The first wave of NFL free agency has come and gone and the Bucs were busy with a mix of re-signings and new additions. Tampa Bay still isn’t done adding depth and competition to its 2019 roster and could add a few more free agents prior to the 2019 NFL Draft, which is just over a month away.

Bucs general manager Jason Licht, director of player personnel John Spytek, director of college scouting Mike Biehl and the team’s scouts have been at the East-West Shrine Game practices in addition to the Senior Bowl practices, the NFL Scouting Combine and a few pro days as they begin to stack talent on the team’s draft board. Tampa Bay has the fifth overall pick due to the team’s 5-11 finish for a second straight season, which led to the firing of head coach Dirk Koetter.

Bucs GM Jason Licht and head coach Bruce Arians
Bucs GM Jason Licht and head coach Bruce Arians – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Bruce Arians was hired to replace Koetter and brings a veteran staff of coaches with him to Tampa Bay, including defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, who primarily runs a 3-4 scheme, but will adapt his defense to fit the talent on the roster. The defense needs more playmakers in the secondary, and could use some youth along the defensive line if the team moves on from six-time Pro Bowler Gerald McCoy, who turned 31 in February, and his $13 million salary.

The Bucs could also use some immediate help at linebacker as Kwon Alexander moved on to San Francisco in free agency, Jack Cichy is coming off a torn ACL, and Kendell Beckwith missed the entire 2018 campaign while attempting to recover from a broken ankle. The prognosis isn’t good for Beckwith as his ankle injury may be career-ending.

On the offensive side of the ball, the Bucs re-signed left tackle Donovan Smith to a three-year deal with the hopes that he can become a more consistent player under the tutelage of new line coaches Harold Goodwin and Joe Gilbert. Tampa Bay could use some help at right tackle and the right guard position, which is the weakest spot on the team.

Aging and oft-injured right tackle Demar Dotson turns 34 this year and the Bucs need to find a successor. Veteran Earl Watfield, who played for Arians and Goodwin in Arizona, was signed as competition for Alex Cappa at right guard, while Caleb Benenoch moves back to right tackle after floundering at guard last year. There are doubts as to whether Benenoch could eventually succeed Dotson, though.

More help is needed at running back where Peyton Barber was a one-man gang, while second-round pick Ronald Jones II struggled to earn playing time and didn’t do much with it once he got it after a very disappointing preseason that leads some to believe he might be a bust. Barber was re-signed to a one-year deal, and the Bucs need a long-term answer at the running back position.

Bucs WR DeSean Jackson
Bucs WR DeSean Jackson – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Despite trading malcontent wide receiver DeSean Jackson and losing wide receiver Adam Humphries in free agency, Tampa Bay still has a plethora of offensive weapons in the passing game with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, newly added wide receiver Breshad Perriman and tight ends O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate. Arians has said that Jameis Winston, who is entering his fifth-year option season, will be the unquestioned starter this year and Ryan Griffin has been signed to compete for the backup job.

The Bucs have an interest in pursuing former Tampa Bay quarterback Mike Glennon in free agency, and if they do, the team likely won’t draft a quarterback and instead go with veterans behind Winston.

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Round 1: Kentucky OLB Josh Allen
6-5, 262 – Senior

Previous Pick: LSU ILB Devin White
PewterReport.com was the first to feature LSU inside linebacker Devin White going to Tampa Bay with the fifth overall draft pick in our initial 2019 Bucs’ Six-Round Mock Draft and also had White going to the Bucs at No. 10 in a trade down scenario with Denver in our second Bucs mock draft. That could very well still happen, as Tampa Bay needs help at inside linebacker after losing Kwon Alexander to San Francisco in free agency.

But let’s mix it up and illustrate a scenario where one of the top draft prospects falls to Tampa Bay at No. 5. If Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray goes No. 1 overall to Arizona and another team, such as Miami, Denver or the New York Giants trade into the top 4 to select Ohio State QB Dwayne Haskins, one of the top three defenders – Ohio State edge rusher Nick Bosa, Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams or Kentucky edge rusher Josh Allen would be available for the Bucs at No. 5.

