It’s draft season. Teams across the NFL are well into their scouting reports and are beginning to draft up different scenarios for the night of the draft.
The Buccaneers have the 32nd pick in this year’s draft thanks to their Super Bowl victory over the Kansas City Chiefs two months ago. General manager Jason Licht recently spoke to the media, saying that picking last in the first round is a luxury and look to target the best player available regardless of position.
With all that said, ESPN’s Todd McShay released his latest mock draft and has the Buccaneers going with Tulsa’s outside linebacker Zaven Collins with the 32nd pick and Cincinnati’s offensive tackle James Hudson with the 64th pick.
Here’s what he said about each selection.
Zaven Collins, OLB, Tulsa
It’s best available player for a team that is returning all of its starters from a Super Bowl-winning roster. Collins is a 3-4 OLB who could potentially replace Jason Pierre-Paul if the Bucs don’t bring him back in 2022. He sneaks in to close Round 1, marking Tulsa’s only first-round pick in the common draft era (since 1967).
James Hudson, OT, Cincinnati
Hudson is a former defensive lineman who is still working through his technique, but he’s a nasty finisher and can be a starting tackle in the NFL. He’d serve as depth early in his career behind Tristan Wirfs and Donovan Smith.
It’s hard to pinpoint how the draft could play out for the Bucs being that they pick late. But with the core of the roster returning for Tampa Bay, selecting the best player available will be the obvious strategy for them.
For those wondering what potential targets went before the Bucs in McShay’s mock, Azeez Ojulari went to Kansas City at 31, Jaelan Phillips went to Buffalo at 30, Gregory Rousseau went to Cleveland at 26, and Najee Harris went to Pittsburgh at 24.
You can check out McShay’s mock here. (NOTE: Insider access required.)