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 in the first round, and here’s who those around the media have the defending Super Bowl champs selecting in their mock drafts.

New Mock Drafts This Week

Scott Reynolds –

First Round Pick: Texas OLB Joseph Ossai 
Second Round Pick: Wisconsin-Whitewater C Quinn Meinerz
Third Round Pick: Texas A&M QB Kellen Mond 
Fourth Round Pick: UCLA RB-WR-KR Demetric Felton 
Fifth Round Pick: Iowa DE Chauncey Golston 
Sixth Round Pick: Arkansas State WR Jonathan Adams Jr.
Seventh Round Pick: BYU DT Khyiris Tonga
Seventh Round Pick: Boston College DT ILB Isaiah McDuffie

“The Buccaneers could use help at running back with their first pick, especially if Clemson’s Travis Etienne, Alabama’s Najee Harris or North Carolina’s Javonte Williams is still on the board at No. 32. Yet general manager Jason Licht has said that without many holes to fill in the draft this year that the Bucs could afford some luxury picks. Because of their situation, selecting a talented edge rusher with tools like Ossai makes a lot of sense at No. 32.

“Ossai hails from Nigeria and grew up playing soccer. He didn’t discover football until he was in high school after migrating to Houston, so he’s a late bloomer. Ossai weighed 256 pounds and has the frame to carry another 5-10 pounds at the next level. But where he wins as a pass rusher is with his motor and his athleticism, which were on display at the Texas pro day when he put up 19 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press, had a 10-11 broad jump, a 41.5-inch vertical leap and ran a 4.63 in the 40-yard dash.

“That athleticism shows up on tape as Ossai began his Longhorns career as an off-the-ball linebacker before switching to defensive end as a junior in 2020. Ossai recorded 13.5 tackles for loss, five sacks, two interceptions and a forced fumble in 13 games during his sophomore season before becoming more of a full-time pass rusher. Ossai had 15.5 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks and three forced fumbles in nine games in 2020.”  – Scott Reynolds 

Jon Ledyard –

Bucs’ First Round Pick: North Carolina RB Javonte Williams 
“Yes, Miami EDGE players Jaelan Phillips and Gregory Rousseau are still on the board in this mock draft, and Phillips is unquestionably the best edge rusher in the draft on tape. But Phillips has some off-field concerns in his past, including three concussions that forced him to medically retire for about a year. Will teams be comfortable enough with his past to select him in Round 1? Maybe. It’s hard for me to know from the outside looking in.

“I don’t love selecting a running back in Round 1, but it’s hard to get comfortable with most of the top defensive prospects in this draft class, especially along the defensive line. I think Tampa Bay is going to see Williams as the three-down back that the team has searched for over the past few years. Even if Leonard Fournette returns on a one-year deal, he and Ronald Jones II will both be free agents next offseason, and I doubt Ke’Shawn Vaughn will be capable of manning a full-time role.

“In Williams, the Bucs are getting one of the elite tackle-breaking backs of the past 20 years, as the North Carolina rusher shredded defenses for over 1,000 yards last season. Williams is a good receiver too, although most of his big plays in the passing game last season came against busted coverages, as luck would have it. Where he really stands out is in pass protection however, as Williams consistently destroyed opponents in a fashion you just do not see at the college level. It might not be the most valuable position, but he’s a great fit in Tampa Bay, which has to find a way to improve its running back room through the draft before next season.” – Jon Ledyard 

Albert Breer – 

Bucs’ First Round Pick: Washington DT Levi Onwuzurike
“Without any crying needs on the roster, GM Jason Licht’s dealing from a position of strength here. Onwuzurike, like his teammate Tryon, would probably be higher on this list if he’d played in 2020. And he can help the Bucs get younger along an aging front.