In this case it’s Allen, who would be an ideal fit as weakside outside linebacker in Todd Bowles’ 3-4 base defensive scheme. Allen would be the perfect heir apparent to Jason Pierre-Paul, who turned 30 on January 1, and a player that could come in and be an impactful situational player as a rookie without the pressure of playing every down as he transitions to the NFL in his first season.

Allen was one of the most improved players in the country as he stayed for his senior season and improved his sack total from seven to 17 and his tackles for loss from 10.5 in 2017 to 21.5 tackles for loss last year. Allen also set career highs with five sacks, four passes defensed and two fumble recoveries in helping the Wildcats to one of the best seasons with a 10-3 campaign, capped off with a bowl win over Penn State.

“He showed unbelievable maturity in his decision with that. We talked about it for a long time on many occasions,” Stoops said. “He believed in himself to get into position not just for draft money, but for life-changing money. It helped us. It helped him. Ultimately he bet on himself and his team.”

Allen credits the arrival of Brad White in 2018 for his development. As chronicled in a story for NFL.com, Allen bought into what his new outside linebackers coach was selling.

A month after the Indianapolis Colts fired Chuck Pagano in 2017, Stoops plucked White from Pagano’s former staff. White was a Colts defensive quality control assistant in 2013, when Robert Mathis led the NFL in sacks with 19.5, and was promoted to outside linebackers coach beginning in 2015, where he oversaw Mathis’ final two NFL seasons. Allen couldn’t have been happier to work under a new coach who came straight from the NFL and worked with one of the league’s elite pass rushers. But rushing the passer isn’t where White’s demands of Allen began. He outlined a list of things he would have considered weaknesses in Allen’s game had he been evaluating him for the Colts:

1) He was too soft in setting the edge against the run.
2) His path to the quarterback needed a better speed-to-power transition.
3) He needed to master an inside move as a pass rusher.

Allen made significant strides in all three areas, turning himself into a player White can hardly recognize against tape from his junior year. In 2017 he finished with seven sacks; last year that number ballooned to 17, No. 2 in the nation behind Louisiana Tech’s Jaylon Ferguson (17.5).

Allen’s Kentucky Career Defensive Stats
2015: 4 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, 0.5 sack, 1 PBU
2016: 62 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, 7 sacks, 4 FFs
2017: 66 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, 7 sacks, 3 PBUs, 2 FFs, 1 INT
2018: 88 tackles, 21.5 tackles for loss, 17 sacks, 5 FFs, 4 PBUs, 2 FRs

Allen had a very good NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis where he ran a 4.63 in the 40-yard dash with a 1.61 in the 10-yard split at 6-foot-5, 262 pounds. Allen gained nearly 20 pounds of size by hitting the weight room in advance of his senior season and it paid off as he converted speed to power on the field. Allen also excelled in the 20-yard shuttle with a 4.23 time and by benching 225 pounds 28 times in Indy.

Allen isn’t the elite athlete that Mississippi State defensive end Montez Sweat is, but he is a more polished pass rusher with better technique and better bend off the edge. What makes Allen special is his ability to rush off the edge, create fumbles – evidenced by 11 in his career – and also drop in coverage. Pro Football Focus reveals that Allen dropped into coverage half of his snaps during his senior season. Imagine if he rushed the passer 20 percent more. Would he have wound up with 20 sacks last season? Perhaps.

The selection of Allen gives the Buccaneers another top-notch edge rusher and some continuity at the all-important position of weakside linebacker in Bowles’ defense. While Tampa Bay could benefit from trading down a few spots and stockpiling picks while selecting a player like Sweat or White, Allen is an elite player with the production and work ethic that makes him a legitimate top 5 pick in this year’s NFL Draft. He’s simply too good to pass up for the Bucs, who get a premier pass rusher that can rack up sacks and force fumbles.

View Josh Allen’s highlights from last season below and see why the Bucs wouldn’t trade down if he’s on the board when Tampa Bay is on the clock.

Click below to view Tampa Bay’s second-round pick in 2019.

