Round 3: San Diego State CB Damontae Kazee – 5-10, 190 – 4.50 – Senior
After drafting a pair of offensive weapons with the first two picks, Bucs general manager Jason Licht addresses the defense with the selection of Kazee. Cornerback Brent Grimes was a huge addition last year and earned Pro Bowl alternate honors with a team-high four interceptions, including a pick-six, and an incredible 24 passes defensed. But Grimes will be 34 in 2017 and is entering the final year of his contract. The Bucs will need to look at finding a replacement to start at cornerback opposite Vernon Hargreaves, who was last year’s first-round pick.

Kazee is a special talent due to his ball-hawking ability, racking up 17 career interceptions and 29 passes defensed as a four-year starter for the Aztecs. Kazee led college football with eight picks in 2015, returning one interception for a touchdown, before finishing his San Diego State career with seven INTs as a senior, including another pick-six.

Snaring interceptions isn’t his only means of creating takeaways on defense. Kazee has also forced six fumbles in his career and recovered one fumble. The San Bernadino, Ca. native is good in run defense, registering 240 tackles and 14.5 tackles for loss in his four-year career.

“They’ve got great ball skills, they’ve got speed and the thing about Kazee, and not just him but all those guys, is he’s very physical,” Colorado State head coach Mike Bobo told BSN Denver. “He will come up and strike you in the run game.”

Kazee’s San Diego State Career Stats
2016: 67 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 7 INTs, 1 TD, 8 PBUs, 1 forced fumble
2015: 75 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, 8 INTs, 1 TD, 7 PBUs, 2 forced fumbles
2014: 58 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 1 INT, 12 PBUs, 1 fumble recovery
2013: 40 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 1 INT, 2 PBUs, 3 forced fumbles

What is most appealing about Kazee, the two-time Mountain West Conference Defensive Player of the Year, from a film stand point is how smooth he is in his backpedal and how fluid his hips are. That style of play makes him an ideal fit in Mike Smith’s style of defense, which is predicated on backpedaling off the snap.

Kazee’s first career interception came against Ohio State in his second game at San Diego State, while his first pick-six came against Colorado State in 2015. Kazee also recorded a career-high three interceptions against San Diego in 2015, while recording a pair of picks last year against Hawai’i and against Wyoming in a 27-24 win in the Mountain West championship game. His interception against Cal on the last play of the game sealed a 45-40 upset of the Pac-12 school.

The Bucs could use Kazee in the slot or on the outside to be groomed as a potential replacement for Grimes. He can also contribute early on special teams, too. Kazee blocked a kick as a freshman.

Click below to view Tampa Bay’s fourth-round pick in 2017.

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Scott Reynolds is in his 25th 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 spent six years 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: sr@pewterreport.com
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BucsFanInIowa

Love this mock! Only pick I am a bit shaky on is Perine from Oklahoma. I follow Matt Miller, a well known Bleacher Report draft scout, and he made a comment about Perine lacking traits and most people like him because of the stats he put up. While I do think he is talented, I think Miller has a valid point after I watched some Perine tape. I think Brian Hill from Wyoming would be a viable option or even Kareem Hunt from Toledo if they are still available. If either Cook or Fournette(highly doubtful) fall to us, I wouldn’t… Read more »

SaskBucs

Ugh… I hate that its a weak line class. If a WR or RB are BPA in first 2 rounds for Bucs, so be it, I have very little knowledge of the players coming out of college so my opinion isn’t worth much but I look around the NFL and the toughest teams to play have stout lines on O or D. I don’t believe our offensive or defensive line is up to par, I realize WR isn’t either but if Winston had more time back there I have faith in him to make plays. Easier to address WR in… Read more »

Naplesfan

There’s a handful of offensive linemen projected to go in either the first or second rounds. “Weak” draft classes simply describe how many are available compared to numbers available in other years, it doesn’t meant that good ones aren’t to be had. The reality is that Jason and staff are going to do like every other team, they’ll assemble their own draft board with well over a hundred players on it, ranked in order of preference, and when our number comes up they’ll take whoever’s at the top of the board at that moment. If a player they strongly like… Read more »

76Buc

“Teams don’t draft classes, they draft individual players.”
Yes, but position depth does influence which player they take if 2 candidates are considered relatively equal and one of them plays a position in which several good players will be available later in the draft. They will take the one where the position is not deep in talent.

