Miami TE David Njoku - Photo by: Getty Images
Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht, director of player personnel John Spyteck and director of college scouting Mike Biehl have spent the fall and winter scouting prospects for the 2017 NFL Draft where Tampa Bay has the 19th overall pick. The focus needs to be making Dirk Koetter’s offense more explosive and finding more weapons for quarterback Jameis Winston.
The suspension of oft-injured starting running back Doug Martin and the injury-prone status of Charles Sims suddenly makes the running back position an area of need, in addition to wide receiver where the team needs to add more big-play ability outside of Mike Evans new free agent addition DeSean Jackson.
While the offensive line is a concern for many Bucs fans, this year’s draft class is not strong at tackle, guard or center, and PewterReport.com doesn’t have Licht taking a lineman due to the fact that he’s selected four – guard Kevin Pamphile in 2014, tackle Donovan Smith and guard Ali Marpet in 2015 and guard-tackle Caleb Benenoch in 2016 – in the last three drafts. That may change in future mock drafts as the Bucs need a right tackle to replace aging veteran Gosder Cherilus and eventually starter Demar Dotson, yet the team has three in-house candidates in Pamphile, Benenoch and Leonard Wester.
Tampa Bay’s defense could use help at safety, defensive end and possibly cornerback and defensive tackle, but it will be challenging to fill all of those holes in the 2017 draft given the needs on offense. Brent Grimes will be 34 next season, and the Bucs have cut overpaid cornerback Alterraun Verner. The Bucs signed two safeties in Chris Conte and J.J. Wilcox, and have Keith Tandy as a starting caliber player, too. The Bucs re-signed defensive end Will Gholston and added defensive tackle Chris Baker in free agency to bolster Tampa Bay’s defensive line.
PewterReport.com offers up its third edition of the Bucs’ round-by-round draft projection in 2017, focusing mostly on adding skill position players for Tampa Bay’s offense. PewterReport.com’s 2017 Bucs 7-Round Mock Draft is sponsored by Holliday Karatinos Law Firm – the official personal injury attorney for PewterReport.com. Call attorney Jim Holliday for a free consultation at (813) 868-1887 or visit them on the web at HelpingInjuredPeople.com
Round 1: Miami TE David Njoku – 6-4, 245 – 4.64 – Junior
Previous Pick: Alabama TE O.J. Howard
Alabama tight end O.J. Howard was the pick at No. 19 in PewterReport.com’s second edition of its 2017 Bucs’ 7-Round Mock Draft, but after his performance at the NFL Scouting Combine it doesn’t seem likely Howard makes it to Tampa Bay’s selection. At 6-foot-6, 251 pounds, Howard ran a 4.51 and a 6.85 time in the three-cone drill. That display of athleticism, combined with his stellar performance at the Senior Bowl, his game tape and his reputation as the best all-around tight end could even make him a top-10 pick. It’s doubtful Howard gets past Tennessee, which has the 18th overall pick.
Instead of Howard, the Bucs take the other first-round caliber tight end in Njoku, who at age 20 is one of the youngest players in this year’s draft. Njoku was hoping to run a faster 40-time than 4.64 in Indianapolis, but his 11-1 broad jump, his 37.5-inch vertical leap and his 6.97 time in the three-cone drill reconfirm the athleticism that is shown on his game tape.
Njoku showed off his athleticism on the gridiron where he had eight catches of 40 yards or more and four catches that topped 50 yards for the Hurricanes as one of the most explosive tight ends in the nation. Njoku had a pair of touchdowns a 40-21 win over Duke last year that traveled 76 and 58 yards.
Njoku’s Miami Career Stats
2016: 43 catches for 698 yards (16.2 avg.) with 8 TDs and a long of 76 yards
2015: 21 catches for 362 yards (17.2 avg.) with 1 TDs and a long of 58 yards
Njoku, who was born in Nigeria and grew up poor in New Jersey, continues the tradition of talented NFL-caliber tight ends to come out of Miami, including the likes of Bubba Franks, Jeremy Shockey, Kellen Winslow, Greg Olsen and Jimmy Graham. Shockey serves as Njoku’s mentor.
“I talk to him all the time,” Njoku said in the Palm Beach Post. “He just tells me, ‘Kill or be killed’ — You’ve got to compete to get your food, to get your money, you know? Then again, I knew that when I was younger. I just compete. I love competing.”
At age 20 with just two years of playing experience, Njoku is far from being a finished product. He needs to add 10 more pounds of muscle and better technique to become a better in-line blocker in the running game.
“I’m working on both with my power and speed,” Njoku told The Sporting News. “I came into Miami as a receiver, so it’s easier to say my blocking [needs the most improvement], but obviously there’s things that I need to work on with running routes. They both need some serious work, but I’m far from reaching my peak.”
Njoku also needs to continue to work on his hands, as he would make some spectacular catches for the Hurricanes, but drop a few easy ones. Although he was the most targeted tight end in the nation last year, he also had eight dropped passes in his two years at Miami.