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Scott Reynolds is in his 24th 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 son's Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]

40 COMMENTS

  1. Colin Cowherd lists Kwon to SF as the biggest hit of draft
    DeSean to Eagles A+
    HUMP HUGE LOSE
    Bucs losing it best players McCoy yet to come
    AND ALL BEING REPLACED WITH BACKUPS FROM OTHER TEAMS
    This team was 3and 13 with out the magic wins
    How can anyone think this is going to work out
    Pewter boys put a smile on every move
    I think Bruce Arians could have improved last years team 1 or 2 wins which still long way from playoffs this team looking for number one draft pick 2020. I wonder what BC is thinkingabout with this desermation of the team.

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  2. Josh Allen is a chance in Round 1 but taking a tackle in Rd 2 with all that defense on the board is so crazy.We don’t have enough linebackers to run a 3-4 defense as it is.You actually think Shaq Barrett is going to start lol.Im seeing Rd1 and rd 2 as being linebackers..Middle and edge rusher.

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  3. Josh Allen would be a dream. Possible but somewhat unlikely. Where is the CB in the third or fourth round. A RB or QB seem like luxuy picks. They need to plan more for a non-Josh Allen draft. David White or T Jonah Williams or a trade back for Greedy Williams or another T or DE. If they get Allen then Gerald McCoy is a goner.

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    Rating: -8. From 24 votes.
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  4. Buc Ass Bob The Buccaneers have more talent than you are giving them credit. Not Great but 7-9 or 8-8 is quite possible. Winston is a good QB. Bad NFL rarely have good QBs.

    +24
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    Rating: +20. From 28 votes.
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    • Look at the Bucs schedule and show me 8 wins? 7 would be lucky. I’m calling 6-10 with wins against Carolina(2) Detroit, Giants, Cardinals and 49ers.

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  5. Holy hell Scott, I can actually give you a grade higher than a C.

    I give this mock a B.

    +24
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    Rating: +22. From 26 votes.
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  6. Bucs are a a bad team with NO MONEY. This is laughable …Why isn’t Pewter Report and buc fans SCREAMING ??

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    Rating: -23. From 43 votes.
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  7. With the type of players the FA signings have been, seems that BA and staff have had more input or are more in tune with the type of player they desire than recent coaching staffs have had. Gives hope that the draft results will reflect that as well. Am curious, with nuggets the PR staff glean from the Bucs FO and staff, if these mocks avoid certain prospects the team actually have an interest in that they prefer not to advertise.

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  8. Great start to the mock, with Allen, and then (as usual)…downhill.

    +9
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  9. Love this mock, except the running back Henderson. Love his ability but think they need another defensive pick at that spot or o-line. If McCoy goes, we need more than one pick dedicated to the interior line.

    +18
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    Rating: +14. From 22 votes.
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  10. Bob – Dude NOBODY cares what Colin Blowhard says pretty much about ANYTHING. He’s not even relevant on his own network anymore. He’s a admittedly a West coast guy and has NEVER had anything good to say about the Buccaneers……. So screw him! 🙂

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  11. I like first 3, but if we don’t draft a Safety 4th rd or so I’d be concerned. Maybe in free agency still that will happen. I love taking a good RT early that has versatility to move around if needed.

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  12. Not sure about RB either he doesn’t have great speed. Rather draft another O lineman I think….

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  13. The problem is Kwon was a great pick up for San Francisco and the Eagles did get a great deal with DeSean. and the Bucs are doing nothing!

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    Rating: -38. From 42 votes.
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  14. Lol. They were a bad team last season with bad coaching. Only one’s screaming are those who underestimate coaching. Even Dirk said the team was very talented. He just didnt know how to lead men, coach x’s and o’s, game plan, adjust, or manage a clock. Bruce is a football coach. That’s why.

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  15. I keep hearing the idea of trading back for more picks, in 2016 we traded back and got VHlll, Spence and Aguayo. 2018 we traded back got Vea and some 2ND Rd projects. Might be time to start thinking about trading up and go get an impact player instead of worrying about draft capital.