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Horse

Scott; where’s the OT? Pamphile should stay put unless Sweezy beats him out. What has OT Webster shown yet?

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Naplesfan

7 round mock drafts are an exercise in pure blue sky fantasy. Any projections beyond Day 2 are a waste of time. Taking a speedy WR makes obvious sense as a first or second round pick. Saying John Ross isn’t going to be available, however, is by no means a sound assumption. Indeed, Chris Burke at SI.com projects the Bucs taking him with our no. 19 pick. If Jason and his talent evaluators are impressed enough with him after all the pre-draft stuff that is going to make a big impact on impressions, I can certainly see the Bucs trading… Read more »

martinii

Love the Davis pick. Need WR to compliment Evans. Sleeper pick and possible best pick in your first draft is Tanoah Kpassagon. Guy is an absolute beast. Need to include OL in second or third round.

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Brobear

That guy as well as Xavier Woods from LA Tech had some fun film to watch. Definitely playmakers

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trollslayer

it isnt a sexy pick, and i do like this mock draft and would be very pleased with it, but i may take LSU C/G Ethan Pocic with the 1st pick depending on how he does at the combine and he needs to add a lil strength before then as well. I love the attitude and mentality that Joe Hawley brings to the Bucs o-line but he gets thrown around like a rag doll at times we need a crusher who can take double teams we draft this kid to play either center or move marpet to center and let… Read more »

martinii

Sorry, Tanoh Kpassagnon. Love the pick, Hate the name.

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stlbucsfan

I must say I agree with Naplesfan, Davis and Perrine should not be the first 2 picks. We should only take an RB is someone special like Cook is on the board in the 1st. Otherwise I would get a penetrating DT, like Soloman Thomas, or one of the TEs with 1st round grades as they will have greater impact. I think what we get from Davis could be accomplished by signing Alshon Jeffrey. Ross is a game changer with his speed and should be considered but as I’ve said all year, we can get that production with a Desean… Read more »

stlbucsfan

I think Thomas is more explosive than Will and has experience playing DT like he did early on at Stanford. I think he is more of a Spence replacement than a Golston replacement as Will should be retained bc he brings different skillset that our DL needs. If Thomas could add about 10 pounds he would fall right into the Aaron Donald range who is listed at 285. That quickness inside next to McCoy would create havoc next season. I see your point on the TEs also but I honestly feel Howard would start over Brate due to his ability… Read more »

Buc 1976

I have seen this kid play he is really really good hope we get him!!

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Buc 1976

C Davis I like a lot!!
2nd round Please get DT after that no more small CB.

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Brandonges

I love the Corey Davis pick but would not be a big fan if the rest of the draft played out like this. Davis would really shore up the receiving core and should be a monster pro. He has the size, skill, and production. As for a RB in the second round, I don’t get the point when you can pick up a Jacquizz Rodgers off the street and have him average 4.3 YPC. Unless we’re talking a Dalvin Cook skill set, there is no need to draft a RB high. Defensive Line, Offensive Line, or Safety would be much… Read more »

Brandonges

Thanks for the reply Scott! You guys are the best in the biz.

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Buc 1976

Scott I’m sure their are 6′ CB that can backpedal. VH 3rd got abused in red zone by 6’5 calvin B.

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76Buc

I agree with the others about RB. Unless an AP type is there, they are a dime a dozen. Get one late.

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seat26

Bucs have had three good drafts in a row. If we can have another, and pick up some starters on offense at the skill positions and a couple of guys in the secondary and hopefully at least one maybe two DL, we could make a run against Atlanta, and see a Playoff win or two. Hoping against all odds we are not starting with another Defensive coach this year. One of our problems is we get a system installed and the guys have to learn another one every year. Please Bucs be patient. Let the draft come to you. Stop… Read more »

seat26

I like your mock, I just wonder if Bucs should pass up on so much quality Defensive players until the 3rd round. I know they have to get a Receiver and they will probably have to take him early if they want him to start. I hope they pick up at least two defensive lineman and two secondary players. I like taking a TE late but think that they could get a running back in 3rd or 4th round. I guess it just depends on what happens to Martin and if Bucs are active in free agency. Rate this item:Thumb… Read more »

