By far the biggest story surrounding the Buccaneers is the team’s search for a new head coach, but a little draft speculation in January is always entertaining to mix in. Fans of teams that didn’t make the playoffs need something to get excited about, and while it isn’t quite the same level as last year when they held the overall No. 1 pick, Bucs fans are already actively debating who Tampa Bay should select with the ninth pick in April.
On Wednesday ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. released his first mock draft with Tampa Bay selecting one of its own in Wharton High School graduate, Vernon Hargreaves III.
The 5-foot-11, 199-pound cornerback played three years at the University of Florida (2013-2015), earning first team all SEC every year and two All-American nods during his sophomore and junior season, the vote being unanimous in 2015.
Known for his physicality, Hargreaves recorded 121 tackles for his career at UF, along with eight interceptions. In 2015 he picked off three passes, returning all of them for at least 20 yards while proving to be the Gators best shutdown cornerback. While his number of pass-deflections dropped tremendously from his first two seasons (27 combined) to his junior year (4), many scouts would say it’s because offenses stopped throwing in his direction.
It’s still extremely early in the process and hard to predict where anyone will fall, but the overwhelming belief from those outside the organization is that Tampa Bay will be targeting either a defensive end or cornerback in the first round in May. With the league’s 16th ranked pass-defense in 2015 – one that seemingly regressed over the last four games and tried different combinations throughout the year – and a pass-rush that recorded just seven sacks in that span – most of which came from linebacker blitzes – it’s clear the Buccaneers could use an upgrade in the secondary and along the front four next season.
To see the rest of Kiper’s mock draft click here.
Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders.
Contact him at: [email protected]
sounds as good as anything at this point in time.
I seen this to get burnt way too many times this year if you don’t have safety help over the top he gets burned bad
I agree , while his stats were great his first two years. I’ve seen him get burnt a ton thisbyear.
You obviously didn’t watch every game. Like the entire Gator team, they were ill prepared for Michigan….either that or they didn’t care, or both. WH3 dominated when given the few opportunities. Even with these “burnt” plays, he is far superior to the other CB’s in the top of the draft.
OH so that makes sense. Let’s draft a guy that doesn’t care about the game hes playing. Sounds to me like your a gator fan. And no he’s not far superior to guys like Alexander. Alexander allowed 31% completions against him this year, the lowest in college football. He’s also only allowed 1 TD in two years. I saw Hargreaves give up that many against Michigan alone. SO no, he’s not the best corner.
I like this pick, but so much will change over the next four months…
db’s do not win championships. a pass rush does.
Tell that to Malcolm butler.
This guy will be a superstar, but he won’t be available for us.
He’s not a senior. He’s a true 3rd year junior early entry.
Nick Saban is a jerk.
Speedy CB w/ press, off man, & zone ability–who tackles and has returning experience. Sounds like stuff the Bucs’ need. Funchess is just getting better, and Benjamin will be back next season. Same draft had the DE from OK State PR gave the Bucs’ @ 9 falling to Carolina @ 31. It’s January, & Kiper so it’s just throwing junk at the wall anyways.
Saben sure jerked about every SEC team’s chain this year, that’s for sure, 78Buc.
This team needs a stud DE to put pressure on the QB and the kid from Oklahoma St, looks like he could be the type.
Kiper is such a gasbag. Who even listens to him. The only thing I can figure out is he must have some really juicy pictures of ESPN execs doing some really terrible horrible things that would bring sanctions from the United Nations if they were ever revealed.
There should be a warning label “For Entertainment Purposes Only” on anything these Draft experts publish.
WH3 played this year like he didn’t want to get hurt. That takes him off the board for me. Licht is a meathead scout and he is not going to draft a kid that dogged it a whole year because he knew he was entering the draft. Deep draft this year on the D, I like the kid PR had in there draft he showed up last year against Winston and had a sack or two. There are a handful of better corners if you’re not a Gator fan and turn on the tape.
their not there damn voice to text
Every player has a bad game his career isn’t evaluated by one play, even Revis, J Norman have gotten smoked this yr by Watkins and Beckham respectively. fans have to much bias in their opinions like a team than that’s the player they want hate the team stay away etc. We are all draft experts and should be working for a NFL Team ha, I have my opinion and have been right and wrong mostly right though ha. These talks are water cooler convos and article fillers we will have about 20 more to read before the draft.
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