UConn safety Obi Melifonwu - Photo courtesy of UConn
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. Tampa Bay could also use another receiving tight end to pair with Cameron Brate.
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 fourth 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: UConn FS Obi Melifonwu – 6-4, 224 – 4.4 – Senior
Previous Pick: Miami TE David Njoku
Drafting a big safety in the first round – for the Buccaneers?
Listen to the collective groan from Tampa Bay fans as nightmares of Sabby Piscitelli, a second-round pick in 2007, and Mark Barron, a first-round pick in 2012, flash through their heads.
But Melifonwu is different. He’s an athletic freak that blew up the NFL Scouting Combine with a blistering time of 4.4 in the 40-yard dash, a ridiculous 11-foot, 9-inch broad jump and a sky-high 44-inch vertical that put him into the first round discussion. But Melifonwu is no Taylor Mays, a similar-sized 6-foot-4, 238-pound safety, who like Piscitelli, was more of an athlete than a football player.
Melifonwu isn’t as instinctive as the late Sean Taylor, nor is he the bone-jarring hitter that 6-foot-3, 232-pound Kam Chancellor is in Seattle, but he has more splash-play potential than 6-foot-4, 225-pound Cincinnati safety George Iloka does. There is a place for big safeties in the NFL, and Melifonwu’s game is similar to that of 6-foot-2, 218-pound Minnesota Pro Bowl safety Harrison Smith.
Don’t believe it? Ask former UConn head coach Bob Diaco, who coached Smith when he was the former defensive coordinator at Notre Dame.
“Obi is the best safety in America,” said Diaco. “This is a special, special young man, he will be either ‘the’ or ‘one of the’ top players evaluated in the NFL. He is an absolute spectacular safety prospect. I have coached several safeties in the NFL, they are Pro Bowl safeties and he is absolutely in that conversation and in some case his tangible traits are even higher.”
Former Temple head coach Matt Rhule saw the damage Melifonwu can do as he recorded a pair of end zone interceptions against the Owls last year.
“He has the size and he is playing in a tremendous system like Bob’s where they put a lot of pressure on the safeties, they have to be run support defenders, they have to be pass defenders,” Rhule said. “I think he has the ability to come down in the box, he can play man to man. I think he is a complete safety.”
Melifonwu went out with a bang in his last game with the Huskies, notching 24 tackles, which tied the UConn single-game record. He had seven games with double-digit tackles as a senior and finished 2016 with 118 tackles, four interceptions, three pass breakups and a fumble recovery. In his UConn career, Melifonwu had 349 tackles, 16 pass breakups, 11 tackles for loss, eight interceptions, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
Melifonwu’s UConn Career Defensive Stats
2016: 118 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 4 INTs, 3 PBUs, 1 FR
2015: 88 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 2 INTs, 5 PBUs, 1 FR
2014: 75 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 3 PBUs
2013: 68 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 2 INTs, 5 PBUs, 2 FF, 1 FR
Despite the signing of safety J.J. Wilcox in free agency, the overall safety position could use some playmaking ability, added size and more speed. Melifonwu has all three and wouldn’t be pressured into a starting role right away due to the veterans on the Bucs roster at the position, although the Huskies star was a four-year starter and recorded an interception and 11 tackles in his first game as a redshirt freshman.
Tampa Bay defensive coordinator Mike Smith likes to match his safeties up in man coverage and also play a Quarters defensive scheme in addition to some Cover 1 and Cover 3. That’s exactly what Melifonwu played at UConn.
“My first three years I played a lot of field safety where I was covering slots, and then just this past year I played in the box a lot and I played in the post at [free safety]. I feel comfortable doing both. I don’t have a preference. I’m versatile. Whether it be the post, the boundary, playing the box, covering slots, even covering receivers I feel like I can play.”
Some teams are even looking at Melifonwu as a big cornerback like Washington’s Kevin King, who is also on Tampa Bay’s radar, to play a Richard Sherman-type role. Melifonwu is well versed in coverage, and Bucs safeties coach Brett Maxie went up to Hartford, Conn. to meet with him and give him a private workout. The Bucs were also present at his pro day where he shined.
“My first three years at safety I was in the slot playing press coverage, mainly on third down,” Melifonwu said. “Being able to have range and cover longer receivers and tight ends that’s been something that’s been beneficial. You have taller guys like Rob Gronkowski, guys like Richard Rodgers – there has definitely been a transformation at tight end and with taller receivers. I’m someone that can help a lot of teams.”