Naplesfan

For those who like the idea of taking a running back high in the draft, I’ve commented elsewhere on PR on the fact that not a single running back taken in the first round has put together two quality seasons in a row since 2010. Well, I took a look at this season’s rushing leaders in total yards rushed, and found the following interesting data points on the performance of running backs as compared to where they were taken in the draft, if drafted at all. In order, this season’s regular season rushing leaders with their yards, draft round, and… Read more »

Naplesfan

correction…. should read “… at somewhere around pick no. 84 or 85”.

Getting a thousand yard rusher doesn’t require a first round pick running back – only one of the top ten is a first rounder, and even he is operating behind the best offensive line in the league. Getting a quality running back on Day 2 or Day 3 seems to be very plausible.

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Naplesfan

NFL history is relevant, certainly, Scott, but only up to a point, and only if it’s “recent” history. We know that the NFL game has changed dramatically in the last 10 to 20 years of play, which tends to nullify the statistical relevance of past players. Even ten years ago very few snaps were played in the shotgun, while in the last several years the shotgun has become the predominant snap position in the league. Ten years ago there was no such thing as “spread offense” in the NFL – today most NFL offenses play some version of the spread… Read more »

scubog

Good points Naples. As you noted the new NFL rules make it easier to complete the more frequent passes. Back in Doug Willliams’ day a 50 % completion rate was fairly standard. Now even 60% is often viewed as sub-par. Easy to make a case for either side of the debate. I don’t think I’d ever want to draft a RB in the top ten these days for the reasons you cited. It’s typically going to end up a short term and costly investment. But if Dalvin Cook is sitting there at 19, I’m on it. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb… Read more »

e

Nothing for the O-line? We must remember that Glennon will be gone as well, so looking at a mid-round QB will be necessity. I know it’s early, so it’s fun to throw names around… As far as this year’s ‘Canes talent hitting the draft, I really like CB Corn Elder in the mid rounds and TE David Njoku is a solid prospect. If the Bucs don’t get a shot at Cook in the first round, his best bud in high school, RB Joe Yearby would be a nice late round pick up. I’d stay away from QB Brad Kaaya. He’s… Read more »

chefboho

I love corn elder. I think he would be great as a second round pick for us. He was a stud this year. He would be ranked much higher if he wasn’t playing for that God awful defensive coordinator we had under the golden era. As far as njoku, I told my brother that I think he will be a gem in he NFL. He’s built for it. I would be happy with those two as the first two picks for sure. Yes, I’m a canes homer but these two are studs in the makkng Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit… Read more »

MudManVA

Well, I have said several times in my posts that the BUCS are several successful drafts away from being were they need to be talent & depth wise to be a scary consistent team. The lack of elite talent but more importantly depth caused the team to sputter in 2016. We need a #2 WR and would argue that we are need 2 better WR’s than we have on the roster now. We need DE to eventually take Ayers spot, a starting CB to replace Grimes/Verner, Safety to play opposite Tandy, another TE, Tackle, center, DT, and oh yeah RB.… Read more »

Alldaway 2.0

I would like this drat a lot if it unfolded in a similar way in April.

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jshumaker

I like your picks. A tall WR and a bruising RB is also what I think would help the offense the most. On offense I like to see the battering ram type of approach. It wears down the opposing defense and keeps our defense off the field.

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EastEndBoy

First, kudos Scott for attempting the January mock…notoriously tough at this stage to know. The issue I have with this mock is that I see no clear and obvious upgrade for 2017. Yes, a big new WR would look good next to Mike Evans, but the rookie WR that can step in and have an impact (especially as a #2 WR) is a rarity. Perine had nice stats but I don’t see him stepping in as a special back (like Cook or Fournette would be) and upgrading much over the gaggle of RBs we have now. After that, as with… Read more »

Horse

Scott: I know it’s your job to present something to us Pewter Report fans and I think you have provided us a well thought out mock draft . Right now I’m still trying to figure out what we have and don’t have? I hope Sweezy, Martin are back and Gottschalk becomes a legit Center to consider. I know we need WR’s, but we also need another DT, DE, CB, OT, Center, TE. I believe those are real needs until the initial free agency before the draft has been completed. You, Mark, and your Staff do a great job! Rate this… Read more »

scubog

Horse: Just what is behind your infatuation with Ben Gottschalk? Virtually every one of your posts mentions his name. Look, I hope the youngster proves himself to be better than Hawley and Smith, but so far he has done virtually nothing to show that he is capable of unseating either one of them. Playing in a pre-season game against other borderline players is not enough evidence. Let’s wait to see what he can do this Training Camp before inserting him in the lineup.

