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The Super Bowl LV champions Tampa Bay Buccaneers have all 22 of their starters back in 2021.  That means that Tampa Bay has very few needs to address in the 2021 NFL Draft, all of which we will try to cover in our final 7-round Bucs Mock draft.

The Bucs have the 32nd overall draft pick for the first time in franchise history. Now general manager Jason Licht, head coach Bruce Arians, director of player personnel John Spytek, director of college scouting Mike Biehl and Tampa Bay’s scouts and coaches have finished Zoom calls and have set their draft board.

Now it’s time to see what Tampa Bay’s personnel needs are following the Super Bowl, and who the Bucs select in PewterReport.com’s final 2021 Bucs 7-Round Mock Draft of the year, powered by Edmonson Electric • AC • Security.

You can read the initial PewterReport.com 2021 Bucs 7-Round Mock Draft in case you missed it in February. Here is the PewterReport.com 2021 Bucs 7-Round Mock Draft 2.0 from early March. You can read the PewterReport.com 2021 Bucs 7-Round Mock Draft 3.0 from late March here. And here is the PewterReport.com 2021 Bucs 7-Round Mock Draft 4.0 from early April.




Bucs DT Ndamukong Suh

Bucs DT Ndamukong Suh – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

The Bucs re-signed 34-year old defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and 35-year old Steve McLendon to one-year deals. The team also signed Rakeem “Nacho” Nunez-Roches to a two-year deal. But more talent and youth is needed along the defensive line. Defensive end Will Gholston is 30 and in a contract year. Khalil Davis, last year’s sixth-round pick, is a developmental tackle that was inactive for all but four games in 2020. Finding Suh’s heir apparent is important, this might not be the year to do it with a weak defensive tackle class.


Left tackle Donovan Smith signed a two-year extension this offseason. That was a big win for the organization, as was re-signing backup tackle Josh Wells. Yet center Ryan Jensen turns 30 this summer and is set to make $10 million in the final year of his contract. Right guard Alex Cappa and Aaron Stinnie are also entering a contract year. The Bucs would be wise to draft an interior offensive lineman that can play center and guard to serve as Jensen’s understudy and eventual replacement – or Cappa’s eventual replacement – and provide depth along the interior.


The Bucs re-signed Shaquil Barrett to a four-year contract extension, which lessens the team’s need to find an edge rusher. Yet fellow outside linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul is 32 and entering the final year of his contract while coming off knee surgery. Drafting a young, starting-caliber edge rusher to groom behind Barrett and Pierre-Paul makes sense.

Anthony Nelson, the team’s fourth-round pick in 2019, got more playing time in 2020, but only had one sack, and lacks the suddenness to be a quality pass rusher. Cam Gill, who recorded half a sack in the Super Bowl, played mostly on special teams as a rookie, but may be nothing more than a role player on defense as he develops.


Bucs RB Giovani Bernard

Bucs RB Giovani Bernard – Photo by: USA Today

Leonard Fournette returned on a one-year deal, and 32-year old LeSean McCoy will likely retire. Giovani Bernard was signed to be the third-down back. Ronald Jones II ran for 978 yards and seven touchdowns in 2020, but lost his starting role to Fournette in the postseason. Jones is entering the final year of his contract and history shows that paying big money contracts to running backs usually backfires. Licht experienced that first hand with Doug Martin in 2016.

Ke’Shawn Vaughn, last year’s third-round pick, only rushed for 109 yards and caught five passes for 35 yards and a touchdown as a rookie. He also struggled with turnovers and drops. It’s unclear whether or not Vaughn is starter material or just a role player. The Bucs could use a starting-caliber back to eventually replace Jones and Fournette in 2022.


Lavonte David, 31, was re-signed for two more years. But the Bucs will be looking for depth behind David, Devin White and Kevin Minter, who is 30 and only re-signed for one more year. Jack Cichy couldn’t stay healthy. Chapelle Russell, who was drafted last year in the seventh round, was cut. So look for another linebacker to be drafted for special teams and to possibly replace David in the future.

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ROUND 1 – Washington OLB Joe Tryon
6-5, 260 • Junior

The Bucs could use another athletic edge rusher with Jason Pierre-Paul set to turn 32 next January and coming off back-to-back offseasons with knee surgery. Tryon was the second-round pick in PewterReport.com’s second Bucs 7-Round Mock Draft this year, but his stock is rising after an impressive pro day that saw him run a 4.65 40-yard dash and posted a 41-inch vertical.