Just a reminder that the Falcons have a pair of 6-foot-3 receivers in Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu, the Saints have 6-foot-6 tight end Coby Fleener, in addition to 6-foot-6 receiver Brandon Coleman and 6-foot-3 receiver Michael Thomas, while the Panthers have 6-foot-5 tight end Greg Olsen along with 6-foot-5 receiver Kelvin Benjamin and 6-foot-4 receiver Devin Funchess. The NFC South is loaded with big targets and the Bucs could stand to get bigger in the secondary to match up.
And with Smith liking to match his safeties in the slot against receivers in man coverage on occasion, it helps to have a fast, rangy defensive back that can keep up. Remember when Conte got burned by Jaron Brown in Arizona on a touchdown bomb in Week 2, or when he got beat by Oakland’s Amari Cooper for a touchdown in Week 8? That’s where Melifonwu can shine for Tampa Bay.
“I’m a hard worker,” Melifonwu said. “I’m a dependable guy. I’m a guy that can fit a lot of roles. I’m a guy that they can count. I’m very versatile.”
UConn doesn’t quite have the reputation that LSU has in terms of being “DB U,” but like Washington, it’s recently putting a lot of defensive backs into the NFL with the likes of former first-round cornerback Byron Jones, in addition to Blidi Wreh-Wilson and Dwayne Gratz over the past three years. Melifonwu is the latest from UConn’s DB pipeline and he becomes a force in Tampa Bay either at No. 19 or if the Bucs trade a few spots back to select him.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Correction: Licht has selected 5 offensive linemen. 4 remain. Kadeem Edwards didn’t stick.
That draft there pitiful from the beginning to the end that’s an entire draft of backups I don’t see one starter in the entire group smh.
I have to agree with you on that. Obi was a consensus third rounder until the combine. Now he’s one of the top safety’s?
That’s just not true. Obi was pretty much always shown as a second rounder and then he showed his insane athleticism at the combine and his stock rose. I don’t necessarily think he’s the best choice at 19 but him in the first isn’t surprising
Melifonwu. Over Baker. Godzilla face-palm.
Maybe the kid will magically develop an All-Pro OODA Loop. But right now, his Observe, Orient, and Decide are waaaaaaay to slow/insufficient regardless of his freakish Act (length and measurables).
Oh man. This just gets worse. So many good past mocks by you guys. This is a complete Cleveland Browns head-scratcher. I like Jordan Willis, but Id have to see who is still on the board.
Oh wait! I see now! It’s April 1st! This is SR trolling us!
Scott please I hope you are doing misdirection cover for Lich!! Don’t like 6 out of 7 picks. The offense is really slim at playmakers, and you go D, really.
Obi is a test specimen but not instinctive. Rather have baker or Maye. You are picking our starting 4 receiver in the last rounds. KS pick is pure homer boooooo
Watch Jordan Willis’ tape before you label it a homer pick. Kid is gonna be good.
MACABEE’S 2017 MOCK DRAFT V3
Draft Strategy – Weapons for Winston
RD1 – TE David Njoku/Miami (FL) 6-4, 246, 4.64
*Well OJ Howard and Dalvin Cook are gone so tag you’re it Mr. Njoku. Not much left to say about this potential Nigerian nightmare – he’s big, he’s fast, athletic build and soft hands. This piece completes the trilogy – Possession receiver (Evans), speedy downfield threat (DJax), and now a pass catching, run after the catch TE. If this happens, we gon’ hurt some people this year!
RD2 – WR Chris Godwin/Penn State 6-1, 209, 4.42
*Godwin got a strong endorsement from Megatron himself, former WR Calvin Johnson. After a strong pro day, Godwin worked out privately for Bucs assistant wide receivers coach Andrew Weidinger and will pay Tampa a visit this month. He talked about how he likes playing with a QB that improvises or scrambles in play action. Well, we got one of those. Come on down, welcome to the Bucs!
RD3 – DE/OLB Tyus Bowser/Houston 6-3, 241, 4.65
*Bowser had a huge senior season earning second-team all-conference honors, leading the team with 8.5 sacks among his 12 tackles for loss in just eight games. He is an explosive, quick-twitch athlete that bursts out of his stance and challenges the edge. Good shoulder turn at the edge of rush and can dip and corner with very tight radius. Showed ability to make crisp change of direction and made drastic improvement against the run. DC Mike Smith is going to play more 3-4 schemes this year. Bowser and Noah Spence would make a dynamic pair of stand-up OLBs coming off the edge.