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Naplesfan

Scubog: just what is behind your infatuation with calling out Horse on his “infatuation” with Ben Gottschalk?

Virtually every one of your replies to Horse mentions his name.

🙂

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scubog

Probably true. LOL. He used to harp on Gerald McCoy.

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Horse

Scubog, no infatuation; I have never met the guy. I just think he’s the type of Center we are looking for. We have to have improvement from our Center and I don’t see it in Hawley; Smith could be a Center/Guard back up. If not Gottschalk then I hope we draft a Center. I don’t see what the big deal in naming a player multiple times as it’s done all the time. Right now the subject is about the 2017 season so expect for me to also bring up other players too. I bring up J. Smith DE as too… Read more »

scubog

We all tend to repeat things when we get to be our age. Me too.

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Horse

Scott, I forgot to say that I do open and look at the advertising ads and I have used some of their products and services.

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pinkstob

I know that nationally Corey Davis is projected to last until the latter half of the 1st round, but as the draft approaches and more film is watched by the coaches other guys will move down the draft and C. Davis will move up. Davis won’t be there if we stay at the #19 spot; he’ll get drafted no lower than the #10 spot. In fact, I believe he’ll go in the top 5. At this time last year E. Elliott was projected to go in the latter half of the 1st round to Houston and how did that turn… Read more »

scubog

Always like your insight Pink.

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Cameron

Perine’s production only fell off because of the emergence of Joe Mixon. When Samaje was the horse, he got the job done. Don’t sleep on him too much. I will say, however, that I think Joe Mixon is the best all around back in this draft. His past will hurt him, but he will be a star in the league. If he can keep his act together, he will be a major steal for somebody. I also would MUCH rather have Davis than Ross. I know he has world class speed, but I wasn’t impressed. Not sure Davis will be… Read more »

pinkstob

Cameron, when I said production I was referring to his yards per carry. That should not have gone down three years in a row just because he was sharing carries with someone else. I agree that his overall yards in a season would go down by sharing carries with Mixon.

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e

So, now the Chargers & Jags will or have interviewed Smitty for HC. I’m wondering if a guy like Perry Fewell who was just let go by Washington might be a fit for DC?

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Michael WestDominguez

Scott, I have seen a bunch of comments here and there about potentially us moving up and taking Cook possibly. Though I love Dalvin Cook, I think if we move up, we should snag Cam Robinson. It’s a win/win, run blocker and protection for Jameis. As far as wide receivers go, if we don’t pursue Jefferey in free agency….here it comes, yes, another Mike Williams (Clemson) who has speed and is at 6’3. I know folks don’t like the name but he will probably be there for us if we don’t do anything aggressively to move up in the first… Read more »

Michael WestDominguez

Also, one name that may come new to some other than in the Tampa area…..How about Nigel Harris out of USF?

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Bucnut2

SR- Really great mock!! Thank you. I do have one question; lets say bucs grab Garcon in FA, do you think they trade up for Cook?

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obesst

Coach Koetter says he likes the o-line really don’t think they draft an o-linemen. According to how free agency goes this mock would cover a lot of positions of needs. Weapons for Jameis at picks 1 and 2 at 3 like the pick at corner but lack size I know koetter said he liked the Cb’s this season but a little size in the secondary would help a lot. At 4 the SS pick I like if conte leaves and smith moving back to Cb it’s a good pick and he’s a ball hawk. At 5 the Wr dudeif he’s… Read more »

