The 2021 NFL Draft is 12 days away, and who the Bucs take in the first round is anybody’s guess. With no crying needs and eight draft picks, Bucs GM Jason Licht is in position to take the best player available in any round, even if it means trading up. Tampa Bay’s roster isn’t likely to have room for eight rookies, so don’t be surprised to see the team package some day 3 picks to move up in the draft at some point.

At No. 32 overall, the Bucs array of potential selections is wide open. Here are a few players I wouldn’t take a chance on in Round 1 if I were Tampa Bay, as their profiles present too great a risk to use the team’s most valuable resource on.

Jayson Oweh, EDGE, Penn State

I know Oweh is the freakiest of athletic freaks, and maybe he does become the extremely rare outlier to go from college edge rusher with less than 10 career sacks to a monster in the NFL. But the odds are slim as we’ve seen over the years, with Danielle Hunter representing the only player to make that transformation over the past 20 years. Hunter had a fanatical approach to the game, and I would need to know that Oweh shares that mindset to even think about taking him in the first round.

Sometimes we chase the allure of a sky-high ceiling for a really raw player over the certainty that you can get a plus starter with a selection. For every upside prospect in the draft, there should still be a baseline of on-field ability and college production to guide your value of that player. Oweh didn’t hit those marks in my evaluation, and the Bucs would be foolish to take a risk on a player with his floor in Round 1.

Joe Tryon, EDGE, Washington

Tryon is another edge prospect who tested well and has great physical tools, but also missed the college football threshold for sacks, finishing his career with nine. Tryon didn’t play in 2020, a season he was going to enter as a very raw prospect in need of significant development. We aren’t sure how his game has progressed since then, which makes him a considerable risk going into his NFL career.

I love Tryon’s effort and play temperament, but I need to see some pass rush skill and polish if I’m going to select you Round 1. Watch him against Washington State, a game in which he actually had two sacks, and you’ll see most of his production comes from effort and hustle. That’s worth something, to be sure. It’s just not worth a first round pick. There will be better options on the board for Tampa Bay at No. 32 than what Tryon brings to the table.

Alex Leatherwood, OL, Alabama

I’ve tried to like Leatherwood, I really have. Through average 2019 tape I saw what Leatherwood could be, and through a really rough Senior Bowl performance I continued to believe he could be fixed. But then I dove deep into his 2020 tape, saw those maddening inconsistencies continue at left tackle, and started to doubt that Leatherwood would ever reach his hypothetical ceiling.

Leatherwood has some of the things every team covets in offensive tackles, including explosiveness out of his stance, a massive frame and vines for arms. There’s no denying his power when he lands his hands and can control defenders, especially in the run game. But Leatherwood’s consistent undersets in pass protection and strike timing issues open him up to a bevy of pass rush moves. When college rushers can beat you on your edge, across your face and knock you back into the pocket with bull rushes, you’ve got a plethora of issues to correct at the next level.

I think a lot of teams will see Leatherwood’s struggles at tackle and want to push him inside to guard. The Bucs may be among those teams, but I’m not convinced that a position switch will be enough to fix all the concerns in the 3-year starter’s game. Leatherwood can definitely be a better player at the next level, and he checks the size and athleticism boxes the Bucs have typically looked for on the offensive line. His experience at right guard as a sophomore will also be attractive, but Leatherwood is a better fit in a run-heavy offense that help their tackles a lot more than the Bucs do.

Any Of The Top Defensive Tackles

Alabama’s Christian Barmore, Washington’s Levi Onwuzurike and Iowa’s Daviyon Nixon are three of the most mocked players to the Bucs according to Grinding The Mocks, but none of them are prospects the Bucs should consider in Round 1. An argument could be made that all three possess high ceilings, a fact that is expected to push them up the board in a weak defensive tackle draft. Still, Barmore is the only one expected to be selected in the first round, currently the player most often paired with the Bucs in the first round of mock drafts.

There are flashes with all three defensive tackles, but the inconsistencies are just as persistent. Barmore’s pad level and lack of processing in the run game is a concern, while Onwuzurike gets pushed around too often for my liking. Nixon might have the highest ceiling of the trio given his power and the way he moves, but he feasted on weak opponents and was erased against top competition.

Barmore is likely to come off the board before Tampa Bay is on the clock, so the Bucs may not have to worry about him. I don’t think they’ll reach for Onwuzurike or Nixon in Round 1, but I would probably be ok with either player at No. 64 overall, depending on who else is available. It’s less about the individual risks of spending a top 32 pick on players with their concerns, and more about passing up on better prospects that will likely be available in Round 1.