RD4 – CB Shaquill Griffen/UCF 6-0, 200, 4.38
*Shaquill hails from Lakewood High School and has been a 4year starter for the Golden Knights. Named Second Team all-conference American Athletic Conference (AAC), he had a team-high 4 interceptions, 19 passes defended which ranked No. 5 in the nation and No. 1 in the AAC. He racked up 50 tackles, including three tackles for loss. Could be the heir apparent to Brent Grimes.
RD5 – WR Robert Davis/Georgia State 6-3,219, 4.44
*Sleeper alert! I found this guy just watching random highlights one evening and was impressed. Robert is a big bodied WR that immediately reminded me of Pierre Garcon. This guy is so unknown that I added his highlight tape for your evaluation.
RD6 – SS Tedric Thompson/Colorado 6-0, 204, 4.60
*This 6-foot, 204-pound safety isn’t going to wow you with his physique or athleticism like UCONN’s Obi Melifonwu. He’s not blazing fast, he can’t jump that high, or that far. So, why do I like this guy? Instincts and game tape. Stated simply, he seems to know what the play is and an uncanny feel for where the ball is – and he catches it! In every game Thompson stood out in every phase, from coming up against the run, to turning and running against the pass, to everything in between. Thompson had seven interceptions, 16 passes defensed and a handful of other plays that make you go wow. He’s got a 7th round grade, but I’m betting somebody else is seeing what I’m seeing. He could be the steal of the draft. The Bucs had a private workout with Thompson.
RD7 – DE/OLB Jimmie Gilbert/Colorado 6-4, 231, 4.68
*Developmental Guy! Built like former DE Howard Jones. He has good natural pass rush instincts but is too small (weight) for the next level. Put him in the conditioning room and add 12lbs of muscle a year and we may develop a pretty good edge rusher one day.
*Feel free to Youtube any player for highlights. You will not be disappointed.
Mac, actually like this draft. But you missed a RB.
No. Nitey that was intentional. Just haven’t seen enough to be sure what the Bucs will do. We sure need one, but thought I would get another shot at it before the draft. I scouted a few and like Scott I like Kareem Hunt, Brian Hill, and Donta Foreman. Thought Dalvin Cook was gone and Bucs have not taken a peek at McCaffrey yet. Had this prepared for my mock, just wasn’t ready to commit yet. But you’re right, RB position needs to be settled. Probably a mistake, but not an oversight. lol.
RD4 – Dont’a Foreman/Texas 6-0, 230, 4.46
*After a stress fracture in his foot kept the 230-pounder from showing off his speed at the NFL Combine back in February, Foreman put on a show at his pro day. Foreman had an unofficial broad jump of 10 feet and a vertical of 33 inches, both solid numbers given his size and weight. And, in the critical 40-yard dash, the unofficial times between 4.41 and 4.44 were extremely impressive and fit with what Foreman is capable of when healthy and in top physical condition. And his game tape speaks for itself. My second choice is RB Kareem Hunt/Toledo.
I like this selection. I liked the Griffen selection, but then again, I think CB can wait a year to re-address.
Hate your draft Njoku has terrible hands another athletic freak getting over hyped about what he could do rather than production he drops way to many balls for me rather have Engram
Were these your words and did you say them on April 25th last year at 4:07pm?
Apr 25, 16 at 4:07 pm
Without climbing aboard the “bobble head train” and like any pick PR has us taking or anyone else for that matter, I for one watch a lot of tape and watch a lot of football games including senior bowl practices and beyond. If it were up to me I would trade down with someone as I’m sure someone will want one of the Lt’s or Paxton Lynch and select William Jackson III who I believe is the best all around corner in this draft. second pick I would like Carl Nassib is a prototypical DE who was very productive at Penn St leading the country with 15 sacks. Third pick I would take Max Tuerk Center from USC as we need a bigger center up front other than the tough and scrappy Hawley who gets over matched by bigger DT’s as in the Philly Game when Fletcher Cox threw him all over the place, 4th round and beyond just find us a KR and PR please.
When it comes to drafting, you couldn’t find your a$$ if I took both hands and tied them behind your back. lol.
PR needs to hire u
I prefer Mac’s draft by a mile but while I’m the first to admit my knowledge base pales in comparison to Mac’s, it still leaves out two significant areas of need – we have to get some OL help in the top half of the draft add we need a RB with some size who can make it through the season and help us close out games.
On the former, imagine this scenario –
What if we drafted a starting caliber LT (admittedly not easy to do), shifted DS to LG, play Marpet at C, Sweezy surprises by delivering the goods at RG and DD can hold down the fort for one more year at RT (or CB develops more quickly and takes his place)?