Alberto

Interesting Mock so early. my Surprise was Kpassagnon. Had a really good year at Nova this year, even though what is talked about most on that Wildcat Defense is the secondary (although i’ve seen only 3-4 games the past 2 years cause its hard to find the games down here. the most recent game being the lost at South Dakota St, losing on Adam Viniteri’s Nephew’s leg). And Kazee, i don’t know, another 5’10 corner to play slot/breed for when Grimes leave vs big men? I mean, VH3 and Grimes proved they can can make plays 1v1 on man/press. But… Read more »

scubog

I really get a kick out of these Mock Drafts and enjoy the critiques that follow even more. Me, I don’t have time to watch you-tube videos and read the countless player evaluations to form an opinion that is worth a crap. I certainly never think I know more than the folks who do this for a living. I do think that after watching this team for 40 plus years and being a close observer this season , it’s a no-brainer to see what this team needs most moving forward. Hopefully the Draft plays out to make the BPA fit… Read more »

Horse

Scubog; so what’s your priority?

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scubog

My priority is to take the best player at virtually any position except QB (unless in the later rounds). Many like to focus on “need” and ours are many and obvious as you pointed out. Koetter often mentions “team speed and explosive players”. I totally agree with his assessment as our primary need. The more players a team has for whom the opponent has to game plan against the better. We have one player on offense who fits that bill, Mike Evans. Maybe a lesser degree in Jameis Winston when he’s on. Perhaps Cameron Brate if he continues his assent.… Read more »

XpfcWintergreen

Great article and great discussion guys. Like you scubog (and others) I don’t have the time to spend on the draft like true football fanatics. This is the beginning of my education and opinion formation process about this draft as well as all free agency acquisitions for this year. This mock draft represents very much the kind of draft I am looking for based on the known or at least the seemingly more obvious needs. I will be rereading this article and the comments several time in the next few months. Again, thanks all! ___ Go Bucs P.S. I think… Read more »

jme0151

I love the mock draft and all the comments but until the combine is over I think I will go golfing and check back then. By then we will know who we retained in FA. Makes a difference.

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Naplesfan

Free agency pickups can have a big effect … as well as the pre-draft evaluations including pro days and individual interviews and workouts. At this point all we have to go on are scouting reports, which is only the beginning step of putting together a draft board.

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Derek

Great article as per usual mr. Reynolds. I’m a fan of your mock draft as these would be great additions to the team. Perine also reminds me of a player that thrived in koetters offense in Atlanta: Michael turner. Anyways being a Virginia tech guy I was wondering what your thoughts are on isiah ford and Bucky Hodges. I don’t know if hodges is the fastest guy out there but showed he could create separation and you can’t coach 6’7. Ford is definitely faster and has shown a knack for making contested catches and runs good routes Rate this item:Thumb… Read more »

chetthevette

Pretty good mock. If I were king of the BUCS I try to trade up for the best D Line man on Alabama’s squad. Then for giggles I’d take Jake Butt and Buddha Baker. Just because they have cool football names. I hear Gene D now, Butts score,Butts score. But seriously, somewhere in this draft we should address the center. You can’t field a good team without one. free agency or draft, a center is needed. To me this draft class is underwhelming and stacked with a lot of just solid guys that can populate a roster for years. Not… Read more »

bEubanks11

RD1 OJ HOWARD – TE
RD2 PAT ELFEIN – C
RD3 BRIAN HILL – RB
RD4 – 7 Just the way you have it!!

Grab Terrell Pryor in FA.
Weapons?
Evans, Pryor, Reynolds, Howard, Brate… Check!

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bEubanks11

If Mixon is still there somehow in the 3rd.. he over hill.

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Buc-Up

Maybe we can trade for Darrell Revis again, but this time they give us draft picks to take his salary off Thierry books…lol

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owlykat

Great job, Scott. I have previously discussed how to fix our two key problems of no power up the middle and a poor pass blocking LT. This mock draft does not fix those two problems. I think now also we need to move up and take Cook with our first pick to fix our RB position and take a proven RB in free agency as well and keep Rogers too.

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GoldsonAges

I know its just a mock draft and its an early one too, but I would echo others in my disappointment with choosing the RB with our 2nd rounder. If you change that to OL-DL and take your RB in lieu of the other WR then I would be able to get behind it. RB’s usually dominate my favorite players list. You can always get a great on in round 3 or after.

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