The Bucs could use another tight end to team with Cameron Brate in 2017 and allow Dirk Koetter to go back to his original plan of using both Brate and Austin Seferian-Jenkins together in 2016 before a DUI prior to Week 3 prompted ASJ’s release. While Brate enjoyed a breakout season with 57 catches for 660 yards eight touchdowns, which tied for the NFL lead among tight ends, his presence as sorely missed in the final two games of the season when he suffered a back injury at New Orleans and Tampa Bay’s passing game nearly ground to a halt.
With only Luke Stocker, who isn’t much of a receiving threat, behind Brate on the depth chart, Tampa Bay wants another tight end that can work the seam and make big plays in the passing game. Pairing Njoku and Brate together in a two-tight end set should create a mismatch somewhere on the field for quarterback Jameis Winston to exploit.
After facing Jimmy Graham in New Orleans, Tony Gonzalez in Atlanta and Greg Olsen in Carolina for years in the NFC South, the Bucs finally have not just one, but two tight ends to threaten their division rivals with Brate and Njoku as head coach and playcaller Dirk Koetter incorporates more two tight end sets in 2017 the way New England did last year with Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett.
Click below to view Tampa Bay’s second-round pick in 2017.
Scott Reynolds is in his 23rd year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds enjoys giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: email@example.com
I really liked the Mock draft until the 5th round. with so many other needs, I just don’t think we need 2 TEs in this draft. I also don’t believe Reynolds will be there in the 4th round. I think he will go in the 3rd.
There’s a very good chance Josh Reynolds will be gone by the fourth, but each year some players always seem to slide down a round.
As for the two tight ends, just take a look at the Bucs’ depth chart: Cameron Brate, Luke Stocker, Alan Cross (who’s more of a FB) and Tevin Westbrook. Now imagine Brate and/or Stocker getting hurt. Brate missed 1.5 games last year and Stocker missed 4.
Now realize that Koetter wanted to run 2 TE sets, but couldn’t at times last year after ASJ was cut and Stocker was banged up. A big chunk of his playbook was thrown out of the window as a result.
I’d be very happy with this draft.
That would be great getting Baker in the 2nd and maybe it will happen but any mocks I have seen don’t have him lasting that long. Anyway that draft haul would be alright, I hope for better as I am not sold on Njoku at 19 or Mack in round 3.
I didn’t think Noah Spence would last to the point in the second round where the Bucs drafted him. This is a deep and talented draft at a lot of positions. Budda Baker could go in the late first, or could slide to the early second.
But we don’t have an early second… right?
Nice mock, Scott… A lot of names that you have discussed over the last month. I still like McCaffery in the first round. I think that his impact as a Marshall Faulk type of back combined with punt & kickoff returns, which have been a thorn in the side of this team for a while, combined with production, character, leadership would be the safer play. I’d also hope that, as Mark pointed out, that DB Corn Elder would be an interesting pick in the 3-4 range. The depth of the OL also worries me. It seems like the Bucs are always caught flat-footed on the OL with injuries and unforeseen circumstance. I think there is justification for the many fans who are calling for a deep group on the OL… Maybe C Ethan Pocic in the 3rd? Lastly, I’m still not convinced that Devante Bond is going to step right in Daryl Smith’s shoes and be the guy. I would hope that Licht is looking at LBs as well.
Thank you, e. I too like Christian McCaffrey and he almost made it as the first-round pick in this mock. I think he’d be an ideal fit in Dirk Koetter’s offense. It’s funny how much flak I caught for writing about him in a previous SR’s Fab 5 in February … then the Combine rolls around and he backs up everything I wrote about him and now many Bucs fans have jumped on the McCaffrey train.
I actually think the OL is deep – even if it looked like this:
LT D. Smith / Wester
LG Pamphile / E. Smith
C Marpet / Gottschalk
RG Sweezy / Allen
RT Dotson / Benenoch
Njoku is good, but probably not BAP at no. 19. I rather imagine the Bucs will make a point now of drafting a WR in the first to be understudy to DJax who is on a short term contract and could very well start slowing down by the end of that contract. On the other hand, drafting a speedy and good route-running WR now, allowing for 2-3 seasons to fully develop his NFL skills, would be virtually perfect timing.
I’d rather see the Bucs take Davis or Ross or Williams in the first, then a TE in the second round in a draft that is loaded in TE talent.
Forgot to mention, I like Mack in the third. He will be a beast, especially if our offensive line gets a little better on their run blocking, as we all hope they will (with perhaps Marpet moving to center, and getting Sweezy up to speed).
Sarasota native too!! They would like it down here.
I think Corey Davis, Mike Williams and John Ross will be gone by 19. If Davis or Ross is there, I’m in favor of the Bucs drafting either, but I don’t think they’ll be there.
Well, Scott, we’ll see come Day 1 – but I would certainly put the chances of the Bucs having a shot at at least one of the “fab 4” receivers available at no. 19 at at least 50%. Yes they’re all attractive players, but there are way too many mocks from capable draftniks coming out that show at least one of the above being there at no. 19 in order to dismiss that as fantasy.