That would be one of the better OL groups in the history of the franchise, if not the best. That in turn keeps JW off the spleen cart, gives him more time to throw and helps the RBs, which in turn helps time of possession and the D.
So, Yes to spending a 1-3rd on WR, yes to DB help and yes to another TE in a deep draft at the position. But while I too worry about age and durability issues we at least have #s on the DL and we essentially have a new CB coming on in RS, we don’t have the luxury of ignoring OL and RB in this draft to double up in those other spots.
On RB, see my comments to Nitey. I’ll get another shot at that. On O-Line, I’m trying to read the Bucs here. You know they have made line-up changes re Marpet, Sweezy. They contend they like their starters. Remember too, the Bucs have 29mil in cap space. After the draft, some high dollar players will be released. In this draft unless you take somebody in the 1st round, there is no one better than what we already have. I have seen no Interviews/workouts/visits of projected 1st round O-Line. Hope they’re right!
After the 1st round I have no clue, but I am with you on Njoku. Jameis likes to throw to his TE so give him what he wants
I think Cook will still be there at #19 but I would still pass on him. There is better RB value later. And although I like Njoku, this is a deep TE draft.
See my comment below on what I would do.
Macabee- The only thing you proved by showing my comment from last yr is that you have way to much time on your hands for something like that I don’t know where you were going with that but bravo in finding my comment. I also remember how you cast a farewell to us in a long drawn out blog saying “you were just going to enjoy watching the games now” with much to the dismay of your loyal followers (scu) that lasted for about a week. I do think your intelligent person by reading your blogs as they are always long winded but well thought out and you copy and paste great stats and articles and obviously other posters comments from yrs past, so again I commend you I just don’t have that kind of time on my hands personally.
Scott I was prepared to say what a pitiful draft it was, but I am surprised I like your draft for the first time this year.. If the Bucs want a safety early in the draft and they like either Obi or Baker they have to take one of them at 19 as they will not be available at 50. Trading down would be dangerous as both Pitt and Dallas have been linked to safety in the draft. Picks 2-5 are solid picks, all picks can’t be superstars, but these are solid complimentary picks who can contribute immediately and build depth for a roster in need of depth. Rounds 6 and 7 I can take or leave. Since I am usually critical of your work I guess I should say “nice job”.
It’s really hard to evaluate a mock draft unless you see whom else was available, but I really don’t like Melifonwu at this point. If we are going to draft a safety, I would rather us pick Peppers or look for Baker or Maye in the second. While I understand that this is a deep draft in terms of WR, RB and TE, it’s not a deep draft in play makers.
So, while this draft might give us needed depth, it’s lacking IMO of proven difference makers at the NFL level. Generally, you only will see those players in round one and two.
Peppers doesn’t have a position in the NFL. Logistically, he might have to bulk up and play WLB, and Tampa already has a pretty good one of those
Like Trevor said on the podcast Marcus Maye
I appreciate Scott putting tons of thought and time into these Mock Drafts. That said, I’m not a fan of this current edition. I think we all agree that after Free Agency WR, CB, TE & DE are our most pressing needs. The first 4 rounds should address all 4 of those needs. Selecting Obi is fine, as S is still a need going forward. Not addressing CB or WR in the first 4 rounds is a mistake in my opinion. I’d much rather take a WR like Reynolds, than Gibson. Having a burner is great, but having another big possession WR is more important. Snagging Roberts in the 4th would be great. And I’m vehemently against wasting a 6th round pick on Dobbs. He is not a NFL passer at all. He really struggles from the pocket. Take another WR, CB or DE.
I am not sure I agree that CB or TE are two of our most pressing needs relative to some others.
RB for instance trumps both of those for me – I like Jacquizz quite a lot as a 15-20 touch guy but we can’t roll into the season with our current stable of RBs when one of them is a crap shoot and won’t even hit the field until game 5 and if you got rid of each of the rest I wouldn’t even blink (yes including Sims given how one dimensional his game is, the R stands for Running…
I hear what you’re saying. RB is a tricky spot, because of what they might do with Doug. (Also, his suspension is only 3 games) I have a feeling they want to keep him & have him contribute this year. If so, then RB in the draft might come in 5th round. TE is a must draft. We have zero depth/skill behind Brate and we all saw what happened when he got hurt against New Orleans. Plus, Dirk loves two TE sets. And CB depth is equally as bare. Grimes has one more year. After Vern, we only have Smith (unproven) Javien (slot) Jude (slot) & Robinson (ST) Gotta grab a CB in the draft.
