As the Super Bowl LV championship is still fresh in the minds of Bucs players and their fans, the attention is starting to gravitate towards the 2021 NFL Draft. NFL experts and pundits are publishing mock drafts on a regular basis and making their picks for the Bucs.
Each week until the 2021 NFL Draft in April, PewterReport.com will scour the Internet to find the list of players that are projected to Tampa Bay and put out the list with the links. The Bucs will have the 32nd overall pick, and here’s who those around the league have the defending Super Bowl champs selecting in their mock drafts.
Scott Reynolds – PewterReport.com Bucs’ First-Round Pick: UNC RB Javonte Williams Bucs’ Second-Round Pick: Miami OLB Quincy Roche Bucs’ Third-Round Pick: Wisconsin-Whitewater C Quinn Meinerz Bucs’ Fourth-Round Pick: BYU DT Khyiris Tonga Bucs’ Fifth-Round Pick: East Carolina OT D’Ante Smith Bucs’ Seventh-Round Pick: Florida WR Trevon Grimes
Bucs’ Seventh-Round Pick: TCU LB Garret Wallow
“Running back could be considered an immediate need, especially if the Bucs can draft one with good hands that can catch the ball out of the backfield to replace [Leonard] Fournette and [LeSean] McCoy and team with [Ronald] Jones in the backfield. Don’t think running backs are worth drafting in the first round? Well, the Bucs are picking No. 32 overall, so it’s essentially a second-rounder with the added benefit of Williams on his rookie contract for five years when you consider the fifth-year option for first-rounders. He had nine 100-yard games in his career, including a 23-carry, 236-yard (10.3 avg.), three-touchdown masterpiece versus Miami in his final game at UNC. The 5-foot-10, 220-pound bruising back is a punishing runner with good breakaway speed, solid vision, above average hands.” – Scott Reynolds
Alabama RB Najee Harris – Photo by: USA Today
Jon Ledyard – PewterReport.com Bucs’ First-Round Pick: Alabama RB Najee Harris
“I’m not saying this is what the Bucs SHOULD do, I’m just saying that if the first round falls this way, I could easily see them taking Harris in the first round. He checks every box they care about at the position with rare receiving skills, route-running, catch radius and tackle-breaking ability for a running back. Harris may not have elite speed, but everything else about him screams three-down, feature running back.
“Yes, the Bucs need to develop talent on the defensive line, but it’s a very weak defensive tackle class and the value isn’t there at edge defender in this mock, with most of the top talents already off the board. Most likely the Bucs trade back from this pick, but if they stay put, Harris would fill a huge hole for the low cost the team prefers to have in a feature back. With Leonard Fournette likely gone in free agency and Ronald Jones II heading that direction after next season, drafting Harris makes sense on paper, even if isn’t the most high value position to prioritize in Round 1.” – Jon Ledyard
Anthony Treash – PFF.com Bucs’ First-Round Pick: Miami Edge Jaelan Phillips Bucs’ Second-Round Pick: Florida State DL Marvin Wilson
“If Tampa Bay manages to bring back all of its key impending free agents, as Bruce Arians and Jason Licht have publicly said they would, then there aren’t many holes on the team’s roster. But if the Buccaneers have to let anyone walk, Shaquil Barrett is the most likely. In that case, Phillips would be a quality replacement. Phillips was the No. 1-rated recruit of the 2017 class and committed to UCLA. During his true sophomore campaign, a car hit him and he decided to retire after the subsequent injuries and another concussion after the fact. But Phillips opted to come out of retirement, transferring to Miami, where he had one of the biggest breakout years in the country this past season.
“Over the course of his final six games, Phillips looked like that top-rated recruit from years ago with a 90.0 PFF grade and a whopping 30 pressures. His injury history is obviously of some concern, but with a clean bill of health, he’s clearly one of the best pass rushers in this class.” – Anthony Treash
Ryan Wilson – CBSSports.com Bucs’ First-Round Pick: Clemson RB Travis Etienne
“The Bucs have much to sort out in free agency, including what to do with Playoff Lenny Fournette. A defensive tackle or an edge rusher makes sense here, but Travis Etienne is coming off back-to-back strong seasons, has elite contact balance and is a pass-catching threat coming out of the backfield.” – Ryan Wilson
Zack Patraw – SportsIllustrated.com Bucs’ First-Round Pick (Pick 21 From Colts): Michigan OL Jalen Mayfield Bucs’ Third-Round Pick: Syracuse DB Trill Williams
“With the Colts landing Carson Wentz, in addition to general manager Chris Ballard being a proponent of trading back, it makes sense for a team like the Bucs to jump up in this spot. As we saw in the Super Bowl with the Chiefs, depth on the offensive line is critical. Jalen Mayfield is young and has a ton of potential to move all around the offensive line.” – Zack Patraw
Ian Cummings – ProFootballNetwork.com Bucs’ First-Round Pick: Alabama RB Najee Harris Bucs’ Second-Round Pick: NC State DT Alim McNeill Bucs’ Third-Round Pick (Pick 95 From Patriots): Stanford OT Walker Little
“Alright, let’s pack it in. Tampa Bay has next year’s Super Bowl, too. That may or may not be a dramatized representation of your reaction to this pick — unless you’re a Buccaneers fan. Then you’re getting your finger size measured for your next ring. For most teams, a running back isn’t going to take you over the edge. However, the Buccaneers are different. They don’t have many needs to begin with, and they reportedly plan on bringing most of their high-profile free agents back this offseason.
“Watching the Super Bowl, one of the only things that eluded the Buccaneers was a complete running back, who could both grind out tough yards and make waves as a receiver. Najee Harris is the complete running back the Buccaneers need.Harris is a big, physical player, but he also has elite explosiveness, impeccable natural receiving ability, and excellent vision at the line. He can tack on two more years to Tom Brady’s career and provide Tampa with the balance they seek.” – Ian Cummings
Alabama RB Najee Harris – Photo by: USA Today
Nate Davis – USAToday.com Bucs’ First-Round Pick: Alabama RB Najee Harris
“The champs also have a lot to sort through during free agency, so it will be noteworthy to see where things stand going into April. But for a team that may not be able to re-sign Leonard Fournette and only has Ronald Jones II under contract for one more season, an every-down back like Harris – he can get it done at the goal line while giving Brady a capable receiver out of the backfield – could be a perfect commodity.” – Nate Davis
Drae Harris – TheDraftNetwork.com Bucs’ First-Round Pick: Iowa IDL Daviyon Nixon
“Tampa Bay has six significant free agents—one of which is Ndamukong Suh. They obviously cannot re-sign all of them and Suh appears most likely to be the odd man out, so they draft his replacement in Nixon. Nixon can play the 3-tech or the 1 for Todd Bowles.” – Drae Harris
Todd McShay – Espn.com Bucs’ First-Round Pick: Alabama DT Christian Barmore
“Super Bowl champions don’t typically come with flaws, and this Bucs team is indeed a complete roster. Or at least it was. Free-agency concerns loom for most of the dominant defensive front seven that kept the Chiefs’ high-octane offense scoreless on Sunday. Shaquil Barrett, Lavonte David, Ndamukong Suh, Rakeem Nunez-Roches and Steve McLendon headline the guys without a deal at the moment, and Tampa Bay won’t be able to bring them all back.
“But luckily Barmore is still on the board as Day 1 gets ready to close down shop, and he provides the Buccaneers with versatility along the line, a developing pass-rush skill set and power run-stopping. The champs could also seek a wide receiver to fill the void left by Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown if either or both leave this offseason.” – Todd McShay