The Bucs just wrapped up their 2019 NFL Draft, but several media outlets have come out with their “way too early” 2020 NFL Mock Drafts and there are some surprising picks for Tampa Bay.
After a defensive-laded draft featuring six picks on that side of the ball, including the first five selections, the Bucs turn to the offensive side of the ball in many of the early 2020 NFL Mock Drafts, including the selection of a quarterback in the first-round in a pair of them. Obviously that doesn’t mean good news for Jameis Winston, who is entering his fifth-year option season.
What’s also notable is that all but one of the mock drafts have the Bucs picking in the Top 10 in 2020, which won’t bode well for general manager Jason Licht and head coach Bruce Arians if that’s the case.
Georgia QB Jake Fromm – Junior – 6-2, 220
The Buccaneers will give Jameis Winston one more chance this season. If he continues to play very inconsistently under Bruce Arians, or if he continues to grope Uber drivers, he won’t be back for 2020. Given that Tampa landed the No. 6 pick in this 2020 NFL Mock Draft, it’s safe to say that in this scenario, Winston did one of the two. If so, Tampa will move on from him. Jake Fromm was tremendous as a rookie for SEC champion Georgia. He has a great skill set and was the very early favorite to be the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. He struggled versus LSU, but that doesn’t appear to be a downward trend.
Alabama WR Jerry Jeudy – Redshirt Sophomore – 6-1, 192
DeSean Jackson returned to Philly, but Jeudy has that type of playmaking ability. If the plan is to build around Jameis Winston, Bruce Arians should continue to get him weapons, especially after such a defense-heavy 2019 draft.
Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa – Junior – 6-1, 218
Is Jameis Winston the future of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers? No one can know that right now, as he’ll get one more chance to prove himself in 2019 under Bruce Arians, but the smart money is on Winston’s next season looking a lot like his first four. That could open the door for a quarterback in 2020.
Tua Tagovailoa is the most well-known player in the nation, but there are concerns about arm strength and his pocket presence. If he answers those questions in his junior season, NFL teams could be lining up to draft him early in Round 1.
Alabama DT Raekwon Davis – Senior – 6-7, 309
The Buccaneers were rumored to take a defensive tackle with the No. 5 pick this year. If Gerald McCoy is in his final season in Tampa, the 6’7, 300-pound Davis is a fit next to Vita Vea.
Tennessee OT Trey Smith – Junior – 6-6, 337
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LSU S Grant Delpit – Junior – 6-3, 203
After one year of 2019 first-round pick Devin White, the Bucs will be sprinting to the podium at this point to grab another leader on the Tigers’ loaded defense. After a unanimous All-America season as a sophomore, Delpit will wear the prestigious No. 7 jersey awarded to LSU’s go-to playmaker (think Patrick Peterson, Tyrann Mathieu and Leonard Fournette) as he builds off a season with five sacks, five picks and 14 passes defensed.
Iowa DE A.J. Epenesa – Junior – 6-5, 270
Jason Pierre-Paul ain’t gettin’ any younger. Epenesa is a 6-foot-5, 270-pound freak of an edge defender who had 10.5 sacks last season as a sophomore.