Everyone has their own idea of “needs” – but I believe right now that there is no single burning acute need on the team. All needs are equal that has no burning acute needs, therefore only BPA matters.
We’re only a couple players away from the playoffs, at most, as we sit today. Even positions of strength need quality backups in development.
Consequently, a draft like this one is just as plausible as any of the prior PR mocks, or any of the other mocks published elsewhere by the collective draft gurus in the media.
Absolutely correct Naples. It’s refreshing to go into a Draft with virtually the entire board as our proverbial oyster.
Yes they do need to spend a decent pick on a safety but I don’t think a 1st round pick is needed. I want to see Jameis with a couple more weapons. Granted it was only a couple games that the defense really shined last year, but those few games were so impressive that I don’t want to see the 1st pick spent on defense. As Buc fans we have never seen a high powered offense and damn it I want to see Jameis light the score board up this year.
I like this draft a lot.
Most of the WR’s with speed can be had later in the draft (eg day 3). Not sure why people are adamant that the Bucs draft a WR with a day one or day two pick. It would be nice to have a guy to plug in a starter if DJAX goes down, but a rookie is a rookie regardless of draft position is my view.
Hunt to me is going to be a draft selection the Bucs covet to replace Sims not Martin.
Obi is the guy with so much upside that I like that pick a lot.
Overall I give this draft a B+.
I am biased, because I think the Bucs draft a project OL late in the draft for added insurance with Sweazy coming back from a bad injury for an lineman.
I won’t be critical of this mock because I don’t know how the draft board Scott use fell. But I wouldn’t use my first round pick on a safety who has a total of maybe15 tfls in a entire career. I kno stats are misleading so I watch some of his game film and was so disappointed. He is a kyle moore which was a 4th rd selection awhile back meaning he looks the part but he won’t be that player is athletic ability leads u to believe. If we got him in the 2nd round it would be fine but I feel like adoree Jackson or budda baker will be available. I feel like we should go d line in round 1 especially if taco charlton or Derek Barnett are available. As far as the rest of the draft I feel that it’s deep and we will get quality players.
EDGE TACO CHARLTON
S BUDDA BAKER
RB JOE MIXON
TE JAKE BUTT
WR JOSH REYNOLDS
DL LOWELL LOTULELEI
OT JAVARIUS LEAMON
SOUTH CAROLINA STATE
guys who were available that didn’t get drafted I would sign as udfa
Xavier Woods S LA Tech
Javancy Jones DE/OLB JSU
Robert Davis WR GA State
Greg Pyke OL GA
Mixon will not last until pick #84. I have only seen him last this far in 1 draft and then he went at #86. Some have said he is actually the best RB in this draft. He may have baggage but we know NFL teams go by the PP rule. If your Performance is great than your Problems, they ignore the baggage.
The fact that Pewter Report has selected 4 different players with the #19 pick tells me the best thing to do is trade down.
For example (using the Draft Point Chart including compensatory picks http://www.drafttek.com/NFL-Trade-Value-Chart.asp ): The Bucs could trade #19 and 7th round picks for Cleveland 2,3 & 5 round picks. The total difference is only 2 points (in the Bucs favor).
Why would Cleveland do it? They would then get DE Myles Garrett at #1, QB Mitchell Trubisky at #12 and TE David Njoku at #19…and their fans are happy or as happy as Browns fans could be.
Now with pick #33, there is a reasonable chance that SS Obi Melifonwu falls here. If he doesn’t, trade down again because the 1st pick of day 2 & 3 are very marketable. At #50 RB Joe Mixon and with #65 TE Bucky Hodges. Then I’m happy.
I have more faith in Bucs Scouting Department in rounds 2-5 & UDFA than I do at late 1st and 6th or 7th rounds (Licht tries to be too cute).
I like Scott’s draft with the exception of Josh Dobbs. Wasted pick. I also like Baker over Obi, but Obi could be a greta one.
Hunt is the only one I like! If the Bucs do go defense in the first rd a D Lineman would make more sense.
The draft is DEEP with Safety s .
Here is one that is close to OM stats.
David Jones 6’3″ 435 40_35″ vertical, 10’9″ B jump. He missed most of 16 with a broke arm, but in 2015 had 9 INT’S. If he had been at Combine would have been top stdts.
I messed up he would have been in top ten safety’s.
At Spot 19 it would be a gamble; I would trade down 10 spots and then take him and also get a 3rd rounder pick up. Good luck in picking up that QB in the 6th round. I bet he goes in the 4th or 5th at the latest. Other than those comments, I like the picks.