Tryon opted out of the 2020 football season due to COVID-19, so there is even less tape to evaluate. He only played two years for the Huskies and wasn’t a full-time starter until 2019 when he recorded most of his statistics, including eight of his nine career sacks.

Tryon is far from a finished product, but has a very big upside due to his long, 6-foot-5, 262-pound frame, big-time hustle and play speed. According to Pro Football Focus, Tryon recorded 29 of his pressures in the final seven games of the 2019 season after notching only 12 in the first six games.

Tryon’s sack production also came alive during the second half of that season, as he recorded three two-sack games against Utah, Oregon State and Washington State. That’s six sacks in his final seven games at Washington.

2018: 20 tackles, 2 TFLs, 1 sack, 1 PBU

2019: 41 tackles, 12.5 TFLs, 8 sacks, 1 PBU

Tryon is comfortable rushing from both sides of the defensive line and knows how to effectively come underneath on stunts, which were commonly called at Washington. Tryon has experience playing in a 3-4 scheme, as well as rushing in a four-man front, so his transition to Tampa Bay’s defense should go rather smoothly.

Drafting this physical, high-energy player at the end of the second round and having him learn for a year behind the likes of Barrett and Pierre-Paul would be ideal for Tampa Bay’s pass rush long term. Tryon could be the eventual replacement for Pierre-Paul, and having him split time during his rookie season could help extend the shelf life of JPP.

ROUND 2 – Alabama C Landon Dickerson
6-6, 333 • Senior

The Bucs will be looking for players who love football and play the game with a passion. No one may be more passionate about football than Dickerson, who was the Bucs’ first-round pick in our last mock draft. Given his medical report, Dickerson is more likely to be a second-rounder.

After tearing his ACL in the SEC Championship Game against Georgia, Dickerson still dressed for the National Championship Game and begged head coach Nick Saban to snap the ball at the end of the end of the game. After that happened and the Crimson Tide won, Dickerson hoisted Saban into the air – doing so with a surgically-repaired knee.

Injuries are the only thing keeping Dickerson from being a Top 20 pick. He is easily the best interior line prospect in the draft when healthy. The problem for Dickerson is that he tore one ACL as a freshman at Florida State in 2016. Ankle injuries limited him to just six total starts from 2017-18 at FSU before he transferred.

Once at Alabama, Dickerson started 24 straight games (20 at center) before his latest ACL tear. Surgery went well and he could be available by the start of the season. The good news for the Bucs is that they don’t have to count on Dickerson for the 2021 campaign at all. He could come in and get healthy while learning behind center Ryan Jensen and right guard Alex Cappa as a rookie.

There is a good chance that either Jensen or Cappa or both may not return in 2022 due to salary cap concerns. That means Dickerson, who won the Jacobs Trophy (top SEC blocker) and the Rimington Award (nation’s best center), could take over at center or right guard – where he had 11 collegiate starts – next year.

Dickerson is a massive man at nearly 6-foot-6, 333 pounds. This is what draft expert Dane Brugler had to say about the first-team All-American.

“Old-school, nasty competitor and is always looking for a warm body to bury (NFL scout: ‘He’s a foxhole type, the kind of guy you hate to play against, but love to play with.’)”

Dickerson has an infectious personality and is a great leader. He’s a tone-setter up front and would be a great heir apparent to the center position in Tampa Bay. Bucs general manager Jason Licht believes in building a team through the trenches and will have a hard time passing up on Dickerson if he’s there at No. 32.

ROUND 3 – Tennessee G Trey Smith
6-5, 321 • Senior

The Bucs continue to bolster their interior offensive line with the selection of Smith. The Tennessee guard battled blood clots in his lungs that caused him to miss the final five games of his sophomore season. Smith’s resiliency and his love for the game are evident as he battled back to play in the next 23 games.

With a big frame and heavy hands, Smith is a mauler in the run game that would be a great fit in Tampa Bay’s power run scheme. His strength is apparent, evidenced by benching 32 reps. Smith is a nasty finisher. He still needs work in pass protection as he gets caught lunging at times and his technique is not consistent from play to play.

Smith brings plenty of experience, playing in 42 games with 41 starts. He also brings versatility to Tampa Bay. He’s got 23 starts at left guard, 10 starts at left tackle and eight starts at right guard. Not only could Smith come in and challenge Alex Cappa and Aaron Stinnie at right guard. He could also be a key reserve at right tackle at the next level.

