The Bucs just concluded their 2021 NFL Draft. But is it too soon to look ahead to the 2022 NFL Mock Drafts? Heck no!
A quick hop around the Internet produced these eight selections for Tampa Bay’s first-round pick in next year’s draft. It’s interesting to note that three of these mock drafts have the Bucs taking a wide receiver. Six of the picks are on the offensive side of the ball.
It’s also interesting to see where the Bucs pick in some of these 2022 NFL Mock Drafts. Only two of them have Tampa Bay winning Super Bowl LVI.
No. 26 – Buccaneers – Georgia WR George Pickens
The Buccaneers haven’t drafted a receiver in the first or second round since Mike Evans seventh overall in 2014, and while Evans is still playing at a high level and Chris Godwin is very good too, it’s time for Tampa to replenish the position. Pickens, at 6-3, 200 pounds and already with 14 TD catches in his first two years in Athens, will be the Bulldogs’ first 1st-round WR since A.J. Green in 2011 as long as he clears all the medicals following an ACL tear earlier this spring. Pickens is the type of receiver you would travel to casinos or resorts to bet on becoming a future star.
No. 30. – Buccaneers: Georgia WR George Pickens
Pickens tore his ACL in March, putting his 2021 campaign in jeopardy, but he should be 100 percent for the combine, should he elect to leave Athens early. In 20 games, he has 85 receptions and 14 TDs. He has been compared to A.J. Green, mostly due to his size (6-foot-3, 200 pounds).
No. 31 – Buccaneers – Texas A&M TE Jalen Wydermyer
Rob Gronkowski and OJ Howard will both see their contracts expire after the 2021 season. Who knows what Howard will ask for on the open market, and Gronk only has so many years left with the condition his body is in at this point. Wydermyer has been producing since his freshman season at Texas A&M, thanks in large part to some exceptionally smooth movement skills. Wydermyer can also play both in-line and from the slot comfortably. Though not in the George Kittle tier, Wydermyer can also handle himself as a run blocker.
No. 31 – Buccaneers – Texas A&M RB Isaiah Spiller
If Tampa Bay makes it to the Super Bowl again, Tom Brady will probably keep playing. At his age, they’ll need to add a bell-cow back. Spiller has been very good at Texas A&M. He can break tackles and has very good vision. He’d have been a potential first-round pick in 2020.
No. 31 – Buccaneers – Iowa C Tyler Linderbaum
Ryan Jensen’s contract expires next year, so the Buccaneers may have an issue to address on that front. Even if they re-sign him, drafting Tyler Linderbaum would serve the purpose of adding high-quality depth and versatility on the interior.
No. 31 – Buccaneers – Georgia DT Jordan Davis
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will likely lose Ndamukong Suh next season, and Jordan Davis could be an option for them to fill that spot at the back end of the first round. Davis is much more of a run-stuffer than an explosive pass rusher. But thinking about Davis and Vita Vea in the middle of a front opens up so many possibilities for edge rushers and linebackers to avoid doubles and stay clean.
No. 32 – Buccaneers – Florida ILB Ventrell Miller
Lavonte David will turn 32 prior to the 2022 NFL Draft. The Buccaneers will need to find a successor soon. Ventrell Miller is a fast linebacker who has become a nice playmaker in Florida’s defense.
No. 32 – Buccaneers: Alabama WR John Metchie III
Antonio Brown and Chris Godwin are both on 1-year deals. Godwin is probably in the Bucs’ long-term plans, but Brown is only a short-term contributor at this point. Metchie was very good in 2020, producing some huge plays for the Alabama offense. He averaged 18 yards per reception with 782 yards on 44 catches with six touchdowns. Metchie (6-0, 195) could produce a massive 2021 season.
Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org