So let me get this straight; you think moving down is less of a gamble? Gee Horse, picking first is a gamble as is the entire Draft.
Scubog, you miss the point you picked up a third-round draft pick; it’s less painful especially if that 3rd round draft pick works out. Bottom line, I’m not in love with this pick
I assumed that you wanted more opportunities, but the farther the Draft progresses, theoretically the risk increases. Far more 1st rounders succeed than 3rd rounders.
My fantasy draft thinking was more along the lines of Macabee’s than Scott’s. I did not include a running back either. Also I had only worked my draft out to the 4th or 5th round so far.
Mine looks like this:
1. TE, David Njoku
2. WR, Curtiss Samuel
3. S, Obi Melifonwu or Marcus Williams
4. DE, Jordan Willis
I just never considered Melifonwu a potential first round pick. Nor did I think of Willis as going as early as the 2nd round.
My alternate that did accommodate RB if deemed a priority:
1. WR, Corey Davis [It’s my fantasy after all!. :-G]
2. RB, Alvin Kamara
3. TE, Evan Engram
4. DE, Jordan Willis
5. S, Marcus Williams
P.S. To those who don’t know me, my football knowledge is not extremely deep so I am happy just to call myself a “lightweight”. I am a die hard Buccaneer fanatic, however. This means I am a fan during “hard times” as well as “good times”. I will defend my views but, I won’t “shout and cuss” at any other Buc fans.
I think the “good times” are here again and I am enjoying the hell out of it! Go Bucs!!!!!!!
To say I hate this draft is an understatement. I REALLY want McCaferry. I think he is a dangerous Darren Sproles type who will make 5 big plays per game. He averaged 6 yards a carry, can run the entire route tree and will be huge on wheel routes and in the slot. This guy is a BIG play guy that we need to get. Im ok with the KS kid in the second round and think we can add a safety later in the draft.
As far as trading down I have only very recently tried to look at some possibilities. I will have something to say about that a little later on but, before the draft.
I will continue to follow the discussion here (well as checking out other sources elsewhere). Thanks to all for giving me more to digest.
Far and away my favorite mock yet. You guys knocked it out of the park with this one. I’ve been saying on these boards for months that I love Obi. He would be a great addition to the team and has real star potential. Then you play to the strengths of this draft by picking up quality guys at DE, RB, and TE. There’s solid value at each pick, all at positions of need. Would be ecstatic is the draft played out like this.
That’s the spirit XpfcWintergreen. Give it your best shot!
I hope nobody takes any mock seriously. I do it for fun in my spare time and it’s a real shame that the Bucs never pick who I like. LoL. I’ve never got more than 1 or two picks right, but that’s never stopped me from playing the game. I never criticize a mock because they have as much chance of being right or wrong as any other.
Let me fess up and be the first to say I have no idea who the Bucs will pick at 19. The Bucs have sent no confirming signals and there is, so far, no consensus among the experts. Jason Licht says the draft board has been set since the Combine. I take him at his word!
There are players that I like, but I have no do-or-die preferences. I have watched perhaps a hundred mocks and excuse the QB position, I’ve not seen a 1st round player that wouldn’t help the Bucs in one way or another. And truth be told, while I wouldn’t put much faith in it, I’ve seen QBs Alek Torgersen/Penn and Josh Dobbs/Tennessee mocked to the Bucs in the late rounds.
So, I’m going to cut a yellow apple into wedges and pour Jack Daniels over it in a brandy snifter, sit back and let Jason Licht entertain me on draft night. Won’t be surprised or disappointed either way. The draft can’t come too soon for me. Hope you guys get your favorite player. Go Bucs!
My thoughts are the Bucs have a top 20 pick list, probably at half dozen positions as each selection is made in the draft. Probably at that point when it’s their time to pick, they look at their top 20 players and the position of need and that’s what they take. Value is probably included in the pick too. Just my guess. What I’m trying to say it’s pretty hard to pick who you’re going to draft by round. I wish I knew what the Bucs top 50 players were on their board. I hope Scott or Trevor tries to give us a top 50 list or 100 list. It would be a big help to use it during the draft.
All teams rank the players from 1 to 300 or so and presumably select players accordingly. I find it so comical that teams talk about “sticking to their board” yet we fans and media prognosticators keep trying to draft for need as if the board is a puzzle with missing pieces.
Scott, I love reading your opinion about Bucs draft. But you used a word that should never be stated with a first round pick, potential. Sabby had potential and Obi fits right into that category . I want production and football plays way more then workout numbers. This was by far your worse mock.