“As a reminder, I’ll be back with another one of these during draft week, and we’re going to have a ton of draft intel and info on the site in the weeks to come, as we turn the page on the NFL calendar from free agency to the draft.” – Albert Breer 

Steven Cheah –

Bucs’ First Round Pick: Alabam RB  Najee Harris   
“The Bucs as of press time have yet to address the Runningback position in Free Agency. Ronald Jones is a nice back, but struggles with pass pro and catching the ball out of the backfield. Ke’Shawn Vaughn is an unproven mid-round pick from last year and Leonard Fournette is currently a Free Agent as press time. Najee Harris is a big, bruising back in the mold of a Fournette, but offers three down versatility in both pass protection and catching the ball out of the backfield. He doesn’t have the long speed you’d look for in a 1st round RB, but he would be a unique blend of exactly what Tampa is looking for if he’s available at #32. Additionally, he’s clearly a great teammate.” – Steven Cheah

Michael Renner – 

Bucs’ First Round Pick: Miami Edge Jaelan Phillips 
There may happen to be a sizable crossover between Bucs fans and Hurricanes fans down in Florida. Even so, it would be a fantastic pick. While he wouldn’t start, Phillips would still see enough snaps in sub-packages to make an impact.

Mel Kiper Jr. –

Bucs’ First Round Pick: Alabama DT Christian Barmore 
“The Bucs have spent free agency getting the band back together for another season, with wide receiver Chris Godwin, tight end Rob Gronkowski and edge rusher Shaquil Barrett among the players who have been re-signed. Barmore could be a replacement for Ndamukong Suh, who doesn’t yet have a free-agent deal. Barmore was a game-wrecker down the stretch for the Crimson Tide, with five sacks in his final five games. He would be an outstanding fit next to nose tackle Vita Vea, who has emerged as one of the most dominant defensive linemen in the NFL.” – Mel Kiper Jr. 

Jason Lieser –

Bucs’ First Round Pick: Notre Dame LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah
“Owusu-Koramoah is a steal with the last pick of the first round.” – Jason Lieser

Scott Smith –

Bucs’ First Round Pick: Clemson RB Travis Etienne 
“I teased you with the defensive line comment in the intro, and indeed I went that direction in each of my first two mocks. Onwuzurike is off the board this time but I could go back to my original choice of Iowa’s Daviyon Nixon. But I like the way free agency is going for the Buccaneers and I’m hopeful that the team will be able to bring back even more of its Super Bowl-winning players in the weeks to come, including some on the D-Line.

“So, for this draft at least, I’m going to go down the “luxury pick” road that Jason Licht mentioned in February. Etienne is an explosive runner who’s Daniel Jeremiah compared to Alvin Kamara (!) and he is productive in the passing game and great in the open field. Leonard Fournette is definitely one of those players I’m hoping will still return but if he doesn’t Etienne could combine with starter Ronald Jones and second-year man Ke’Shawn Vaughn to give the Bucs a deep and varied backfield. If Fournette does remain in Tampa, I would surely look elsewhere in subsequent drafts.” – Scott Smith 

Lance Zierlein – 

Bucs’ First Round Pick: Alabama RB Najee Harris 
“Assuming the Bucs’ focus is on their championship window, Harris would offer a three-down option who can help the run game and take pressure off of Tom Brady‘s shoulders.” – Lance Zierlein 

Kyle Crabbs –

First Round Pick: Ole Miss WR Eiljah Moore
Second Round Pick: North Carolina RB Michael Carter
Third Round Pick: Florida State DT Marvin Wilson 
“What do you get for a Super Bowl champion who brought everyone back? Another toy for Tom Brady, of course. Tampa Bay appears ready to let Antonio Brown walk and the team may not be able to afford Chris Godwin long-term, so getting the electric Elijah Moore in the first round to play the WR3 role is the kind of move that will keep Tampa humming into 2021.” – Kyle Crabbs 

Ryan Gosling –

Bucs’ First Round Pick: Miami Edge Jaelan Phillips 
“With the last pick of this 2021 NFL First Round Mock Draft, the Super Bowl champions look to improve their defense by adding Jaelan Phillips. With Jason Pierre-Paul aging, the Bucs bring in a boost along the defensive line. I would also expect them to grab a running back at some point to try and replace free agent Leonard Fournette.” – Ryan Gosling

Josh Edwards –

Bucs’ First Round Pick: Penn State Edge Jayson Oweh 
“Jason Pierre-Paul will be a free agent after the season so Jayson Oweh comes in with the opportunity to learn from a really talented player before taking over the following season.” – Josh Edwards

Luke Easterling –

Bucs’ First Round Pick: Georgia Edge Azeez Ojulari 

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About the Author: Matt Matera

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Captain Sly
3 months ago

Basically nobody knows what the Bucs will do at 32, here’s what the champs won’t do draft a RB! #stopthestupid

3 months ago

None of these mock draft 1st round picks are worth it. With the amount of coaches we have and the culture we’ve built, trade back and get more lower round picks and develop depth. Not only will they will be cheaper but still quality players who can make the team. Licht has been pretty good with the 2nd and 3rd round. That should be the focus.

