As the Super Bowl LV championship is still fresh in the minds of Bucs players and their fans, the attention is starting to gravitate towards the 2021 NFL Draft. NFL experts and pundits are publishing mock drafts on a regular basis and making their picks for the Bucs.
Each week until the 2021 NFL Draft in April, PewterReport.com will scour the internet to find the list of players that are projected to Tampa Bay and put out the list with the links. The Bucs will have the 32nd overall pick in the first round, and here’s who those around the media have the defending Super Bowl champs selecting in their mock drafts.
Bucs’ First Round Pick: Miami Edge Gregory Rousseau
“The Buccaneers’ roster has virtually zero holes after running it back with all their key free agents. With no clear needs, Tampa Bay fans have the luxury of adding to their already league-best pass rush with Gregory Rousseau. Tampa Bay’s 2020 season exemplified the importance of a strong pass rush, and Rousseau has the tools to be a top-five pick, though his one year of production in 2019 drops him to the end of the first round. His freaky build makes him a moveable chess piece who can rush from both inside and outside.
“Also receiving votes by Bucs fans was Clemson running back Travis Etienne — quite the surprising pick after the Chiefs’ misstep of snagging Clyde Edwards-Helaire at No. 32 overall last season. Etienne would add a new dimension to the Bucs’ offense as an explosive receiver out of the backfield.” – Jarad Evans
Bucs’ First Round Pick: Alabama DT Christian Barmore
“The Buccaneers brought back all 22 starters this offseason, meaning they can afford a luxury pick here to round out this 2021 First Round NFL Mock Draft. Christian Barmore does not fill an immediate need, but he would serve a rotational purpose on the defensive line. With Ndamukong Suh returning on a one-year deal, Barmore is a natural replacement as a starter in 2022.” – Ben Rolfe
Bucs’ First Round Pick: Penn State Edge Jayson Oweh
“I surprised myself a little bit with this one. I think the Bucs’ brain trust prefers to draft players who were very productive in college, and Oweh infamously had zero sacks last year. The Bucs could also go with an interior lineman here (and I’ve put Washington’s Levi Owunzirike in this spot before), but with Ndamukong Suh officially back the Bucs have basically evened out their needs (or lack thereof) across the board. So stay with me on this and think a little bit about what Jason Licht said last week: The Bucs can afford to take a developmental player at any position, and they’re going to be basing the decision on which player will be the best two years from now. Oweh may need a decent amount of work to hone his professional game but his Pro Day performance was insane. Sub-4.4 40 times? A 39.5-inch vertical leap? A 6.84-second three-cone drill? Wow. If the Bucs think Oweh could be a star by 2023, they would be making a very good investment here.” – Scott Smith
First Round Pick: Mississippi WR Elijah Moore
“This is a luxury pick for the Bucs as they try to run it back with some insurance in case they do not re-sign Antonio Brown. Moore is a dynamic playmaker with a different skill set than Mike Evans and Chris Godwin.” – Daniel Jeremiah
First Round Pick: Standford QB David Mills
“I don’t know where Mills goes exactly, but the buzz around the league is that he could be a first-round pick and will most likely be the sixth quarterback selected. I’ll throw him to Tampa Bay, where he can learn from a pretty good QB1.” – Peter Schrager
First Round Pick (From Rams Via Jaguars): Miami Edge Jaelan Phillips
“What do you get the team that has everything? Another athletic pass rusher, of course. The Bucs are returning their entire starting lineup from last year’s Super Bowl team, so they might not have enough roster spots for all eight of their current draft selections. They’re also still in win-now mode, so trading up seems a likely scenario in the first round, if the right guy gets close enough.
“The Jags add another pick to help their rebuild, and the Bucs land a high-upside pass rusher to wait in the wings behind Jason Pierre-Paul, who is 32 and going into the final year of his contract. Phillips has some injury concerns, but he’s got as much potential as any edge defender in this draft, thanks to a rare combination of size, length and athleticism.” – Luke Easterling
First Round Pick: Washington DLLevi Onwuzurike
“With the Bucs re-signing Leonard Fournette, running back can now be tabled here. But although they also re-signed defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh (6-4, 307 pounds), he’s back on a one-year deal for his age 34 season. Here’s someone to groom inside to replace him as a starter in the rotation next to beefy Vita Vea. Onwuzurike is extremely active and athletic inside for a man of his size. He combines that with toughness and technique required to finish plays.” – Vinnie Iyer
Bucs’ First Round Pick: Florida State CB Asante Samuel Jr. Second Round Pick: LSU DT Tyler Shelvin Third Round Pick: BYU OT Brady Christensen Fourth Round Pick: Florida State Edge Joshua Kaindoh Fifth Round Pick: Grambling State OG David Moore Sixth Round Pick: Michigan DT Carlo Kemp Seventh Round Pick: Bowling Green TE Quintin Morris Seventh Round Pick: LSU WR Racey McMath
“Tampa Bay has essentially zero holes on the roster so it is in a position to add quality depth. Picks made this year are to set the Bucs up for success long into the future.” – Josh Edwards
First Round Pick: Alabama DT Christian Barmore
“To repeat as Super Bowl champions, the Buccaneers will need to take down quarterbacks like Rodgers, Patrick Mahomes and Russell Wilson. Fortifying the pass rush will help the cause, not to mention provide a backup plan beyond this season with defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, 32, entering the final year of his contract. Perhaps Ojulari or Basham is that guy, but if they’re gone, Tampa Bay adds an interior defensive lineman with Ndamukong Suh only returning on a one-year deal.” – Ben Standig