There are a lot of quality WRs in this draft, along with lots of quality tight ends, running backs, edge rushers, defensive tackles, and cornerbacks, and even as many as four or five quarterbacks who are potential first rounders. Maybe none of the QBs will go no. 1 overall, but four or five in the first round is plausible with so many quarterback-needy teams in the non-playoff 2/3 of the league.
Add it all up, and I like our odds of getting one of the fab four pass catchers at 19. But I also don’t see Njoku as BPA at no. 19 – he’s really a late first round or early second round talent.
I don’t think Williams, Ross, Davis, and OJ Howard will all be gone. If Howard goes before our pick, I think one of the WR will be left at 19. Philly wont be drafting a WR in the first now with the addition of Smith and Jeffery.
Love Baker in the second, but hard pass on a Tight End in the first round. TE may be the least important position on offense. I don’t see the need to spend the premium pick on one when Tampa already has a good one. Grab a DE, CB, or Saftey who slides and take advantage of this drafts depth at those positions.
Please don’t ever tell Dirk Koetter that the tight end is the least important position in his offense. Koetter has a temper and you won’t like the outcome.
I agree that Baker in the second (past the 50th pick) would be a great pick for us, but I am not holding my breath that he’ll still be around.
While I like Njoku, the issue I have is that the pick doesn’t fit with what Koetter and Licht have created on offense. We have an OL that is above average at run blocking and below average at pass protection. If we believe the talk that the FO is happy with our line, then passing up a RB like Kamara (assuming Cook and Fournette are gone) to take a pass catching TE doesn’t fit.
If we are going to become a pass-first offense, then changes on the OL are needed. I suspect we will still be run-first, and that the addition of DJax is the help we’re getting to the pass attack.
But, of course it all depends how the board sits when it’s our pick 😬
Not sure if you are assuming cook is gone in the first as well, but I would take him in the first and Engram from Ole miss in the second. I would be shocked if Buddda Baker fell into our laps in the second. If not that Safety from Uconn, whose name i refuse to try and spell, would be a steal at his size.
I know Mack is a popular pick for the bucs but I don’t like it. We need speed and he’s a 4.6 guy. We dont’ need another 3rd down back, we need a 1st and second down back. From all of the USF fans I’ve talked to, he’s not an every down back and was never even used as such in college. Hence his minimal games of 20 carries. Now that can be a good thing as he doesn’t have much wear and tear, but looking at it, it seems more and more the Bucs could be looking at Mack.
Getting Reynolds in the 4th would be a steal if you ask me and one of my favorite picks of this mock.
I’m also loving the Toledo TE being taken right afterwards. That dude is a mountain of a man with some deceptive athleticism. That also is another reason I don’t like the first round pick. I doubt the bucs take 2 TE’s in this draft.
All in all I really like this draft outside of the 2 TE’s taken. I would maybe switch up the first for a solid RB and the 3rd for a offensive lineman, maybe the Center from LSU, and that would be a sick draft. Very exciting times at one Buc.
Obi is the UConn safety. He’s one of my favorite players in the draft. I think he might be a reach at 19 (according to the general consensus), but gone before Tampas second rounder. Either way, Id like to see a way where Licht lands him as I think the kid could be a star.
I’m with you on the LSU Center. Doubt it will happen based on the reporting from PR,but it could be a big upgrade
Yeah Obiwanfu or something like that. I would love to get him in the second. Was hoping he’d still be there in the 3rd, but with his combine, there;s slim chance he;ll be there.
Completely agree. Trade back and get him in late first? I’d rather reach a little at 19 then miss out on him though.
I like your idea on center, we need one. What about Pat Elfein from OSU. I’d be happy with Pocic or Elfein at #2.
cgmaster27 – I don’t want to pick a fight with you, but did you watch Marlon Mack’s highlight video? He ran a 4.5 at the Combine. Same speed as Dalvin Cook and a hair faster than Leonard Fournette. I think he splits carries with Jacquizz Rodgers the way Doug Martin and Charles Sims split carries in 2015. Dirk Koetter likes to use two RBs.
NO worries, disagreeing is not picking a fight. I was thinking of Hunts numbers I believe. In terms of athletic ability, Mack tested second best RB in the whole class. so he’s got the talent. The lack of carries against big time competition is what scares me. My personal preference is game tape over combine stuff and Cooks tape is second to none from last year. Dalvin does what he does against top 10 defenses, Mack is playing in the AAC and if were’re going to penalize Dalvin for his fumble issues, Mack fumbles a good bit like cook. Now if you’re not drafting him to be the man as your scenario goes, then I’m all for it. I just don’t think you can rely on Rodgers to be your first and second down back a good majority of the time. I see him getting injured and were tight back at the same scenario we were at last year, with two backs that are scat backs. And everything I hear about mack is that he isn’t a between the tackles runner. Just a personal preference. But Your way more plugged into the Bucs than I’ll ever be.
