Even though it is #Mocktober, we didn’t think we would be doing this kind of mock draft so early in the Bucs’ 2017 season.
But, the reality is that this Tampa Bay Buccaneers team is 2-5 and currently holds the No. 5 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. When you’re a team picking that high, that means you have some holes; not only on your roster, but likely elsewhere on the coaching staff.
Bucs general manager Jason Licht is in a contract year, and because of that, his future could be uncertain depending on how the rest of the year and his most recent draft picks finish up. After a promising start to his head coaching career last year, Dirk Koetter now has a below .500 record as a head coach at 11-12. Knowing that, there’s so much that could be hanging in the balance at One Buc Place in terms of what this team and its leaders may look like come draft time. But, while we’re at it, we might as well take a look at what some draft possibilities might look like for this team, if they end up picking this high.
Here are three early scenarios that could come to reality and make some good out of a disappointing year. The first one has USC quarterback Sam Darnold staying in school for one more year.
1. Cleveland Browns (0-8)
Table of Contents
PICK: UCLA QB JOSH ROSEN
2. San Francisco 49ers (0-8)
PICK: PENN STATE RB SAQUON BARKLEY
3. New York Giants (1-7)
PICK: NOTRE DAME OT MIKE McGLINCHEY
4. Indianapolis Colts (2-6)
PICK: TEXAS OT CONNOR WILLIAMS
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-5)
PICK: NORTH CAROLINA STATE DE BRADLEY CHUBB
If the Buccaneers stay in a 4-3 defense, their top priority should be none other than the 6-foot-4, 275-pound pass rusher Bradley Chubb.
After submitting a 22 tackles for loss and 10.5-sack season in 2016, Chubb upped his game in 2017 and now has 17 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks already through eight games.
NC State DE Bradley Chubb – Photo by: Getty Images
The Bucs giving defensive end Will Gholston the money they did is proving to be a mistake. He simply is not a force on the edge as a pass rusher at all, and they need that. Noah Spence has also been somewhat disappointing thus far. He had 5.5 sacks as a rookie, which was fine, but didn’t seem to build on that at all before going down with what will now be the second major surgery on his should in less than one calendar year. You can’t blame a guy for injuries, but now they have to plan for them.
The Bucs are dead last in the NFL in sacks with seven in seven games with no sign of it getting better. If they’re picking at No. 5, a pass rusher must be the pick. They have to grab one early in what might be a shallow class beyond the guys at the top.
Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for PewterReport.com. Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he's not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
PewterReport.com prides itself on being the most complete, comprehensive news source covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and delivering inside scoop on the team found nowhere else.