As if the East-West Shrine Game isn’t enough of an indicator that draft season has officially begun, Mel Kiper J.r’s first mock draft, which typically releases right around this time, is another give away.
In his first mock, Kiper has the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selecting Quenton Nelson, the offensive guard out of Notre Dame.
“The Bucs couldn’t run the ball in 2017, averaging only 3.7 yards per carry and 90.6 yards per game. Was it the running backs, the offensive line or both? Nelson is a plug-and-play starter who would be an upgrade for almost every team. He’s a dominant run-blocker at 6-5, 330, who causes destruction at the point of attack. If Barkley falls a little bit, could the Bucs snag him at No. 7?”
Pass rusher Bradley Chubb, whom most Bucs fans would love to see in red and pewter, was not available for selection by the time the Bucs pick rolled round. Chubb was selected at No. 3 by the Indianapolis Colts.
“Indianapolis is in a good spot to take the best non-quarterback available, and the No. 1 pass-rusher in this class is Chubb. He has a tremendous motor and has been unblockable for two straight years. He has 46.5 tackles for loss since the beginning of the 2016 season. Chubb was the tone-setter for the Wolfpack, and coaches raved about him as a leader. The Colts ranked 31st in the league in sacks (25) this season, and Chubb is a great fit.”
Here’s how Kiper’s Top 10 looked:
1. Cleveland BrownsJosh Allen, QB, Wyoming
2. New York GiantsJosh Rosen, QB, UCLA
3. Indianapolis ColtsBradley Chubb, DE, N.C. State
4. Cleveland Browns (from HOU)Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
5. Denver BroncosSam Darnold, QB, USC
6. New York JetsMinkah Fitzpatrick, CB, Alabama
7. Tampa Bay BuccaneersQuenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame
Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for PewterReport.com. Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he's not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at: email@example.com
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