Cook’s 2019 Bucs’ Draft Picks
Round 1 (No. 15 from Washington) – Alabama T Jonah Williams – Junior
The Bucs are tempted to stay at No. 5, but after giving up giving up two No. 2’s (2019, 2020) to the Cardinals in the trade for Patrick Peterson, the temptation of the quarterback-needy Redskins offer is too much to pass up. In my Bucs Battle Plan, I have the Bucs releasing long-time veteran Demar Dotson. Tampa Bay needs a younger player to develop for the future who comes a little cheaper as well. Williams is projected anywhere from a Top 5 pick to a mid-first-rounder, and Tampa Bay is ecstatic to see Williams available at No. 15. Williams played both tackle positions for the Crimson Tide but is projected to be a better right tackle in the NFL who in a pinch could fill in for Donovan Smith if need be.
Round 2 (No. 46 from Washington) – Memphis RB Darrell Henderson – Junior
While the team hasn’t given up on 2018 second-rounder Ronald Jones, Arians and his staff want more juice on the field from the running back position. While Peyton Barber is a steady, dependable player, Henderson gives the team a home-run threat when he has the ball in his hands. Henderson rushed for 3,545 yards and 36 touchdowns during his career at Memphis and the team hopes he can step in immediately and take some pressure off Jameis Winston, and keep opposing defensive coordinators guessing.
Round 3 – No. 70 – Michigan DE Chase Winovich – Senior
Former Michigan standout Chase Winovich isn’t the most gifted athlete at his position in the draft, but is a high-motor guy who you have to drag off the field. Think Carl Nassib, but with a nasty streak and alpha male attitude. Winovich finished his Wolverine career with 166 tackles (43 for loss), 18.5 sacks and also a fan favorite and will fit in nicely with the rotation of young and veteran defensive linemen on the Bucs roster.
Round 4 – No. 107 – Miami DT – Gerald Willis III – Senior
The Buccaneers go back-to-back on the defensive line with Gerald Willis, who had a terrific senior season at Miami where he had 59 total tackles, but with 18 of those for a loss. Willis also added four sacks for the Hurricanes and should immediately be able to step in and earn playing time in the new Bucs defense. A massive mountain of a man, Willis will be hard to move up front, but will need to work on some technique things in the NFL. Still the Bucs can’t believe Willis is still on the board with the 107th pick.
Round 5 – No. 145 – Oklahoma G – Dru Samia – Senior
The Bucs are desperate to find better guard play in 2019 after watching the turnstiles of Caleb Benenoch and Alex Cappa struggle last season. At 6-5, 300 pounds, Samia has the size and the film to make the Bucs front office believe he can step in and compete right away. Samia’s tape shows above average footwork in pass protection and an ability to recognize twists, stunts and blitzes. Samia was a four-year starter for the Sooners, including at tackle as a freshman, and the teams loves his toughness and grit.
Round 5 (No. 153 from Washington) – Elon OT Oli Udoh – Senior
A small school player who the Bucs won’t need to rush into the starting lineup, Udoh gives the team a project with a ton of upside. After a standout week in St. Petersburg for the East West Shrine Game, Udoh got the invite to Mobile and proved he belonged during the Seniot Bowl week, While a tackle in college, many feel his best spot in the NFL will be at guard, a position the Bucs could use more help and depth at.
Round 7 – No. 215 – LSU DT Ed Alexander – Junior
Alexander had an up and down career in Baton Rouge, starting his career as a member of the SEC All-Freshmen team, but dealt with nagging injuries. Alexander is a space eater and at 330 pounds, he will be good fit at nose tackle in the new 3-4 defense the Bucs will run.