Share On Socials

About the Author: Jon Ledyard

Jon Ledyard is PewterReport.com's newest Bucs beat writer and has experience covering the Pittsburgh Steelers as a beat writer and analyzing the NFL Draft for several draft websites, including The Draft Network. Follow Ledyard on Twitter at @LedyardNFLDraft
Subscribe
Notify of
43 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
fanofdabucs
fanofdabucs
1 year ago

Agree w all except Barmore. He has the ability to be special and would thrive next to Vita.

gcolerick
gcolerick
Reply to  fanofdabucs
1 year ago

Warren Sapp did a work out with him and said the guy can’t take simple directions as in he doesn’t know his left from his right. Sounds like he will end thriving on the bench. Draft him later or don’t draft him at all.

Dman
Dman
Reply to  gcolerick
1 year ago

Read that as well. I’d listen to 99 before any scout. Stay away from Barmore.

surferdudes
surferdudes
Reply to  gcolerick
1 year ago

Warren Sapp is an ass. Maybe he was acting like one, and Barmore responded as such. Hard for me to believe Saban would put up with such a dumb player. Sapp wishes he could coach in the league. He had a great media gig till he stiffed a couple of working girls, and got arrested. Talk about being a dumb ass. Warren was a great player, but he’s not a GM like Lynch is. No one would trust him enough, and I don’t trust his judgement when it comes time to evaluating players.

Runole
Runole
Reply to  surferdudes
1 year ago

Obviously, You don’t like Sapp. Sapp says the guys is dumb as a box of rocks. Just because he disagrees with your opinion doesn’t imply that he is wrong and you are correct. He met the guy and played the position that trumps your opinion.

PissedOffBuc1988
PissedOffBuc1988
Reply to  Runole
1 year ago

And lichts opinion trumps yours and everyone else’s.

Runole
Runole
Reply to  PissedOffBuc1988
1 year ago

Certainly true and that includes yours as well. So you have spoken to Licht? Unless you have I will stick with Sapp’s evaluation.

PissedOffBuc1988
PissedOffBuc1988
Reply to  Runole
1 year ago

No? Really? I thought when I say everyone else’s opinion, it would be obvious that I too would be included in everyone else. I also never said anything about talking to Licht. All I said was that LICHT’S opinion matters more, not my own, nor did I even hint at that mine matters more. I get that you’re trying to come back, but that was pretty pathetic.

Wausa
Wausa
Reply to  gcolerick
1 year ago

I’m not saying I want Barmore for the Bucs, but Sapp also said vita vea was a bad pick because he couldn’t handle the weather in the south.

NaplesFan2.0
NaplesFan2.0
Reply to  fanofdabucs
1 year ago

I’m 100% with you on this one. Barmore was inconsistent in the first part of his last season, but shined brightly against the highest level competition. I put absolutely 0 stock into what Sapp says. He’s not a scout or coach, and he has a long history of belittling IDL prospects. Barmore is more Suh than Gerald McCoy imo, and can be a headache for opposing linemen. I doubt he’s there, but if he was, I wouldn’t hate the pick.

Alldaway 2.0
Alldaway 2.0
1 year ago

I have to agree that in terms of value the Bucs may choose to trade down from the first if they really like any of these prospects IMO. I was thinking about this the other day…as raw as Oweh is…how much worse is he than the current backups to JPP and Shaq? Nelson is more polished player but his skill set is closer to a 5 tech like Gholston for example or versatile backup O’Connor. Gill shows some skill and juice but other than that he hasn’t really busted out yet. So in my mind as unproven as Oweh and… Read more »

The Freeman
The Freeman
1 year ago

Agree with all…
imo, should avoid DT at 64 too… pick one on day 3 for depth, hopefully there will be a better class or some good FA in 2022.

I hate the Oweh/Hunter comp on college production!
1) Hunter was 19 when he was drafted and wasn’t even 20 for his first NFL game… Oweh is 22.
2) Hunter was the 88th overall pick not 32 or 64… middle draft prospect on every boards.