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  16. You know, given that the final 4 teams left last season led the league in PPG I actually think doubling down on O-linemen in Rounds 1 and 2 might be the way to go, we don’t currently have a RG and this is probably Dot’s last year in the league. Short of us getting one of our big 3 targets this year (Bosa, Allen, Q.Williams) I think we might be better off going for someone like Jawann Taylor/Jonah Williams/Andre Dillard then going for someone like Risner/Lindstrom.

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  17. Josh Allen or Q Williams at 5 would be amazing! I actually like the top 3 picks a lot. Licht, with all his faults, seems to have an eye for LB talent. I really liked Kwon, but I’m very glad we didn’t pay him what the Niners. We’ll be drafting a ILB to replace him, hopefully not at #5..

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  18. Would be happy with this draft
    Jason will blow it though

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  19. Let’s see…why aren’t we screaming? Because what is past is past, and we have a new proven HC with a plan…AND…because we don’t live in some S hole state or city, where they are freezing, flooding, or getting blown off the face of the earth.

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  20. B-A-B’s.. Why aren’t we doing more now? Look up the words “Salary Cap” and educate yourself, so you can stop making stupid statements and looking foolish.

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  21. Chances BOB stops making stupid comments and making a fool of himself are somewhere in the area of slim and none

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    Rating: +9. From 11 votes.
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  22. Hey Bob, how has winning the offseason done for us in the past? this is the first time we’ve taken a different approach in quite a while. With a legit coaching staff let’s see what happens.

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  23. Bucs Mock Draft – Pre-Draft

    Draft Strategy – Stand Pat

    I have always been a proponent for the Bucs to trade down at #5. Now I’m not so sure. Arizona HC Kliff Kingsbury is stating publicly that QB Kyler Murray will be the first pick. Gruden/Raiders who pick at #4 are now said to be shopping QB Derek Carr. The Giants have expressed an interest in trading for QB Josh Rosen. The Jaguars have signed QB Nick Foles. The Broncos have already dealt a 4th for Flacco. The Dolphins have signed Fitzpatrick vowing to wait for QB Tagovailoa in 2020. I’ve seen one mock where somebody trades into the top 4 for WR D.K. Metcalf.

    What this means is that turbulence is forming at the top of the draft and at the same time the trade down candidates are becoming fewer or at least the price they would be willing to pay to trade up has gone down. While that may not be good news for trading down, it may be great news that if true, is almost certain to push one of the top 3 defensive players to the Bucs at #5. After some impressive Combine O-Line, D-Line, LB, and CB performances, they may pick at 5 anyway.

    RD1 – DE/OLB Josh Allen/Kentucky
    RD2 – OG Chris Lindstrom/Boston College 6-4 303 5.28
    RD3 – OT Max Scharping/Northern Illinois 6-6 327 5.15
    RD4 – CB Isaiah Johnson/Houston 6-2 208 4.40
    RD5 – DE/OLB Ben Banogu/TCU 6-3 257 4.62
    RD6 – RB Ryquell “Rock” Armstead/Temple 5-11 223 4.45
    RD7 – DE Jonathan Ledbetter/Georgia 6-4 280 5.14

    UDFAs

    CB Jordan Wyatt/Southern Methodist
    DT Michael Dogbe/Temple
    WR Olamide Zaccheaus/UVA

    Notes:

    *The first pick could be one of the top 3 defensive linemen or LB Devin White. Many believe #5 is too early for a LB and would only pick White in a trade down situation. DE Montez Sweat has been diagnosed with a pre-existing heart condition. OLB Josh Allen is starting to show up at 5 – at PR and most notably Walterfootball and Nfl.com.
    *Like OG Quenton Nelson last year, Chris Lindstrom is the best OG in the draft. He could go in the late 1st round. Lindstrom’s dad Chris Sr. was a Buc in 1983.
    *Max Scharping/NIU has played both left and right tackle in college and could be a starter at either position in Tampa Bay, most likely replacing Demar Dotson in 2020 after a transition year in the NFL.
    *Isaiah Johnson is a long press CB with excellent speed. Pair him on the outside with CB Carlton Davis and develop two shutdown corners.
    *Bucs can’t afford to spend an early round pick on another RB. They will continue to develop ROJO, but Barber needs help now. BA is partial to Temple players and could draft Rock Armstead late. Keep an eye on an affordable experienced FA RB like Bilal Powell or Isaiah Crowell.
    *Todd McNair, Bucs RB coach played under Arians at Temple and was the running backs coach at USC, guiding Reggie Bush to a Heisman Trophy in 2005 – hoping he can further develop ROJO.
    *Bucs already have DT Jeremiah Ledbetter. Jonathan can join him. Who knows the Ledbetter boys may wreck some havoc.