First time ever Scott I don’t like any of your picks. Round 1 is a big risk and we still have a CB need to find a replacement for Grimes after this Season. I would trade down some spots and pick up a 3rd or 4th round pick. I bet that TE would still be there.
I don’t agree with the 2nd pick because he’s too small and will have a greater risk for shoulder/neck injuries (just my opinion).
The 3rd round pick is a reach when we have other needs; Either pick a RB in the 1st round or forget about it because we have Rogers, Barber, and we could keep Martin.
No need to comment about the rest as it changes everthing, but I would ask why are we drafting a FB when we can pick one up after the draft?
Nope, don’t like this draft at all.
Wasn’t impressed either. Don’t see the safety lasting till second round. Not big on the TE in first. Marlon Mack I don’t see either. Move up or move back but get an impact running back.
Njoku is a good pick…I don’t think Baker will be there…some think he will be gone in the first. I am not crazy about Mack in the third but the rest of the draft works for me.
Decent mock, but…
I don’t see us taking a TE in the first round who doesn’t block well, and I’m not sold on taking a RB that can’t run between the tackles.
Things are looking up. Not a bad draft if it happens this way.
Budda Baker will not be there when we take our second pick. I hope he is, but I doubt it.
So, for our second pick I’d like to see either Pat Elfein /OSU or Pocic / LSU both good centers.
On our #5 pick I think maybe Corn Elder /Miami U CB
Some where in this draft we should draft a QB. How about Seth Russell / Baylor. Or Nate Pederman From Pitt.
I like your first pick,but if Dalvin Cook is there you know we have to take him. He will sell tickets and be fantastic. whats not to like about him.
I almost put a QB in this mock draft, but want to wait to see what happens with the team’s interest in Nick Foles first. If they don’t sign Foles, I think they’ll draft a QB. If they do sign Foles, they won’t draft a QB. We’ll see how it shakes out in our next mock draft in April.
I’m not excited about this mock draft. Don’t like drafting 2 TE at all, and don’t see any imediate game changer players.
>No. 19 on a developmental PROJECT pick in TE Njoku, don’t like it. If you want him, trade back. No question he is athletic & and could be really good but a project none the less.
>If the draft goes as most think & all of the juicy picks that are perfect for the BUCS are gone I hope they trade back. Njoku late in the first round, or McCaffery are better options.
>I’m not sold on Baker and don’t think he slips all the way back to the BUCS 2nd round pick anyway. I would rather have Marcus Maye from FL or Obi from UConn, and they are likely going in the 3rd.
>Maybe Mack turns out to be a good pro but the hunch is he will be an average RB in the NFL. No issue drafting him. IF we are talking about life without Martin then he isn’t (in my humble opinion) the heir.
>I would rather use our 2 of our first 5 picks on WR’s.
Thanks for the 3.0 Scott don’t mean to be a downer.
No worries, MudManVA. I appreciate your feedback.
My mindset is that the BUCS are close to be a playoff team. IF Jackson gets hurt then what? 30 year old players are more prone, and I believe he missed some time last year. The BUCS are right back where they were in 2017 with their WR corps.
Be aggressive in the draft to get game changers year 1. Davis, Williams, Cook, and Howard are the surest thing at their positions. DO it! To get one of them I think we are talking about moving from 19 to 14.
IF not punt & move way back to stock pile. Hopefully one of them turns out to be an impact.
I completely trust Licht in the draft, and believe he will make the right moves. If I’m the GM that is how I play it.
Underinvesting in the lines will eventually be our undoing. We need a stud center and a starting caliber OT; depending on your opinion we either don’t have enough depth or enough quality in the starters at those positions – or both! If we could trade down and pick up one of the top OL at any position except G (where we at least have plenty of bodies) and then get a good WR with the extra pick I’d be all for it.
We have a scatback at RB in Quizz, may end up keeping Martin who is similar in style and of course Sims – although he showed just how limited his skill set is, making him a significant disappointment and a reach where he was drafted.
Regardless we need a big bruising RB not another undersized back. Give me a bruiser to wear down opposing defenses late in games, instead of our smallish backs being the ones who get worn down (and injured) trying to close out games.
Lastly, drafting two TEs when we have one quality player there already ignores our lack of quality depth in too many other places. Highly unlikely
I stated this earlier, but it’s worth repeating …
As for the two tight ends, just take a look at the Bucs’ depth chart: Cameron Brate, Luke Stocker, Alan Cross (who’s more of a FB) and Tevin Westbrook. Now imagine Brate and/or Stocker getting hurt. Brate missed 1.5 games last year and Stocker missed 4.
Scott, that is a valid point about the TE’s; so you don’t think the Bucs are going to pick one up in the next week or two?
Very good mock, but don’t like taking 2 TEs. I would take a second safety before a second TE. Also, Baker will NOT be available when we pick in the 2nd.
The Bucs already have 3 safeties – Keith Tandy, Chris Conte and J.J. Wilcox. I see all three making the 53-man roster. They only need one more to round out the position on the depth chart. They’ll draft one, but not two.
