad of go-to moves or counters when he’s facing off against a talented opponent. The key for Tryon will be learning to grease the edge and create angles of entry both inside and outside. He has high upside but could spend the first year or two as a rotational defender while adding more polish.”

Whether JPP wants to come back in 2022 or not, Tryon certainly adds security to the edge group, while allowing the Bucs flexibility to not spend more money at the position if they choose to move on after this year.