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, and here’s who those around the media have the defending Super Bowl champs selecting in their mock drafts.
Bucs’ Second Round Pick (From Jets): North Carolina RB Javonte Williams Bucs’ Second Round Pick: Alabama C Landon Dickerson Bucs’ Third Round Pick (From Jets): North Carolina State DT Alim McNeil Bucs’ Third Round Pick (From Jets): North Carolina ILB Chazz Surratt Bucs’ Third Round Pick: Northern Iowa DE Elerson Smith Bucs’ Fifth Round Pick: East Carolina OT D’Ante Smith
“Tampa Bay drafts Williams to team with – and eventually replace – Ronald Jones II in the Bucs’ backfield. Williams rushed for 2,297 yards and 29 touchdowns, while averaging 6.3 yards per carry, including 1,140 yards and 19 TDs during his junior campaign. Williams is a great pass protector and a good receiver out of the backfield, catching 50 passes for 539 yards (10.8 avg.) and three scores in three years for the Tar Heels. Williams has incredible power and contact balance, which allows him to break tackles, and the agility to slip tackles at the NFL level.” – Scott Reynolds
Bucs’ First Round Pick: Alabama RB Najee Harris Bucs’ Second Round Pick: Washington OLB Joe Tryon Bucs’ Third Round Pick: Alabama ILB Dylan Moses Bucs’ Fourth Round Pick: Ohio State C Josh Myers Bucs’ Fifth Round Pick: Florida State OLB Janarius Robinson Bucs’ Seventh Round Pick: Florida CB Marco Wilson
“Harris could very well be off the board by the time the Bucs draft, and while I normally wouldn’t take a running back in the first round, at No. 32 and with the Buccaneers not needing an impact starter necessarily, Harris would be a great fit and selection for Tampa Bay. Harris runs with power but can make guys miss despite a 230-pound frame. Add in his ability to catch the ball and his Tuscaloosa pedigree, and Harris will be NFL-ready the day he arrives in Tampa Bay. With 1,466 yards on the ground plus another 425 as a receiver and 30 total touchdowns in 2020, Harris is a no-brainer if he’s still on the board and makes the Bucs offense even more dangerous.” – Mark Cook
Bucs’ First Round Pick: Miami OLB Jaelan Phillips Bucs’ Third Round Pick (From Cowboys): North Carolina RB Michael Carter Bucs’ Third Round Pick: Wisconsin-Whitewater C-G Quinn Meinerz Bucs’ Fourth Round Pick (From Cowboys): East Carolina OT D’Ante Smith Bucs’ Fourth Round Pick : USC DT Marlon Tuipolotu Bucs’ Fifth Round Pick: West Virginia DT Darius Stills Bucs’ Seventh Round Pick: BYU WR Dax Milne Bucs’ Seventh Round Pick: Florida State OLB Janarius Robinson
“The best pass rusher in the 2021 draft shouldn’t still be on the board when the Bucs pick in the first round, right? Well, past off-the-field questions with Phillips from his time at UCLA, as well as a stint away from the game and a history of concussions could scare teams off. But for my money, Phillips’ talent is worth the risk, especially given how he seems to have matured at Miami and the dedication it has taken him to get back in football shape after a year off. Phillips has all the tools and traits to become a future star, and he’s heading to the perfect locker room to help get him there.”
