It’s draft season around the NFL and that means there is going to be plenty of speculation about what the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are going to do in the upcoming 2023 NFL Draft. With that being said, it is also time for my first mock draft of the 2023 draft season after getting a chance to look at some of the prospects that are going to be available in this upcoming draft at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. There were a good number of players that impressed and it has shaken some things up regarding how I am analyzing some of the depth in this draft at certain position groups. With that being said let’s get to my Buccaneers mock draft 1.0!
Round 1 (Pick 19): Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State:
It is far from a guarantee that Jamel Dean and Sean Murphy-Bunting are going to be back with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this offseason. Both players are free agents this offseason and the Bucs might not be able to afford both given the large amounts of cap limitations that they are going to be dealing with this offseason. If one or both leave, Porter Jr. gives the Bucs a corner who has starting capabilities right away and would fit seamlessly into a Todd Bowles defense in what Bowles looks for in starting corners. Porter Jr. has the size at 6’2, 194 pounds, and is one of the most physical corners in the entire draft which would complement opposite starting corner Carlton Davis very well.
Round 2 (Pick 50): Keion White, ED, Georgia Tech:
The Bucs could use more depth at pass rusher with Carl Nassib, Anthony Nelson, and Genard Avery with expiring contracts, and Shaq Barrett coming off of a significant injury that occurred in the middle of the season. White showed a lot of potential in the Senior Bowl and would provide great depth with starting caliber ability at 6’5, 286 pounds.
Round 3 (Pick 82): Hendon Hooker, QB, Tennessee:
Hey, look a QB! Currently, the only QB under contract with the Buccaneers is Kyle Trask. Personally, I am a fan of Trask and I think that he can do good things at the NFL level. However, the reality is that Trask is an unknown product at this point, and that matters. While I think it is likely the Bucs sign a veteran QB in free agency (Baker Mayfield anyone?) I also think it is possible that they draft a QB in the early to mid rounds of this upcoming draft and that’s why I have Hooker here. There are people who have there concerns with Hooker regarding his age as a rookie at 25 and the fact that he is still recovering from a torn ACL injury that he sustained. However, the older age is personally not an issue for me, and I feel that it is worth the risk because if Hooker is able to fully recover from his ACL injury, he has starting QB potential with great poise and accuracy in the pocket.
Round 4 (Pick 121): Marvin Mims, WR, Oklahoma:
The Bucs have a lot of WRs with expiring contracts and it is also not a guarantee that recent free agent addition Russell Gage is a lock to return to the team next season as well. However, whether Gage stays or goes I still feel good about the Mims pick here. Mims provides the Bucs with a very speedy receiver with good size at 5’11, 183, and who can win at all levels of the field with good route running. Whoever is at QB for the Bucs this season is going to need a good core of weapons around him and I think that at minimum Mims would be a great fourth-string receiver in case of injuries and at most a solid third receiver that would be an excellent compliment to the duo of Mike Evans and Chris Godwin.
Round 5 (Pick 155): Kenny McIntosh, RB, Georgia:
Fournette has been mentioned as a potential cap casualty for the Buccaneers in an effort to save money this offseason. If the Bucs do move on from Fournette, McIntosh would provide the team with more stability at RB behind Rachaad White and give the team a very good back with a nice blend of running and pass-catching ability which he was able to showcase a good amount while participating at the Senior Bowl.
Round 5 (Pick 175): DJ Dale, DL, Alabama:
The Bucs are going to need more depth, and starting ability at the defensive line and I feel they could possibly get both by selecting Dale in this draft. Dale impressed at the Senior Bowl and has the size to fit on the defensive line of a Todd Bowles defense (6’3, 300 pounds). Dale would provide at minimum good depth along the defensive line and at most a player with starting potential to lineup with Vita Vea and Logan Hall this upcoming season.
Round 6 (Pick 196) Gervarrius Owens, S, Houston:
There is always a need for backup defensive backs and special teams players and I think that Gervarrius Owens out of Houston checks both of those boxes. A team captain at Houston, Owens has proved to be a very versatile player with good size at 6’0 and 201 pounds. Owens has shown great ability both in run stopping and in pass coverage as well and given Todd Bowles ability to develop safeties during his time as a coach, I would be very interested to see how Owens would fit into this offense.
Round 7 (Pick 232) Wanya Morris, OT, Oklahoma:
Wanya Morris is a player that flashed a couple of times while at the Senior Bowl and should provide a little bit more depth at the offensive tackle position if selected. Josh Wells is on an expiring contract and the Bucs have not selected a left tackle in the NFL Draft since the selection of Donovan Smith back in 2015. Morris has the versatility that the Bucs like in their O-linemen as he has experience playing both Left and Right tackle and could be a good developmental tackle for the Bucs in the early stages of his career.
Round 7 (Pick 238) Nesta Jade Silvera, DL, Arizona State:
This is another depth selection for the Buccaneers as there was a couple of time when Jade Silvera jumped out to me while at Mobile. I saw a player who showed flashes of good pass-rushing ability and has some decent size at 6’2, and 306 pounds. The Bucs are going to need to load up at a lot of positions this offseason with such little cap and I think that Jade Silvera would give them a serviceable backup D-Linemen with room to grow in the future.
Round 7 (Pick 253) Chad Ryland, K, Maryland:
This is what I would call a dartboard pick. I went with Chad Ryland because the Bucs may have to make the tough decision of moving on from Ryan Succop this offseason to save cap room and I came away somewhat impressed with what I saw from Ryland at the Senior Bowl. It would provide the Bucs with a very young duo on special teams with Ryland at kicker and Camarda at Punter.
What do you think of my Buccaneers 1.0 Mock draft? Please let us know who you think would be good selections for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in this upcoming draft BucsNation!