ROUND 4 – Minnesota CB Benjamin St. Juste
6-3, 202 • Junior

The Bucs have had success with Minnesota products, drafting safety Antoine Winfield, Jr. and receiver Tyler Johnson last year. Tampa Bay adds some depth at cornerback with St. Juste, who played with Winfield in the Golden Gophers backfield. He is the type of press-man cornerback the Bucs like. With great height and 32.5-inch arms, St. Juste is hard to complete passes against due to his length.

While he didn’t record an interception at Minnesota, St. Juste did lead the team with 10 pass breakups during his sophomore season. St. Juste’s ball skills need some work but they can be developed with good coaching at the next level.

After the 2020 season he received an invitation to play in the Senior Bowl where he shined. St. Juste broke up several passes and showed good range in pass coverage.

2019: 45 tackles, 1.5 TFLs, 10 PBUs
2020: 14 tackles, 1 PBU

St. Juste is a very good athlete, running a 4.52 at his pro day. He also had 4.01 time in the short shuttle and had a 6.63 time in the three-cone drill. Both were elite times given his long legs. The rangy Golden Gophers defender is similar player to Tampa Bay’s own Carlton Davis III. The Bucs sure could use another Davis-type defensive back.

ROUND 5 – Virginia Tech RB Khalil Herbert
5-8, 210 • Senior

The Bucs address the running back position in the fifth round with Herbert, who played last year at Bruce Arians’ alma mater. With Leonard Fournette, Ronald Jones II and Giovani Bernard all free agents in 2022, Tampa Bay grabs a versatile running back with a good mix of speed (4.49) and tackle-breaking ability.

After four years at Kansas, including a redshirt season, Herbert transferred to Virginia Tech where he had a breakout season in 2020. Herbert had nine 100-yard games in his career, including six in 11 games with the Hokies. He had a 208-yard, two-touchdown game against Duke last year. Yet his best game came at Kansas during his sophomore year, rushing for 291 yards and two touchdowns on 36 carries (8.1 avg.) in a loss to West Virginia.

2016: 44 carries for 189 yards (4.3 avg.), 3 TDs
2017: 120 carries for 663 yards (5.5 avg.), 4 TDs
2018: 113 carries for 499 yards (4.4 avg.), 5 TDs
2019: 43 carries for 384 yards (8.9 avg.), 2 TDs

2020: 155 carries for 1,183 yards (7.6 avg.), 8 TDs

Herbert has good hands, but wasn’t much of a factor in the passing game. He totaled just 34 catches for 297 yards and one touchdown during his collegiate career. Herbert caught 10 passes for 179 yards (17.9 avg.) and his lone TD last year with the Hokies.

He had a decent week of practice in Mobile at the Senior Bowl, but didn’t stand out in the game. Herbert is likely a Day 3 selection as a result of just one 1,000-yard season in college. But he also adds value as a kick returner as he averaged 26.9 yards per return last year at Virginia Tech.

ROUND 6 – Boston College ILB Isaiah McDuffie
6-1, 224 • Senior

The Bucs select McDuffie in the sixth round to help the team’s depth at inside linebacker and also on special teams. McDuffie, who was a seventh-round pick in a previous Bucs 7-Round Mock Draft, is one of the faster linebackers in this year’s draft class. He ran a 4.58 at his pro day. After spending a seventh-round pick on linebacker Chapelle Russell in last year’s Bucs draft and that selection not working out, McDuffie joins the team as a developmental ‘backer behind Lavonte David, Devin White and Kevin Minter.

McDuffie was a three-year starter for the Eagles where he racked up 230 tackles, 18.5 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks in his career. McDuffie was limited to just eight games as a junior, but returned for his senior year with a vengeance, recording 107 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, an interception and a fumble recovery.


2017: 8 tackles, PBU

2018: 85 tackles, 5.5 TFLs, 3.5 sacks, 2 PBUs

2019: 30 tackles, 3.5 TFLs, 2 sacks

2020: 107 tackles, 6.5 TFLs, 3 sacks, INT, FR

McDuffie is a fast, aggressive linebacker that excels in short-area coverage as well as blitzing, which makes him a good scheme fit in Tampa Bay. His physical traits and athleticism will help him earn a roster spot as a rookie by starring on special teams, as the Bucs will carry four inside linebackers on their 53-man roster.

ROUND 7 – Boise State TE John Bates
6-5, 250 • Senior

The Bucs draft a developmental tight end in Bates with their first seventh-round pick. Bates is a classic “Y” tight end, who is capable of blocking and being used as a receiver. He’s got good size at 6-foot-5, 250 pounds and ran a decent 4.82 in the 40.