Maybe they resign Bradley.
Draft isn’t bad, but it’s also not very realistic for some players either.
At this point I think we’ll either trade up for Howard or to the back of the 1st
Hey Scott, I definitely appreciate the mock draft and think Njoku is a vastly superior TE to overrated Howard who never really produced in college and got lucky with several blown coverages by the Clemson defense who were notoriously bad at covering the Te all of last season. I do not like the fact that the Bucs are going TE, FS, RB in the first three rounds of the draft and not going after the premium positions the draft is SOOO deep at like DL, CB, and WR in THOSE rounds. This draft smells a bit like drafting for need rather than taking the BPA. The Bucs need to stop emulating the also-rans of the NFL and start drafting the best talent regardless of position.
The Bucs need to draft a WR earlier – round 2 at the latest. Historically, these 4th round and later WRs NEVER, NEVER, NEVER work out for the Bucs – at all – never. We do this dance every year where we talk about the Kenny Bells and the Kenny Bells NEVER pan out for the Bucs. So let’s stop repeating history there.
If the Bucs want to make the leap as a winner, they also need to take more risks in the draft and stop taking choir boys. The choir boy leaders the Bucs keep drafting have produced exactly 0 playoff wins n the last 14 years. There is an opportunity here with a guy like Mixon to get a Leveon Bell / David Johnson type talent in the 4th round or later. The Bucs should take that gamble this year and use the first three rounds to solidify the premium positions.
If OU RB Joe Mixon is there in the third round I could definitely see the Bucs take him.
I like this mock except for 1 thing. Njoku in the first??? Maybe if he slipped to us in the second. I like the Michael Roberts pick in the 5th quite a bit better than Njoku in the 1st. Also, O-line needs serious help still so Robinson or Bolles in the first and problem solved. Make Donovan earn that LT job.
Bucs fans, I do not see the team drafting an OT in the first round at all. I just don’t see it. Both Jason Licht and Dirk Koetter have said repeatedly that they really like their personnel.
I know some fans keep beating the drum about the O-line, but I don’t think it’s happening this year.
If OJH is gone and Cory Davis is gone trade down if possible. This draft is deep for 4 rounds.
As much as I like Mack, Hunt is a grind it out back and does not fumble !! How many times last yr. Third and one and did not make it!!!
As far as TE goes 2nd &3rd Rd quality is still available. Try to get Zay Jones he looked very good in bowl games.
I like Marlon Mack IF he can get coached up. He doesn’t protect the ball: He holds it low and swings his arms at a high arc when he runs. This guy will be a turnover machine if that isn’t corrected. I remember Tiki Barber having similar traits early on in his career and his numbers went way up when corrected. Don’t see Mack as a first year savior unless he corrects this.
MACABEE’S 2017 MOCK DRAFT V2
Draft Strategy – Weapons for Winston and aggression for the Defense by trading down.
RD1 – CB Obi Melifonwu/UConn 6-4, 219, 4.43
CB? Yes CB. TE Howard is off the board and WR DJax is in the stable. I saw the hips, lateral speed, vertical, and broad jump at the Combine. This guy can play anywhere in the secondary outside corner, deep/in the box safety, hybrid LB, you name it. I can’t pass up that much versatility. We trade down, get this swiss army knife and an additional third round pick.
RD2 – RB/WR Curtis Samuel/Ohio State
The Bucs got speed and we get even speedier here plus we add a Percy Harvin flavor to the offense. He’s moving up draft boards but if he’s there I take him.
RD3 – DE Trey Hendrickson/Fla Atlantic 6-4, 266, 4.65
*I’m torn between Hendrickson and Tanoh Kpassagnon here, but my eyes tell me that Tanoh is a work in progress and the combine said that Hendrickson is a ready now complete DE. Tanoh may have more upside but the Bucs need help right away. I may live to regret this change. Tanoh is obviously my second choice here.
RD3 – TE Bucky Hodges/V-Tech 6-6, 257,4.57
*If you can’t get TEs Howard or Njoku, the next best thing may be freak athlete Bucky Hodges. Like a giant Evan Engram, he’s more of a WR than a TE. He’s a work in progress as a blocker – more of a pest than a punisher. But that’s why we got Stocker, right? What makes Hodges special, however, is his raw combination of size, strength and athleticism. Hodges is a classic mismatch, towering over the defensive backs often asked to cover him and proving too fast for most linebackers. He accelerates smoothly off the snap, showing the agility, balance and strength to escape the jam and quickly get into his routes. My second choice here is Jordan Leggett/Clemson.
RD4 – WR Josh Reynolds/TexasA&M 6-3, 187, 4.52
*I have WR Josh Reynolds in the 4th round because his size at 6-3, 194 is a mild concern (weight) for the NFL. I really liked Zay Jones/ECU but I think he will go 2nd or 3rd round – only got so many draft picks. If Reynolds is not there, my second choice is WR Kenny Golladay 6-4, 213 No. Illinois.