Last edited 1 year ago by The Freeman
Dman
Dman
1 year ago

Good analysis, John. This draft doesn’t seem to have a dominant position. RD1 has to be a starter, if not this year then a rotational guy that slides into the line-up next season. BPA. If there isn’t that guy, either trade up for one or trade down for pick this year or next.

fredster
fredster
1 year ago

Good list and I agree on all not being worthy of first rd including Barmore.

martinii
martinii
1 year ago

I think the Buc’s will pick a player not because of his inconsistency but because of his athletic ability and his work ethic and that includes all the players mentioned above. Experts from all over the the NFL and college ranks rate these guys as the best in this years draft.The reason Oweh, Tyron, Barimore, Lettherwood et.al will excel is because we have excellent coaches and excellent veterans to teach them, additionally the will not be expected to start at 32 like our normal first round picks. They will have time to learn and will be training against SB calibre… Read more »

PissedOffBuc1988
PissedOffBuc1988
Reply to  martinii
1 year ago

I’m happy to see I’m not alone in regards to this.

Runole
Runole
Reply to  PissedOffBuc1988
1 year ago

No silk purse does a sow’s ear make lol

PissedOffBuc1988
PissedOffBuc1988
Reply to  Runole
1 year ago

LoL omg you’re hilarious. You’re so clever. I wish I could be as ignorant as you, then maybe I’d suck down everything ledyard feeds me as truth too.

Runole
Runole
Reply to  PissedOffBuc1988
1 year ago

Why so upset that you need to leave a personal insult? Are you really that insecure? lighten up… Everything? Good Lord….
Did you even comprehend my statement concerning Barmore?

bucballer
bucballer
1 year ago

I don’t really care who they take in round 1. Just don’t take a player with habitual injuries history. If he’s injured all the time in college what makes u think things will be different in the NFL? We’ve been there done that. Also, don’t take a kid who has played LT all four years in college and move him to Guard in the NFL. If u want a Guard then draft a Guard. Can’t afford to miss on that first round pick. He has to contribute as this team needs contributions from its first couple of picks in order… Read more »

Barnz1
Barnz1
Reply to  bucballer
1 year ago

Winfield had 2 injured years in college. Jamel Dean tore his ACL twice. In general, I agree to avoid injury history players but it’s not always best case to do so. Sometimes you have to gamble on the talent.

BucLife
BucLife
Reply to  Barnz1
1 year ago

Agreed. On the flipside, I dont think justin Evans, Beckwith or back in the days Brian Price had injury histories before the NFL and things just happened.

Dave
Dave
Reply to  BucLife
1 year ago

Man. I absolutely LOVED Brian Price. One of my biggest misses ever. I thought he was a can’t miss, 100% stud in the making. Couldn’t have been more certain on him. But man, you’re right. Sometimes things just happen. Can’t possibly predict injuries

Last edited 1 year ago by Dave
PissedOffBuc1988
PissedOffBuc1988
1 year ago

I’m going to trust Licht over anyone on pewter report. And that includes anything sapp has to say too. These are college players. They are still LEARNING. You all expect 20-21 year olds to come in and be polished and that’s ignorant and stupid. It’s the coaches in the NFL job to develop them. It’s their job to polish them up. So I take your negative mindset towards a lot of these guys with the smallest grain of salt possible. Let’s also just ignore that these guys didn’t play a real season. The big ten played what? 8 games..in OCTOBER.… Read more »

Runole
Runole
Reply to  PissedOffBuc1988
1 year ago

So you believe everyone is the same for learning. intelligence, and desire?

PissedOffBuc1988
PissedOffBuc1988
Reply to  Runole
1 year ago

I believe that whatever licht decides to do is what is best for the team. I stated that in my comment. Try to keep up.

Runole
Runole
Reply to  PissedOffBuc1988
1 year ago

So you have no opinion? My mistake I thought you liked Barmore.

Runole
Runole
Reply to  Runole
1 year ago

This is what I would like to see..

Bucs’ First Round Pick: Georgia Edge Azeez Ojulari
Bucs’ Second Round Pick: Alabama OL Landon Dickerson

Wausa
Wausa
Reply to  Runole
1 year ago

Those would be great picks if they both fall that far

toofamiliar17
toofamiliar17
1 year ago

Assuming that we don’t land an edge rusher in the first round, I would be interested in Tryon in the second round, assuming Turner is gone. But I agree that R1 is too early for him. Owen in the 1st is interesting depending on how the board breaks. I totally understand the hesitance on him. He’s a polarizing prospect for obvious reasons. But I see the appeal of taking a shot on him given that we don’t NEED to hit on him for this year. Because if he can put it together, he’s going to be a monster. There are… Read more »

toofamiliar17
toofamiliar17
Reply to  toofamiliar17
1 year ago

One more thought related to Oweh – of course his lack of pass rushing production last season is concerning. But I’m not sure about this narrative about the NCAA 10-sack minimum threshold for NFL success. Our own JPP played his first two college seasons at community colleges. Given, he put up big numbers there, but those were literally in regional and state level community college leagues. It wasn’t even D2. Outside of that, he had one 6.5 sack season at USF. JPP has 89 career sacks, 20 FF, 10 FR, 4 INT, 3 defensive TDs, elite run defense, one all… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by toofamiliar17
Alldaway 2.0
Alldaway 2.0
Reply to  toofamiliar17
1 year ago