While Tampa Bay has plenty of good tight ends in Rob Gronkowski, O.J. Howard, Cameron Brate and Tanner Hudson, only Brate is under contract in 2022. And he’ll be 31 and making over $6 million next season. So adding another young tight end to the mix to compete with Hudson would be wise.

2017: 3 catches for 34 yards (11.3 avg.)
2018: 10 catches for 155 yards (15.5 avg.), 1 TD
2019: 22 catches for 273 yards (12.4 avg.), 1 TD
2020: 12 catches for 117 yards (9.8 avg.)

Bates will get drafted for his blocking prowess and ability to seal the edge as an inline tight end. He also has enough position flexibility to be move tight end or even line up in the backfield as a fullback.

Bates brings value as a special teams player, which is what the Bucs need on Day 3. He played in 525 snaps on special teams at Boise State.

ROUND 7 – Boise State CB Avery Williams
5-8, 187 • Senior

The Bucs typically don’t draft cornerbacks under 6-foot anymore. Yet Williams is an exception because he’s an exceptional special teamer. In addition to recording six punt return touchdowns and three kick return TDs, Williams also blocked five punts for the Broncos.

Williams is actually a pretty good cornerback, too. While he lacks ideal height, he does have 4.4 speed and could play in the slot in Tampa Bay. He recorded 26 pass breakups, four interceptions and five forced fumbles on defense at Boise State as a four-year starter.

2017: 45 tackles, 8 PBUs, 2 INTs
2018: 49 tackles, TFL, 9 PBUs, 2 INTs, 3 FFs, FR
2019: 39 tackles, 1.5 TFLs, 4 PBUs, FF
2020: 19 tackles, 2 TFLs, 1 PBU, FF

2017: 15 returns for 371 yards (24.7 avg.)
2018: 2 returns for 78 yards (390 avg.), TD
2019: 2 returns for 60 yards (30 avg.)
2020: 19 returns for 553 yards (28.1 avg.), 2 TDs

2017: 27 returns for 303 yards (11.2 avg.), 2 TDs
2018: 18 returns for 126 yards (7.0 avg.)
2019: 22 returns for 290 yards (13.2 avg.), 2 TDs
2020: 15 returns for 229 yards (15.3 avg.), 2 TDs

Tampa Bay could use a replacement for former special teams ace Ryan Smith, in addition to an upgrade in the return game. Williams covers all three bases and would be an outstanding Day 3 pick.

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About the Author: Scott Reynolds

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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8 months ago

Thanks for all the insight guys!
Do you think it’s possible for us to have only 3-4 picks this year’s draft was n the early rounds by trading only this year’s picks? Let’s say they trade out of round 1 and use those 2 picks on the second round, their original 3rd and use those 4th to 7th to make it a 3rd?

8 months ago

I think if the Bucs are in the market for a light tape covid 19 opt out player….they take Greg Rousseau

Better player and bigger upside

Alldaway 2.0
Alldaway 2.0(@alldaway)
Reply to  aquilus
8 months ago

I feel the same way. I am not completely against Tryon but with the first round pick? Time will tell.

8 months ago

Thanks guys. You always have some gems that seem to actually end up on the bucs. Joe Tyron appears to be a reach to me as the Buc’s 1st pick and not really a guy with a 1st round grade. If all of the top 4 corners are gone, I would probably consider an OL here as it is a deep position. But would be happier to reach on Joe Tyron than one of the defensive tackles. As you noted on Landon Dickerson, he is the best interior OL in the draft when healthy. I think you though underrated his… Read more »

8 months ago

I’m a big fan of most of this draft. Count me out on Tryon, although I see the appeal. If we’re taking a high risk/high reward edge rusher in the first, I’d rather have Oweh’s absurd athletic upside and the drastic improvements he made to some parts of his game in 2020. Beyond that, I question how realistic some of these picks are, but if they’re available, then I love them. Dickerson in the 2nd would be phenomenal. Can’t really beat that value, IMO, although I question the assertion that he’d have been a sure top 20 pick without his… Read more »

Reply to  toofamiliar17
8 months ago

Yeah i actually totally agree with Scott. I think Dickerson at 64 is highway robbery. To me, injuries aside(which isn’t always applicable), there are 4 players in this draft, that I think are can’t misses: Kyle Pitts, Jaylen Waddle, Micah Parsons, and Landon Dickerson. I’m as sure on Dickerson as I have been for any OLineman in the last couple of drafts. And more than any of the top 4 last year(Wills, Wirfs, Thomas, Becton). Injuries is the only thing stopping Dickerson from being a perennial top 5 IOL player. I say, if he’s there at 64, you run up… Read more »

German Buc
German Buc(@german-buc)
8 months ago

You never know what will happen during a draft. That said most of these prospects are slotted to go (much) higher. Anyway,I like the positions you mocked and I am sure, we would be able to get talented players in that slots – for example we might need to draft Quinn Meinerz out of Wisconsin-Whitewater in Rd 2 as Dickerson is gone.
The pick I llike most is Avery Williams as a solid to good PR/KR is the only real need on our team right now. So ‘Armchair-GM German Buc’ would not wait until the last pick to pick him…

8 months ago

Didn’t you guys list Tryon as a guy you did not wanna see us Draft in the first just a week or two ago?