RD5 – RB Brian Hill/Wyoming 6-1, 219, 4.54
*I’m still reluctant to add a RB because I think the Bucs are reluctant to walk away from a 2 time pro bowl RB, Doug Martin, without another look – different contract but another chance. Still Brian is a big back that has good numbers and had a good combine. He could be a steal in round 5. The Bucs interviewed both Hill and Marlon Mack at the Combine. Mack is gone and probably a round 3-4 pick.
RD6 – C Cameron Tom/So. Miss 6-3, 300, 5.17
*TBT Greg interviewed Tom and he’s a hard worker that could be a rare find that OC Todd Monken recruited at So Miss. I think we could use an upgrade at center but not likely to get much immediate help at this point in the draft.
RD7 – RB/KR/PR Tarik Cohen/N. Carolina A&T 5-6, 178, 4.39
*Cohen is one of my favorite players in the draft. This little tough Tasmanian devil-like player is also known as “The Human Joystick”. He finished with 5,169 yards rushing at NCA&T. He was 5th in the voting for the Walter Payton Award for the top FCS player in the country. In addition to his KR/PR duties, he could be another Darren Sproles for the offense. My second choice is Jahad Thomas/Temple.
*Feel free to Youtube any player for highlights. You will not be disappointed.
Macabee, I like your draft much better than Pewter Reports.
Hey Mac– I’ll match you one mock draft-mine currently has no trades and is based on the CBS big board and uses the On the Clock draft simulator.
Rd 1-OT/OG Ramczyk-all the pretty toys and boys won’t work without the big uglies up front. It’s not often the Bucs get the chance to draft the #1 OT in the draft. Like Jonathon Ogden of the Ravens Ramczyk can be moved inside to left guard his first year and give Smith one more year to get his act together. Later Ramczek can be moved to LT or RT as necessary. Has the Buc’s front five looking like this: LT Smith, LG Ramczek, C Marpet, RG Sweezy, RT Dotson. That should be an improvement over last year. Pamphile and Smith can be the rimary backups. Buc’s can choose which ever tackle is on top of their list (Ramczek, Bolles, Robinson or Lamp) but take a tackle.
Rd2-CB/PR/KR Adoree Jackson-Gives the Buc’s a developmental CB behind Grimes for a year or two. Last year was the first year Jackson had a chance to go to spring practice and he improved by leaps and bounds (had always run track in the spring). Plus gives the Buc’s a PR/KR like they have never had in their history.
Rd3-S/PR Eddie Jackson-his broken leg has healed and Jackson is a play maker, Always around the ball and smart.
Rd4-RB Kareem Hunt-solid back, can run with power, take it outside, catch the ball and block. May not have speed to go 80 yds, but can get you 30-40 yds. Great ball security.
Rd5-WR Josh Malone-6’3″ and 208 lbs at the combine with 4.4 speed, a WR to develop behind DeSean Jackson. Fits what JW needs, tall, long arms and speed
Rd6-TE Michael Roberts-big inline TE with good size (6’4″ and 270 lbs) and huge hands (11″), red zone target all day
Rd7-DE Deatrich Wise-6’5″ 274 lbs. Has all the tools but needs to get motivated to put them together. Good developmental prospect.
I like it. Good choices. I like Scott’s mock too. Never seen a mock that didn’t have a few good candidates. I’m just having fun here. I always get one or two right. Have never gotten 50%. Hope you have better luck. Go Bucs!
Mac – I won’t down vote your mock, but I believe there is a better chance of peace and love breaking out all over the world before we draft another CB with our first round, two years in a row … especially when there is a feast of quality CBs in this draft who can be had in later rounds,
The big need with a capital N this season is guys who can catch the ball, either WRs or TEs. DJax isn’t the long term solution as a speed WR, we need another quality player capable of starting across the field from Mike Evans within 2-3 seasons max to gain experience while DJax is still productive.
You’re probably right. My reasoning is driven by BPA. With the Bucs taking DJax in FA, I assumed no WR in the 1st round. The Bucs really want TE Howard. They have already scheduled a private visit to Tampa. But so has the Titans. I assumed he was gone. I like TE Njoku a lot. But do I like him enough to give up another 3rd round pick? Obi Melifonwu is a safety. But he’s moved into the 1st round. Since the draft is loaded with so many great TEs like small school Adam Shaheen. I chose to split the baby. lol.
None of this probably happens. But it’s my way of having fun with an exercise that is in fact not real. Please share your picks. Can’t be any crazier than mine or the guy next door! lol.
My picks? I find it impossible to put together any slate picks beyond round 2 or 3, just because of the massively escalating number of permutations and combinations in a 32 team, 7 round draft.
If I were GM for a day, I’d go with BPA of the available first round talent at WR or TE (I really don’t care which – they each have their pluses and minuses), meaning Davis, Ross, Williams, or Howard … I think the probability of us nabbing one of those four exceeds 0.5. If our luck doesn’t hold and none those are available, I’d certainly see if a trade-down could be done to pick up an extra third rounder that could then be packaged to move up in the second round.