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  24. I like this mock draft. It isn’t sexy but it is about building this team for what Arians coaching staff wants for the future.

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    Rating: +11. From 11 votes.
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  25. Mac – I love the work you put into your mock. I wouldn’t be one bit unhappy if our draft fell that way. I do think that Lindstrom kid will unfortunately be gone by the time the Bucs are on the clock in the 2nd round. If we get the right trade down deal from (5) we might have enough ammo to trade back into the bottom of the 1st to snag him. I wouldn’t mind that Wilkins from Clemson if we don’t trade down too far. He has scheme diversity and a non-stop motor. That said, I agree with MOST of the posters here that want the trenches built. Good lines can make up for a lot of other team deficiencies.

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  26. I will probably say it 1,000 times Take white at 5 and never look back! Who care what the Experts say? They also say not to tack a rb. To high but I
    would take Barkley or Elliott any draft day at #1. If Devin White plays here 10+ year at a pro bowl all pro level who care when you grab him?

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    Rating: +1. From 9 votes.
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  27. In Kwon’s 4 years he has 78 missed tackles, 2nd most in the league. His 18% missed tackle rate makes him the worst in that time frame. He is definitely passionate, and I would have liked to keep him at the right price, but 14+ mill per year…did I mention he’s coming off an ACL tear!
    But he was a great pick up by San Fran because Collin Cowturd says so…

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  28. Like this MoCK!!! Yes please!!

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  29. 1- Ed Oliver, DT, Houston
    2- Jawaan Taylor, OT, UF
    3- Darrell Henderson, RB Memphis
    4- David Sills V, WR WVU
    5- Michael Deiter, OC/OG Wisconsin
    6- Gary Johnson, Texas LB

    Honestly Ed Oliver shouldn’t be available to us but we consistently miss some prospects that are obviously very talented but idk somewhere along the process people start talking stupid. Same thing happened with Aaron Donald.

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    Rating: -7. From 11 votes.
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  30. My winning entry of the Bucs Battle Plan(bravo, bravo!!), I was first on this strong possiblility of 2 QB’s early and Josh Allen falling into Tampa’s lap. You can’t pass on this guy if he’s available. Honestly feel the same about Bosa or Quinnen, but I thnk its Allen that falls. I think Tampa gets the best Simeon Rice impersonator in years in Josh Allen at number 5. I also think BC’s Lindstrom is there in the 2nd for the Bucs, but with Watford on board, do they take him now? I would! Maybe they will fill in the gaps of the front 7 with a stud DT that falls or maybe even a CB. Lots of possiblities! No RB’s in round 2 though please! There will be a great one available in the 5th round, no doubt!

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    Rating: +8. From 10 votes.
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  31. I like it, just not sure about taking another RB in the 3rd. I know it’s a need but I just feel like going O-line or CB would be more pressing. Ledbetter in the 7th would be great. Low risk for a guy who plays his butt off and could be good for depth.

