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, 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 media have the defending Super Bowl champs selecting in their mock drafts.

New Mock Drafts This Week

Ryan Roberts –
Bucs’ First-Round Pick: Michigan DE Kwity Paye
Bucs’ Second-Round Pick: Ole Miss WR Elijah Moore
Bucs’ Third-Round Pick: Vanderbilt DL Dayo Odeyingbo
“When you are the reigning Super Bowl champions, you can afford the luxury to sit back and take the best football player on the board. With Shaq Barrett set to hit free agency and Jason Pierre-Paul turning 33 years old heading into next season, a talent like Kwity Paye is too much to pass up on. With his combination of physical tools, the Buccaneers would be in good hands on the edge for years to come.” – Ryan Roberts

Ryan Wilson –
Bucs’ First-Round Pick: Washington Edge Joe Tryon
“Tryon, like teammate Levi Onwuzurike, opted out in 2020, but at 6-foot-5, 260 pounds, he looks the part. Had he played this season, he likely would have improved his draft stock and may have gone earlier in Round 1.” – Ryan Wilson

Joal Ryan –
Bucs’ First-Round Pick: Michigan OT Jalen Mayfield
Jalen Mayfield was hampered by injury in 2020, but the 6-foot-5, 320-pound tackle is still a top O-line player in CBS Sports’ NFL Draft Prospect Rankings.” – Joal Ryan

Charley Casserly –
Bucs’ First-Round Pick: Pittsburgh Edge Patrick Jones II
“The Bucs have a lot of guys to pay this offseason, so my guess is Shaquil Barrett will depart in free agency. Jones would be a good fit in Todd Bowles’ unit.” – Charley Casserly

Jaelan Phillips
Jaelan Phillips – Photo by: USA Today

Doug Farrar –
Bucs’ First-Round Pick: Miami Edge Jaelan Phillips
“Bucs edge rusher Shaquil Barrett, who had a legitimate case to be Super Bowl LV’s Most Valuable Player, recently said that he’s ready to cash in as a free agent. So with that in mind, it might be time for Tampa Bay to consider Barrett’s replacement.

“Phillips started his collegiate career at UCLA, but medically retired from the game in 2018 after he was hit by a car while riding a scooter. He suffered wrist and head injuries in that accident and hung up his cleats after suffering another concussion. After a year away from the game, he returned with the Hurricanes in 2020, and showed absolutely no ill effects, with eight sacks, four quarterback hits, 29 quarterback hurries, and 18 run stops in 542 snaps. Teams will want to go over that injury history of course, but Phillips has everything you want in a pass-rusher, from advanced hand movement to a wicked inside counter.” – Doug Farrar

Trevor Sikkema –
Bucs’ First Round Pick: Washington DL Levi Onwuzurike
“The Buccaneers always keep a close eye on what is going on with the Washington Huskies program. I expect them to like what they see in Onwuzurike, a versatile defensive lineman who can be an undersized one-gap 3-tech defensive lineman next to Vita Vea (fellow Husky). Onwuzurike played a variety of spots for the Huskies’ defense and can be deployed in a similar fashion with Todd Bowles’ multiple front/looks.” – Trevor Sikkema

Scott Smith –
Bucs’ First-Round Pick: Iowa DL Daviyon Nixon
“The near-impossibility of predicting the 32nd pick in the draft is compounded by the fact that we’re still a month away from free agency and the comings and goings thereof will surely affect this decision. So I’m making this pick based on the (ugly) possibility of the champs losing Ndamukong Suh and/or Rakeem Nunez-Roches. Nixon is an intriguing interior talent who could create a dominant inside force next to Vita Vea.” – Scott Smith

Charlie Campbell –
Bucs’ First Round Pick: Alabama DT Christian Barmore
Bucs’ Second Round Pick: Kentucky LB Jamin Davis
Bucs’ Third Round Pick: Oklahoma RB Trey Sermon
“The Bucs could use some youth on the inside of their defensive line. Ndamukong Suh is hitting free agency, and even if Suh is kept around, Tampa Bay could use a tackle to rotate with him and Vita Vea. Barmore would be a great fit because he is a tremendous interior pass rusher, so he could help keep Suh and Vea fresh by taking reps in the sub package. Watching and learning from Suh and Vea would help Barmore’s development as a run defender, and in a few years, the Bucs could have a young stud tackle in Barmore.

“Barmore recorded 37 tackles, eight sacks, three forced fumbles and three passes batted in 2020. He was a dangerous interior pass rusher capable of putting consistent heat on the quarterback. His run defense, however, needs work for the NFL. Barmore flashed ability as part of Alabama’s rotation in 2019, recording 26 tackles and two sacks. It was only his redshirt freshman season, so he could develop and become more well-rounded as he gains experience. Some team sources are high on Barmore, while others want to see him become a more well-rounded player and a better run defender before they project him to be a high first-rounder. Hence, he might end up being more of a mid-first-round pick. The 6-foot-5, 310-pound Barmore has good size with length at the point of attack to go along with quickness and athleticism, so if he works out well he could rise.” – Charlie Campbell

Greg Auman – 
Bucs’ First-Round Pick: Texas Edge Joseph Ossai
“With little depth behind Shaq Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul, an outside pass rusher makes good sense for the Bucs, who would love for Phillips to fall to them. If free agency creates a more immediate hole to fill, they could turn to Iowa defensive lineman Daviyon Nixon here, but Ossai adds a much-needed dose of youth to Tampa Bay’s pass rush.” – Greg Auman

Vinnie Iyer-
Bucs’ First-Round Pick: Miami Edge Jaelan Phillips
“The Buccaneers are bound to take a hit from their solid all-around defensive with tackle Ndamukong Suh, edge rusher Shaquil Barrett and inside linebacker Lavonte David all free agents. To that end, for now, they should look for the highest-upside player available for Todd Bowles’ 3-4 front. Phillips has a nice wingspan as an athlete who gets after it against both run and pass.” – Vinnie Iyer

Mel Kiper –
Bucs’ First-Round Pick: Georgia Edge Azeez Ojulari
“With Tryon off the board to the Packers, Ojulari is the next pass-rusher in my rankings. And with the uncertainty around whether free-agent defensive end Shaq Barrett will return, it makes sense for the Bucs to get younger on the edge. Ojulari had 8.5 sacks last season, including three in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl win. He has some versatility to move around the defense, but he’s one of the top pure pass-rushers in this class. Wide receiver is a position to watch for Tampa, particularly if it doesn’t bring back Chris Godwin, who is a free agent.” – Mel Kiper

Matthew Valdovinos –
Bucs’ First Round Pick: Miami Edge Jaelan Phillips
Bucs’ Second Round Pick: UNC RB Javonte Williams
Bucs’ Third Round Pick: East Carolina OT D’Ante Smith
“With the long-term future of Shaq Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul very much in doubt, it makes sense for the Buccaneers to target an edge rusher early in this 3-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft.

Jaelan Phillips is a former five-star recruit who struggled at UCLA but found his footing this past season at Miami. He showed a nuanced pass-rushing skill set, as well as natural play strength, explosion, and bend. Injury concerns are there, but the player Phillips could be is enough to warrant a late first-round selection.” – Matthew Valdovinos

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About the Author: Matt Matera