One thing I can say about Scott’s picks, they are pretty conservative (especially the first half). What I mean by conservative is that the players Scott is recommending will be there at that pick.
I will offer a thought on Scott’s picks- wait for the latter offerings.
This year is a particularly hard mock season for the Bucs – at 19 there’s just a lot of possibilities.
One thing I know for sure, our RBs will touch the ball 20-30 times per game and right now that’s looking like Rodgers and Sims…and that’s what will keep us out of the playoffs. Somehow, we need an upgrade before we reach camp.
Holy Toledo! Really, 2 out of 7 picks from that college power house Toledo? A T.E. who ran a 4.78, and a running back in the 4.6 range? That’ll sure keep D.C.’s up at night. lol. All I can say is I hope not. Mark Barron 2.0 in the first round, you’re right Scott, I spit out my Tums after I read that. You know more about this stuff then I so you’re probably right. Might just skip the draft this year.
That has to be one of the worst mock drafts I have seen for our beloved Bucs. I certainly hope our GM does a better job then that.
Has there ever been a successful 6′-4″ safety in the NFL? Willis in the 2nd?
Kam Chancellor is 6’3 which is pretty much 6’4 and he is almost a clone to him and last I knew kam was a pretty successful safety in the NFL.
Maybe you should do some investigating of your own before you make statements like that lol.
Did you really insult him after not providing an example to prove his point wrong? You yourself said that Kam is shorter 6’4″. It’s a pretty silly point he made, but finding a guy who’s “almost” the minimum height he listed isn’t a counter to it.
In any event, he simply asked a question. He didn’t even make a statement. This is indicated by that vertical squiggly line with the dot underneath it at the end of his sentence, a symbol generally known as a “question mark”. It means that he’s seeking information, not necessarily expressing a specific opinion. Generally, the polite response is to provide an answer. Which, again, you failed to do, since Kam is shorter than 6’4″ tall.
Good grammar lesson Too.
An inch shorter? Your an idiot! That’s an insult! Lol
“Bone jarring”? Have we learned nothing from Dominick’s excuse to draft Barron over Kuechly? The NFL is becoming a touch football league; there are only 15 yard penalties and suspensions for big hitters these days. I’m not on board with this mock at all, except for Josh Dobbs. Eh… I suppose it’s entertainment to throw out different options out there. I’m looking forward to your final mock, when it starts to count. I’m sticking with you McCaffrey pick earlier in the year.
Hey guys, first time actually commenting on the site, but I literally check in at least twice daily to get my updates. This definitely wasn’t my favorite mock, but not all terrible. Personally i think we need to trade down. I’m thinking trade down with Houston for their pick at 25. We should be able to get their 3rd round pick also (points comparison would be 875 us to 865 them). In this scenario, my mock would go as follows:
1. Alvin Kamara, RB- Tennessee
2. Justin Evans, S- Texas A&M
3. Demarcus Walker, DE- Florida St.
3. Corn Elder, CB- Miami
4. George Kittle, TE- Iowa
5. KD Cannon, WR- Baylor
6. Joshua Dobbs, QB- Tennessee
7. Riley Bullough, LB- Michigan St.
Now of course if they don’t trade down and keep the pick at 19 it will look a little different.
1. Jabril Peppers, S- Michigan
2. Carl Lawson, DE- Auburn
3. Corn Elder, CB- Miami
4. James Conner, RB- Pitt
5. KD Cannon, WR- Baylor
6. Joshua Dobbs, QB- Tennessee
7. Riley Bullough, LB- Michigan St.
Welcome Bmore! Don’t be reluctant to make a comment. There’s just an inherent risk that you will be ridiculed and perhaps get a “thumbs down” by folks who have no greater knowledge or insight than anyone else……….we just think it.
Here, Scott offers up yet another of the endless mock drafts we endure this time of year and for the most part is criticized for his most recent undertaking. Most say they want to select the best player at each opportunity then promptly focus on perceived need. Here in Bucville we could make a case for needs at several areas. Thus, if we simply take the BPA it’s likely to satisfy a need at the same time.
Ahhhhhh, but which is the greatest need? To me it’s the “need” to take the BPA.