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  32. Scott, your last mock was better than this one. It is doubtful Adams will be available at 5 and we need to drop to seven in a deal and take White who will be an All Pro in the middle & can pass protect and run sideline to sideline. We need Bucannon to start at Safety. With the extra pick we need to take Lindstrom and if he is not still there take Risner to play permanently at RG. Risner is not athletic enough to stop top speed rushers on the outside and Lindy’s for that reason feel he is much better suited inside as a Center or Guard. The Second Round Pick should be Ole Misses’ OT Greg Little who can push D. Smith and be available to play RT when Dotson retires or is injured. Little played against tough SEC competition in the Western Div. SEC and is a smooth pass defender and can stop speed rushers and is rated by Lindy’s as the second best OT in the draft. Now Henderson is likely to be gone by the third round and is not a good blocker nor is he a power back that can replace Barber if he is hurt. Henderson needs a zone blocking line too and our line is terrible at that. The Perfect RB to be a starting third down back is Benny Snell, Jr., who is a power back who can block and has soft hands for passes like Brate and he can recognize blitzes before they strike and if Barber goes down he would be the perfect replacement for him. He also was recognized by the A.P. as the Top Back in the SEC and he will be there in the third round while change of pace back Henderson will be already gone. 4th Round Best DE available, 5th Round Trevon Wesco, Top W.Va. TE and FB who is an Alstott Clone at 6’3” 274 lbs. who can run for tough yardage for first down or TDS or block for Barber and caught 24 of 26 passes as a Senior for 366 yards. (We need a replacement for Cross.) 6th Round Buffalo College’s accurate long passing QB for development. 7th Round Ga. WR Terry Godwin 4.49 40 Kick Returner for the Dogs and can play gunner or Slot WR with crafty route running to get open and tracks the ball well. (Lost 2 WRs and only replaced 1 and need another KR)

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  33. PR’s best Mock so far this year (though it is counting on some good luck with Allen dropping).

    Really good draft and hits on all our needs while adding good defensive depth. Bucs need to make up for years of neglecting defense and this adds a lot of later round talent to develop.

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  34. Don’t the Bucs have 2 #6’s?

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  35. You could take this write-up on Henderson and apply it to RoJo last year almost word for word. 2nd round prospect because of size. PFF’s top rated RB in all of college football in 2017. Protects the football. Explosive tape. All of it…and did it in a far superior football conference. We addressed issue #1 already: Dirk Koetter. Now let’s address issue #2: the OL…specifically the RG position. If that still doesn’t improve the play of RoJo and Barber, then we can sink another high value draft pick into the RB position. Until then, drafting a RB anywhere before the 4th round is beyond stupid with all the other needs this team has.

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  36. Bucs quite frankly need a defensive heavy draft. Josh Allen would be awesome early. In the second I’d go DL again with the likes of Jerry Tillery, Dre’Monet Jones or Zach Allen. Then in the 3rd flip to CB and pick from Jamel Dean, Davis Long or Isaiah Johnson- Possible reach in 3rd! In 4th and 5th I’d look for best available depth at RB, OL, LB/Edge or Safety. Fans must learn that Edge and LB are somewhat interchangeable in a 3-4 defense.

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  37. Allen would be great at #5 but I’m wondering if a lot of these players in this mock will be there where you’re mocking on this one. Bunting and Risner will likely be gone, as well as Allen, but I really like those three.

    Not sure on the RB. Don’t feel good about drafting any RB this year. I think Koetter and his regime have been bad for RBs here. So I’m hoping RoJo develops well and I’m believing the love BA gave Barber at a recent public appearance. It’s a gamble but I just think we need youth on defense. LVD, JPP and McCoy aren’t getting any younger.

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  38. I noticed that a lot of the Cardinals drafts feature drafting WR’s while Arians was there. Maybe we as Bucs fans are not valuing WR as much as Arians does for his offense? Time will tell.

    I do like the Bucs current group:

    Evans/Godwin/Perriman/Watson/Wilson

    But it wouldn’t surprise me if the Bucs draft a sixth WR either.

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  39. These mock drafts ignore possible McCoy and Brate trades. They could get decent proscepts and cap room. McCoy could get a late third or fourth round pick. Brate to the right(PATRIOTS) team could get a late second round or third round. They have to trade back or may some trades. They have too holes many fill. If they get are lucky to get Allen, then McCoy is gone for sure. Taking White at the fifth pick limits their options too much. White is a great player, but they maximize their talent. A compensatory third round for McCoy could be packaged with their fifth round to a third round RB or a backup G or T.

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