My dream mock rounds 1-3:
1A – Any of Davis/Ross/Williams/Howard at WR/TE
OR (if none of the above are available at #19)
1B – Barnett at DE
2A (assuming we get one of our targets in round 1A) – Brantley at DT
2B (assuming we have to go 1B) – Josh Reynolds at WR
3 – Marlon Mack at RB
After that it’s just blue sky/BPA.
So Naples, your Draft philosophy is BPA at the position of biggest Need (with a capital N). So you’re taking one of the top 4 receivers even if another player has a much higher grade? Just making sure I understand your thought process.
Yup, Scubog … ALL sensible drafts are ALWAYS a combination of BPA and a position of need. Only draft dummies think of it as a zero sum, either/or choice.
If the Bucs did draft Obi Melifonwu in the first round it would be as a safety and not a cornerback. This team has a bunch of 5-foot-10 CBs on it for a reason, and there was a reason why 6-foot-2 CB Johnthan Banks was let go. He wasn’t a scheme fit. Big CBs aren’t a scheme fit for Mike Smith’s style of play.
I had one scout tell me about Curtis Samuel: “He’s supposed to be a speed guy and a big-play guy, but on film, where is the speed and where are the big plays?”
I like Trey Hendrickson, Josh Reynolds, Brian Hill and Mike Roberts, though. I wouldn’t mind seeing Tarik Cohen in the 7th round, either.
Macabre I totally agree with you about DE Trey H. I just wasn’t sure what RD. He would be in.
I think he has ALOT of heart and can develop into a very good player. I also like 7th rd pick even though I have never seen him play.
Speed kills! lol. Bucs need a little excitement. Enjoy!
Good draft but I am not a Njoku fan in the 1st round. Jeremy Sprinkle is rarely talked about but he is basically a lot like Njoku but he has more experience blocking in a rumn oriented offense and he will probably be there in the 3rd. If you must get a receiver in the 1st Evan Engram is the player. He’s not a TE more of a split end, or just call him what he projects to be which is a WR. He is my top rated receiver in this entire draft. If he is still there at 19 it is a no-brainer. If you are going offense anyway.
Bucs are not high on Jeremy Sprinkle. I’ll give you the answer to that one.
I like this latest mock. Unlike some fans, I understand what getting another athletic TE would mean for our offense. If Cook, Davis, Ross, or Barrett are gone, I’m good with BPA at 19 or trading back if possible. Budda in the 2nd would be amazing. Dude is a flat out baller. I don’t think Josh is going to be there on Day 4. Might have to snag him in the 3rd, which would be a good pick. Another WR I’d like to see is Zay Jones on day 3. No matter how it shakes out, we need a S, DE, WR, CB, TE, RB in this draft. However the draft order goes, just fill those needs.
Thank you, RootsCrew.
This draft is great except for a few things. 1) will Baker be there still in the 2nd? Many others have commented as well on this. 2) there are a ton of quality CB in the draft. I think take one in the 5th instead of another TE. I don’t see the need for that pick right now. 3) Mack can be a HR hitter. I’m torn between him and Hunt though. Hunt seems so reliable. Could be a 3 down guy. I guess we will see. I would be happy with either.
Thank you, Honey Bear. I’m torn between Marlon Mack and Kareem Hunt, too. If I had my druthers I would draft both and cut Doug Martin and Charles Sims.
I’m going to go…
1. Miami TE David Njoku
2. USC CB Adoree Jackson
3. Texas RB D’Onta Foreman
4. Baylor WR K.D. Cannon
5. Alabama S Eddie Jackson
6. West Virginia WR Shelton Gibson
7. FSU FB Freddie Stevenson
This is a really good mock. Plus it keeps in the Litch tradition of drafting a FB in round 7.
There are a lot of RBs that can bring it.
Donte Foreman is one.
Good choices here.
I really enjoy reading all of these Mock Drafts as much as the contributors must enjoy making them. They are all well thought out. All seem rational. All would surely help our favorite team. I wish I had the spare time to come up with a Scubog Mock Draft and then read the comments that mock it.
It’s so nice to be not drafting in the top 10. I’m a Best Player Available guy like most folks profess to be. I do find it contradictory when almost every discussion focuses on need rather than who might be the highest graded player sitting in the green room when our representative hands in the card. Hopefully the two meet when we are on the clock.
At #19 who knows which candidates will be available. I just hope whoever Jason Licht chooses, it is our absolute best option. Normally I’m for taking the best player since I prefer quality over quantity. But this year it seems that there is so much depth at certain positions that Horse’s suggestion of trading down is a more palatable idea than in years past.
Trading down always sounds like a great plan in a fat draft … but of course, every one of the other 31 teams in the league know that too. Trading down works best generally on a “micro” level, like Jason did last year when he traded down only slightly to pick up one extra pick, and then still got his number one anyway. He could do that because one particular team was itchy to get one particular player and was willing to give up a single mid-round pick to get him. I don’t see desperate teams trading whole rafts of draft picks just to move up to #19 (???). Those teams picking no. 20-32 aren’t generally desperate to begin with.