3 months ago

Don’t know why fans are so down using the last pick of the first round on a stud three down back? You’d rather have the 4th rated edge rusher at 32 then the #1 back in the draft, why? Harris is rated as one of the best players in the top half of the draft, getting him at 32 seems like a steel. Forget the comparisions of the Chiefs choosing CEH. Mahommes would scramble around looking for the big throw down field rather than take the easy check down. Tom doesn’t do that. CEH would’ve been a star last year… Read more »

Reply to  surferdudes
3 months ago

Bad analogy. Some people said last year before the draft, “ so the Bucs want to take the 4th best OT(Wirfs), over the #1 RB(J.Taylor). Turned out the 4th best OT was absolutely the right pick over the #1 RB. Sorry but I think drafting a RB in the 1st round is a horrible idea, unless that 1st round RB is a generational, elite, 3 down back. And I do not view Harris as that. He’s very good, and a 3 down back. But he’s not elite, and not a generational back. He was surrounded by the best offense in… Read more »

Reply to  Dave
3 months ago

The order of last year’s top 4 OT’s varied based on the media. All were worthy of being in the top 4. Ours proved to be the best in Year 1. Being the 4th OT could still be better than the 1st RB. This year it looks like the first 3-4 players off the board will be QB’s. Apparently the 3rd or 4th one is more valuable than the 1st DE or DT. Just draft the best player and maintain the quality of the roster.

3 months ago

I have absolutely 0 idea of what the Bucs will do, but Jayson Oweh running a 4.36 40 at 6’5″ and 257 pounds is flat out astonishing. I get why he is getting first round buzz, but 0 sacks in your last collegiate year doesn’t inspire much confidence.

Reply to  NaplesFan2.0
3 months ago

Yes, those numbers are mind-blowing. When taking his stats into account, I think it is important to point out that he was only playing in 7 games this year and has only been around football for 4-5 years now, so he is very raw.
Given that we have 2 stud Edge rushers and Oweh wouldn’t have to play right away, I really wouldn’t mind taking a chance on him and have him learn and develop behind JPP and Barrett.

Reply to  NaplesFan2.0
3 months ago

I remember some guy named Mike Mamula who had a great combine and shot up the Draft boards. What’s that Tarzan-Jane analogy? Richie McKay always focused on production.

3 months ago

I really like DT Daviyon Nixon from Iowa! He is big enough to replace Sue and athletic enough to play anywhere on the line as well as OLB. But I definitely wouldn’t be upset if we take one of the top 2 RBs. If we could get Miami to trade both of their 2nd round picks for our 1st I would be ecstatic. This would give us 3 2nd round picks and a chance to pick up a guy like DT Daviyon Nixon, a OLB like Carlos Basham, and a RB like Kenneth Gainwell from Memphis (who I really like).… Read more »

Reply to  Countrybrew
3 months ago

I like Basham a bunch. I think he’s what JPP is now, meaning an edge you can kick inside. He’s slotted to go somewhere in the middle of round 2, but if we could get him I’d definitely love the pick. Nixon is a little more tricky, as you can see the potential, but he never put it all together. I like the depth in this draft at some positions, namely rb and ol, so grabbing a mid to late round runner suits me just fine.

3 months ago

I can see the Bucs trading back in this spot, save $$ from not paying a first round pick and still getting their guy

Reply to  Frank
3 months ago

I could see that too. Just not for the reason you mentioned.

3 months ago

If there’s a “can’t miss” Edge, I’d take him; otherwise one of the “can’t miss” RB’s: Williams, Harris, and Etienne. A receiving back really complicates defense, and Brady is at his best when he has multiple options the defense has to account for–he’ll find the guy you overlooked.

Erik Jager
3 months ago

I would predict a DE, RB, or trade back at 32. Gholston and Brate are going to be cap casualties. How about trading for 2022 picks?