I never bought into the 10 sack rule for collegiate players. Most do not have access to NFL weight training programs and coaching. True, colleges have some impressive coaching staffs now and training facilities that rival pro level. But being able to learn from a player like JPP is far more beneficial to a rookie than if they had 10 sacks in college.

BucLife
BucLife
Reply to  toofamiliar17
1 year ago

If I just looked at Oweh’s athletic numbers and stats in college I would agree with you. However, looking at his tape you don’t really see any of his measurables translating onto the field. He doesn’t look explosive. That is the part that concerns me most. I don’t think I have ever seen such a great athlete look so average.

Dave
Dave
Reply to  toofamiliar17
1 year ago

I can appreciate most of what you said there. In respect to JPP, sorry but I think he has little to zero shot of making the HOF. His stats flat out aren’t good enough. Just off the top of my head, Simeon Rice was better across the board(including over 30 more sacks than JPP). And Rice has zero shot at getting in himself. So if Rice has zero shot, same goes with JPP. As much as I like JPP, and think his impact is immeasurable as a leader

toofamiliar17
toofamiliar17
Reply to  toofamiliar17
1 year ago

Some other edge rushers and their college sack totals below. Chandler Jones: 10 over 3 years Arik Armstead: 4 over 3 years Frank Clark: 11 over 3 years Romeo Okwara: 11.5 over 4 years Pernell McPhee: 7 sacks over 3 years Olivier Vernon: 9 sacks over 3 years The 10 sack cutoff is arbitrary, but some of these guys didn’t even get there. And they all either are or were before their decline phase clearly plus pass rushers in the NFL. If someone doesn’t like Oweh, fine. But I think the total college sack argument is a weak one to… Read more »

Barnz1
Barnz1
1 year ago

I very much doubt the Bucs go anywhere near Oweh as long as Arians is coach and Licht is GM. They have constantly banged on about the tape and production is what matters and the combine and combine warriors don’t really matter.

I doubt he’s even high on their board compared to a lot of teams. I bet Ojulari is their #1 pass rusher. He is the most advanced pass rusher in the draft. Hopefully the athletic testing scares other teams off Ojulari that we get him…but I doubt it.

Last edited 1 year ago by Barnz1
toofamiliar17
toofamiliar17
Reply to  Barnz1
1 year ago

Yea, if Ojulari falls to us, we run to the podium as far as I’m concerned. He’s my #2 behind Phillips, but I’ve got them close, on a level of their own among edge rushers in this draft. I’d be stupid happy to land either of them. Maybe you’re onto something, and teams will shy away from him because of his somewhat mediocre testing numbers, but I doubt it.

Alldaway 2.0
Alldaway 2.0
Reply to  Barnz1
1 year ago

Arians has preached speed is what he wants on defense. So technically they do look at sheer athletic talent. Production is nice to go with sheer athletic talent. But you don’t turn down a 6 foot corner that can run a 4.3 as an example.

Eddie
Eddie
Reply to  Alldaway 2.0
1 year ago

Arian preached speed? Hope they can improve speed in the secondary. We need them

Dave
Dave
Reply to  Alldaway 2.0
1 year ago

Does he? Outside of White, I’d say as a whole, the speed on the defense, is on the slower side. So he’s failing in that area lol

plopes808
plopes808
1 year ago

With no real needs and no sure fire 1st round picks, BPA or a trade down would be my preference. Lucky for me, I don’t have to make that call

BucLife
BucLife
1 year ago

Agree with all and would Rousseau to this list as well. Many dont have him as a first round prospect but some do. For me personally he looks like day 3 prospect as I dont really think he can play edge or on the inside.

scubog
scubog
1 year ago

Just because a guy played in the league, it doesn’t make him a talent evaluator. One need only reference the array of former players posing as Draft “experts” on every sports channel and sports publication whose prognostications about a player’s success or failure in the NFL are mediocre at best. Of course, Mel Kiper has made a living spewing what becomes almost laughable when one goes back a few years and reads his rankings. The real truth, or fact if you prefer, is that no one really has much of a clue how a player will fare once he puts… Read more »