Bucs’ First Round Pick: Alabama DT Christian Barmore Bucs’ Second Round Pick: Miami Edge Quincy Roche Bucs’ Third Round Pick: North Carolina RB Michael Carter Bucs’ Fourth Round Pick: Purdue ILB Derrick Barnes Bucs’ Fifth Round Pick: Grambling State G-C David Moore Bucs’ Sixth Round Pick: Baylor OLB William Bradley-King Bucs’ Seventh Round Pick: South Alabama ILB Riley Cole Bucs’ Seventh Round Pick: Florida WR Trevon Grimes
“A big man and eats up double team blockers on a regular basis, Barmore is a powerful defensive lineman that can win with the bull rush but also has quick hands to make the initial push. He’ll need to develop some more pass rushing moves, but with Tampa Bay’s coaching staff, he’s in a good spot. What’s great is that Barmore played his best football in the big moments, dominating in the college football playoff and championship games. He is the eventual successor to Suh, and he’ll have a great mentor entering the league.” – Matt Matera
Bucs’ First Round Pick: Alabama RB Najee Harris Bucs’ Second Round Pick: Oklahoma OLB Ronnie Perkins Bucs’ Third Round Pick: Texas A&M Bobby Brown III Bucs’ Fourth Round Pick: East Carolina OT D’Ante Smith Bucs’ Fifth Round Pick: TCU ILB Garrett Wallow Bucs’ Seventh Round Pick: Houston WR Marquez Stevenson Bucs’ Seventh Round Pick: Indiana S
“Many people expected the Bucs to draft a running back high in last year’s draft, with Jonathan Taylor on their radar. But Tampa Bay ultimately landed offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs in the first round and safety Antoine Winfield Jr. in the second round – both immediately becoming full-time starters. This year, the Bucs have far less needs on the roster and will forego trading out of the first to land Harris, who leaves Alabama as one of the most complete backs in the draft. He’s capable of running between the tackles, outside of the tackles and is a natural pass-catcher out of the backfield. Harris’ production matches his talent as he racked up 1,466 rushing yards and an insane 30 total touchdowns over 13 games in 2020. And the best thing for Harris is that he won’t have too much on his plate as he enters the NFL. Ronald Jones II is still a capable starter, who can handle a majority of the workload on early downs. James White is a seasoned third-down back who can handle most of the passing downs, allowing Harris to slowly and comfortably ease his way into more snaps as the season wears on. A game-changing back is a need the Bucs have had for a while now, and they finally fill that need with Harris.” – Taylor Jenkins
Bucs’ First Round Pick: Miami Edge Jaelan Phillips Bucs’ Second Round Pick: Clemson WR Amari Rodgers Bucs’ Third Round Pick: Stanford QB Davis Mills
“With Jason Pierre-Paul aging, the Bucs will be looking for a boost along the defensive line. Phillips struggled with durability during his time at Miami(and UCLA) but offers the blend of length, get-off speed and flexibility to warrant a gamble by the defending champs.” – Rob Rang
Bucs’ First Round Pick: Alabama DT Christian Barmore Bucs’ Second Round Pick: North Carolina LB Chazz Surratt Bucs’ Third Round Pick: Memphis RB Kenneth Gainwell
“Ndamukong Suh, Rakeem Nunez-Roches and Steve McLendon will all be free agents. Most analysts considered Barmore a potential first-rounder on upside alone. He gave everyone a glimpse of that high ceiling by dominating Notre Dame and Ohio State — two of the best offensive lines in the nation — in the College Football Playoffs. He would create a dominant duo for the champs in the middle with Vita Vea.” – Eddie Brown
Bucs’ First Round Pick: Alabama DT Christian Barmore
“The Super Bowl champs have several high-priced free agents ready to hit the market. One of those is Ndamukong Suh. Who is to say which of Tampa’s free agents actually return? Yet, adding the best defensive tackle in the draft in Christian Barmore into the equation to conclude the first round is hard to pass up.” – Matt Williamson
Bucs’ First Round Pick: Clemson RB Travis Etienne
“The Bucs have some things to sort out in free agency, including what to do with Playoff Lenny Fournette. A defensive tackle or an edge rusher makes sense here, but Travis Etienne is coming off back-to-back strong seasons, a lights-out pro day, has elite contact balance and is a pass-catching threat coming out of the backfield.” – Ryan Wilson
Bucs’ First Round Pick: RB Travis Etienne
“Whether Etienne, Najee Harris or both get the nod, it’s hard to imagine a running back class this talented being shut out of Round 1. This pick would follow suit from 2020, when the defending champion Chiefs took Clyde Edwards-Helaire to close out the first.
“Greg Auman calls running back one of the Bucs’ top-three issues right now, as Leonard Fournette heads to free agency and Ronald Jones nears a contract year. Etienne, a 215-pounder who still has breakaway speed, would turn that position into a strength again.” – Chris Burke
Bucs’ First Round Pick: Alabama DT Christian Barmore
Barmore lacks consistency on tape, but his high-level flashes are elite. If there is a team that I trust to maximize Barmore’s potential and help him find consistency, it’s Tampa Bay, who has a need on the defensive line. Barmore can play multiple positions up front and his blend of athleticism and flexibility allows him to make dynamic plays behind the line of scrimmage.