The mythical “trade down for a raft of draft picks” generally only works when you’re picking somewhere at or very near the top of the draft.
Well aware Naples. Been following the Draft since it was only on the radio.
I agree. I like when you PR readers chime in with your own mock drafts, too. Fun!
Scubog; thanks for the complement; sooner or later i will get something right.
Hey Scott, because I didn’t care for this go around mock draft by no means reflect on your knowledge or experience. You are usually 10 times more correct than me in getting it right as to who the Bucs draft. You are a kind and nice, and thoughtful person. I hope my comments from time to time aren’t hurtful because they aren’t meant to be.
It’s like I’m T a Chinese restaurant. I just can’t choose. I do know this, Forest Lamp is the best OL man in the draft
Mike Williams, still gotta man crush on him.
OJ Howard would look good in pewter and red.
Dalvin Cook is just flat out good.
Njouka. I can’t spell his name but he is another Greg Olsen.
There is 4 guys we could take #1 and be happy.
Licht has drafted 5 offensive linemen in the last 3 drafts. Kadeem Edwards is no longer with us.
Unfortunately all we have to show for it is a high quality starting G and a LT playing at a position for which he is unqualified. And a backup/project pair.
In the next one-two years we’ll need a C and two OTs (assuming Smith’s struggles playing in space result in his going inside). If we wait until then to address those needs we’ll underachieve until we do. Or we could work on fixing it this draft and next and be in good shape for at least the next five years.
Cook is falling in a bunch of mocks. Can you see the bucs being able to pass on him if he’s there? I can’t.
I’d love to have Baker, Elder and Trey Hendrickson on this team somehow. Sandwich those 3 in between two offensive skill players and I’m ecstatic!
Maybe Cook in the first and best receiver in the 5th? I don’t know but those 3 players I’m enamored with. I saw baker getting the honey badger comparison but watching tape of elder had me doing the same thing. Which ever way this thing turns out our team will be improved.
Njoku is no doubt another very talented TE from ‘The U.’ But it’s the rare non-blocking TE that comes in as a difference making player and affects the W/L record. To me a team, drafts a TE like Njoku once they have most of their holes (needs) plugged. The Bucs are not yet in that situation (perhaps after this draft).
Bucs big needs is Rush DE (still), Safety and RB. The Bucs need to come out of this draft with difference makers (or at least starters) at these needs. Odds say that comes in the first three rounds.
RB — First I do not like Marlon Mack. I think he’s a reach as a NFL RB. His highlights are mostly Jet sweep set\ups (offense which USF ran), and does not show a RB power through gaps or accelerate through holes as successful NFL backs tend to do. (I have similar concerns about Cook, but he does show a bit more power and acceleration after contact). In my mind there are two RB’s worth taking early in this draft – Fournette and Cook. Otherwise – go for value much later in the draft. One that is significantly under radar is Yearby from Miami. He was a 1000 yard rusher under old coaching regime before being mostly benched under Richt. He’s a bit undersized but runs with power and acceleration. He’s a 7/F/A pick.
Samuel in the 2nd round looks like a great value, and provides multiple options to plug him at RB, receiver and Ret. Mixon is another with a strong upside.
Rush DE — Like most teams this position filled with the right guy will have the most impact on a 4-3 defense. I think this is the Bucs biggest need and hardest to fill. DE’s with probable first round grades – Garrett, Thomas, Barnett, Harris, Charlton, Lawson. Garrett, Thomas & probably Barnette will be gone – but that will leave others at 19 – possibly with a trade down. I loved Willis before the combine and now the “cats out of the bag.” While undersized – he has a bunch of potential. Two others that might be available in the 2nd is Basham and McKinnley (who some project as an OLB).
Safety – Adams, Peppers are slam dunks, but most likely not available at 19. Baker, King, Jones, Melifonwu all have 2nd round grades. Of them I like Josh Jones the best, and has a better chance of availability at 50th.
Other areas of need is WR, OT, CB.
Draft – Ideally trade the #19 down and pick up Willis or another Rush DE while (hopefully) picking up another second. (Trading a #19 to late in the 1st – can get a later 2nd round pick according to Draft Chart). After picking up the Rush DE – late 1st, Take one of the quality Safeties with the 50th. The gained pick can be one of a number of stud WR’s still available. I haven’t broken down film on these guys but here’s a possible draft to throw out after trading down:
1. Harris or Willis RDE
2. Samuel RB/WR/Ret
2. Jones SS
3. Kupp WR
4. Maye or Jenkins FS
5. Elder CB
6. Malone WR
7. Yearby RB
All that said I would be happy with TE’s Njoku, Howard or RB’s Fournette, Cook. Throw all this out if someone like Hooker is still available at #19.
Note — I am not a NFL GM but may have played one on TV.
Stopped reading at the second round pick.
My God man!!!
Budda Baker will not fundamentally change this football team.
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