While the NFL Draft is still two months away, that still hasn’t prevented Bucs fans from speculating, questions and discussing who they would like to see their favorite team take coming up in late April.
Mock drafts are great for debate, and when looking at the ones released recently both locally and nationally, there are many different trains of thought on who will be standing at the podium with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on the night of April 28 in Chicago.
PewterReport.com offers up a list of several different mocks in this one stop for Bucs fans to see who pundits believe will be wearing red and pewter next season.
PewterReport.com – DE Noah Spence – Western Kentucky
PewterReport.com has released two mock drafts so far in 2016 and both have defensive ends as the Bucs pick in the first round. In early January, Scott Reynolds had Oklahoma State’s Emmanuel Ogbah going to the Buccaneers, but following a very good Senior Bowl performance, he switched from Ogbah to Eastern Kentucky’s Noah Spence. Reynolds also went as far as to predict the entire seven rounds of draft picks for the Bucs in his mock drafts. Look for PewterReport.com’s Mock Draft 3.0 following the NFL Combine later this month.
WalterFootball.com – DE Emmanuel Ogbah – Oklahoma State
Charlie Campbell, former editor of PewterReport.com and now with WalterFootball.com, continues the trend of the Bucs getting better on the defensive line, and has Tampa Bay taking Ogbah with the No. 9 overall pick. Ogbah likely would immediately step in and be a starter from the first day of training camp.
ESPN – DE DeForest Buckner – Oregon
ESPN’s Todd McShay put out his Mock 2.0 last week and also has Tampa Bay looking for defensive help with Oregon’s DeForest Buckner becoming a Buccaneers in April. Earlier this year, ESPN’s Mel Kiper had the Buccaneers selecting Florida cornerback Vernon Hargreaves with the No.9 selection.
USA Today.com – OT Ronnie Stanley – Notre Dame
Nate Davis broke the trend of defensive players to the Buccaneers with the prediction of offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley ending up in Tampa Bay. And while defense is a priority for the Buccaneers this offseason, it would be hard to pass up a franchise tackle, if in fact the Bucs front office view Stanley as one. Of course, then the question becomes if he becomes the starter on the left or the right side.
Bleacher Report.com – DE Noah Spence – Western Kentucky
Both Matt Miller and Luke Easterling like Western Kentucky’s Noah Spence to Tampa Bay with the No. 9 pick. Spence certainly has the talent to be worthy of a Top 10 selection, however off the field issues dating back to his time at Ohio State has teams concerned if Spence can be trusted. To his credit, Spence has behaved since arriving at Eastern Kentucky after getting the boot from Urban Myer in Columbus for failed drug tests.
CBSSports.com – CB Vernon Hargreaves – Florida With one of the most disappointing secondaries in the NFL last season, many think Hargreaves would look great in a Bucs uniform in 2016. One of those who likes the former Gators standout to Tampa Bay is CBSSports.com’s Dan Brugler who writes, “Hargreaves is a tough-minded, instinctive cover man who is ready to start from day one in the NFL.”
ProFootballFocus.com – DE Noah Spence – Western Kentucky
Spence made such an impression at the Senior Bowl he is so far the most picked player to the Bucs in the mock drafts. Of course there is still over two months before the Bucs have to hand in their card with the name of their first-round pick on it, and a lot can and most likely will change. But ProFootballFocus.com, like a number of other websites, feel Spence will land with the Buccaneers.
NFLNetwork.com – CB – Eli Apple – Ohio State Daniel Jeremiah had Ohio State’s Eli Apple heading to Tampa Bay back in January. And most Bucs fans agree that a cornerback or two will be a priority for Tampa Bay in the draft, however after Jalen Ramsey and Hargreaves, who are considered the two best cornerbacks coming out in 2016, then there is no consensus who the third best one is. That most likely will be determined following the NFL Combine later this month. It very well could be Apple and if so, he would most likely step in as an immediate starter.
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, the beach and family time.Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org