It will be interesting to see how this thing shakes out. No matter what I know we will get better. Hopefully there’s a few guys we get to know really well and help us 3-peat Haha

Go Bucs!!!

8 months ago

Doing these mock drafts on NFL Network mock draft simulator has given me a new perspective on what these teams have to go through to get the players they prefer. You can’t be set in your mind, you have to be flexible. I’ll tell you right now I haven’t seen Landon Dickerson fall out of the first round in a long long time. Tryon looks like the real deal. So you have to decide Tryon or Dickerson at 32 and that’s assuming that both are available at 32. Another thing I’ve noticed is all the top rated O-line and interior… Read more »

8 months ago

I feel like you guys mixed up your 1st and 2nd round picks and even in the description you talk about Dickerson at 32 and Tryon as a 2nd rounder. If you had put Dickerson in Rd1 and Tryon at Rd2, that would make some sense. I love Dickerson and am not very high on Tryon but might give him a chance at 64 although I think he should be more of a 3rd or 4th rounder. I like Trey Smith as well but am even higher on Duante Brown from Alabama. Brown had a shitty senior bowl but was… Read more »

Alldaway 2.0
Alldaway 2.0(@alldaway)
Reply to  BucLife
8 months ago

Yeah I wouldn’t be surprised if Dickerson comes off the board before Tryon.

Alldaway 2.0
Alldaway 2.0(@alldaway)
8 months ago

I love rounds 3-7. But the first two pick are really rolling the dice! But if those two first picks pan out that would be huge.

8 months ago

Way to many flip flops with your predictions. I think this is done so you can take credit that you nailed the pick in Bucs draft perdition 18.0

8 months ago

Not a bad draft but taking Tryon seems too risky.also Dickerson will be there at end of second round? Seems doubtful.

8 months ago

Well thought out Scott. I’m taking it you must already know Gabbert will be the QB Back Up because there’s not a QB on your picks?

8 months ago

I don’t think that Avery Williams will be there in the 7th guy is a total weapon. With what our special teams have been recently take him in the 5th guy is a game changer. Some will call it a reach but not when he transforms teams.

8 months ago

Scott, this draft would be an absolute disaster. A project OLB in round 1, an injury riddled OL in round 2, an OG with blood clots in his lungs in round 3, a CB who had ZERO INTs in college in round 4, a slow undersized RB in round 5, an undersized ILB in round 6, a Patrick Hape meh TE and a smurf CB in round 7? Pretty much NONE of these guys will see the field or have any impact this season. And we would be lucky if the OLs played a down for us considering the extent… Read more »

8 months ago

Drafting guys like Tryon just does not fit the standard MO of Licht and his scouts. They’ve always valued production and leadership (captains) and actually producing at the college level. These types of reaches based on potential rarely work out and while the Bucs are deep and stacked – that is the error that will quickly send them back to mediocrity if they start picking lottery tickets that don’t historically pan out. A great producer will fall and that is the type of player they should and will take.

8 months ago

I live in AZ and know Pac 12 football I know Joe Tryon, no, no, and hell no he is a one pass rush move guy runs wide of tackle does a swim move etc and he alright at it in college. Much rather have safety like Moehrig or Jevon Holland from Oregon at 32. Would like a center in second round but I highly doubt Dickerson will be there late second round maybe we can get Creed Humphrey from Oklahoma or something

Reply to  jongruden
8 months ago

I like Whitehead but he not great in coverage we could upgrade him

8 months ago

Congratulations Scott! I’m guessing that you are the only one that mocked Joe to the Bucs. Though I must admit that though I live here on the left-coast, I never heard of Joe until I read your final mock picks article because as a former east coaster growing up in Tampa, I still enjoy watching more SEC than PAC12. Absolutely agree with the pick, the Bucs needed more depth on the edge to help keep Shaq and JPP fresh too. I also like you going with a center in the second round, but would also like to see the Bucs… Read more »

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