The theme for this draft should be more weapons for Jameis. I don’t see how using our 1st, and 2nd rounders on defense fits that theme. I admit, I’m always wrong on who the Bucs draft, but this is my view. McCaffrey would be my first pick. The value is just to good to pass up. You’d be getting a R.B., W.R., kick, and punt returner all rolled into one. His dad was an NFL receiver, he can run the whole route tree. At the combine he worked out as W.R., and R.B., and some scouts said he was tops at both. He could spell D Jax out wide, Hump in the slot, and did I mention he’s a good R.B. also. Draft him say good by to Sims, Simms. Mac isn’t a bell cow back, and we need one, so I do like Hunt in the third round. I think we were last in the league on short 3rd, and 4th downs last year. Converting more on those would help our defense more then a safety. Hunt replaces Martin. Still have rounds 2, 4, 5, to find a good safety, and tight end. I don’t think we need another edge rusher that bad that we need to blow a 2nd round pick on one. I believe the Bucs don’t want to carry 3 Q.B.’s on their roster again, and that’s what they’d have to do if we waste a 6th round pick on one since he wouldn’t be able to beat out the two we have right away.
@surferdudes, you couldn’t be wrong every time…there wasn’t a mocker on the planet in their final mock at least, that didn’t have us take Winston and Evans and VHIII the last three years.
McCaffrey is one of those picks that would make me fist pump the air, but like you I know he’s not going to fill our need….unless our offensive scheme changes….which maybe it would – west coast anyone. It would be darn exciting anyway!
I’m less stuck on individuals than I am on concept. More weapons for Jameis, period. Weapons picked 3-7 are experimental and the odds of impact decreases significantly. We could all list the Kenny Bells & Vitales.
We have 3 WR’s that is all! One ouch and we are in trouble like last year. RB is now unsettled but Martin back at less is fine. 1 pass catching TE, hello. We are one knock away from a stalling O.
Use our front end draft equity on offensive weapons that is my plea.
Defense was not the problem last year and wasn’t the reason the Bucs faded and missed the playoffs. It was all on the offense. So in this year’s draft Licht is going to pick defense in the first two rounds? No *bleep* way that happens.
I think Scott pulled a Jason Licht Roberto Aguayo moment here and out-smarted himself. Overthinking things can do that. Trying to get cute and end up making a poor decision.
You also made the classic mistake of falling for the hype of a player’s athleticism and combine numbers. Licht has openly stated that his draft board is set even before the NFL offseason begins, and that he makes his decisions based on the tape.
So while Obi might be “shooting” up the boards of the media “experts”, you can take it to the bank that his underwear workout didn’t impress one Mr. Jason Licht enough to change his position on the big board. Thankfully, Obi’s position on the board was already set long before any combine or pro day efforts. Capable GM’s never have guys “shoot” up the board, as they say. That’s for fans and media types, as well as incompetent GM’s.
Thanks anyway, Scott, for the effort. But I’ll be hoping you take a mulligan on this one and consider it your “Roberto Aguayo Mock”. Tried to get fancy and ended up with a dud. Maybe it’s time to get back to basics: weapons for Winston, baby!
19 is a tough spot. I say we trade down and grab an extra pick if possible. Perhaps the Giants want to jump in front of the Bronco’s for the #1 tackle in the draft? I’m a big fan of getting Winston MORE WEAPONS. If Njoku, McCaffery or Ross are there, I’d bite. Safety is a need but, I think talent will still be there in round 2. I’d rather stockpile a few extra picks but, If OBI falls maybe we jump up in the 2nd. Go Buc’s!
I know, I know,..this is FAKE news!
Seems like a realistic mock draft to me. I could see the Bucs going with any of these guys if they were available.
Says the guy who thinks Matt Ryan is over rated ha
Would be thrilled if we landed Kareem Hunt and Michael Roberts. You guys can have whoever you want in the first two picks as long as we get Hunt. From a pure execution standpoint he’s the best back in the draft.
Obi is a physical freak.. buddha baker is not. Buddha has better anticipation but he gets carried for 3 yards everytime he tackles someone and its only going to get worse at the next level… Jerry Jones selected Byron Jones (CB now safety) similarly due to his measurables (aka his insane vertical jump). Just saying….Developing a barely-human 6’4” 220lb vigilante that travels 40 yards in 4.4 seconds might take a few clips out of the julio jones 2017-2018 highlight reel.
Our safety play has been atrocious since Tanard Jackson smoked his last dooby as a buc, and then when jermaine phillips domestic violence’d himself out of the nfl. Am i the only one who remembers the starting lineup we used to have in the rah morris defensive backfield…. Cody Grimm and sean jones? hahahahahahahah. Then there was Schiano’s Barron + Goldson (who is probably still paying off his late hit fees)… Who did we even draft with the crap pick we got from the Barron trade???? Thank god Keith Tandy is a Ronde Barber disciple or all might be lost.
bad mock draft.
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