With the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine approaching fast, you’re going to see some of the big-name draft experts releasw their pre-Combine mock drafts with some updates and modifications after the NFL season has come to a close and more time has allowed them to look at more tape.
For ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr., his Mock Draft 2.0 didn’t have a change for what the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were doing, although the pick itself got a bump in confidence.
No. 7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Note Dame OG Quenton Nelson
Notre Dame left guard Quenton Nelson – Photo by: Getty Images
“Nelson moved up to No. 4 on my latest Big Board, and there’s no question he’s the favorite to be the first offensive lineman off the board in April. He’s a plug-and-play starter who dominates defenders and can get to the second level. Tampa Bay had one of the league’s worst running games in 2017 — it averaged only 3.7 yards per carry. Nelson would be an instant upgrade.”
The Buccaneers are going to have some freedom and creativity to what they want to do along the offensive line for 2018 — but in a negative way because that change is ue to poor performance. Donovan Smith and Demar Dotson will be the team’s tackles, and though Ali Marpet will be one of the interior offensive linemen, two of the other spots, whether it be two guards or one guard and a center, will be up for grabs.
Nelson would be an immediate starter at guard — and one that would improve the entire line in the process.