Don’t get me wrong, I love reading them, and actually used to subscribe to Ourlads scouting guide. Yes, I paid money to get something in the mail that now is free all over the Internet.
Trevor Sikkema and News Channel 8’s Gabrielle Shirley
Everybody and their brother puts out a mock draft these days. Quick, go check your grandmother’s browser history. Chances are you’ll find her search story includes Daniel Jeremiah, Mel Kiper and Trevor Sikkema. Chances are she’s searching Sikkema more for pics of his golden curly locks and new puppy than his draft expertise.
Well, maybe not, but you get the idea.
So it’s Draft Day and I figured what the heck? If your grandma is doing a mock, then by God … Mark Cook is going to do a mock draft, too.
Admittedly, I don’t lock myself in the basement for months on end like Todd McShay and PewterReport.com’s own Jon Ledyard do. I actually have other hobbies, but I do spend a fair amount of watching college player highlight reels. And of course on Saturdays in the fall I start the day with College GameDay and usually finish it with a 10:00 p.m. West Coast game between Hawaii and North Wyoming State School For The Braille.
The bottom line is that I love college football – maybe even more than the NFL. On Saturday I can be that overemotional maniac, screaming on Twitter, criticizing and cursing 19-year old kids who jump offsides and cost my Noles five yards.
Anyway, here we go. I will start with the first 13 picks, then finish with the Buccaneers’ seven selections.
LSU QB Joe Burrow – Photo by: Getty Images
1. Bengals – LSU QB Joe Burrow
Table of Contents
No brainer here. Andy Dalton is getting old, the Bengals are in need of a franchise reboot and Ohio’s native son comes home.
2. Redskins – Ohio State EDGE Chase Young
The Redskins need help all over, and get arguably the best defensive player in the draft for defensive-minded head coach Ron Rivera.
3. Lions – Ohio State CB Jeffery Okudah
Instant starter at a position of need for Detroit. A 6-foot-1 corner who runs a 4.48 and will be physical against the run? Sign me up.
4. Giants – Alabama OT Jedrick Wills
The most NFL-ready tackle who has faced top-tier competition in college instantly upgrades the Giants offensive line.
5. Dolphins – Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa
Yes, the injuries are a legitimate concern, but is he made out of cardboard or was he a victim of bad luck? If he stays healthy, Tagovailoa might have an even more successful career than Burrow.
6. Chargers – Oregon QB Justin Herbert
Los Angeles gets their replacement for Philip Rivers. While a little more laid back than Rivers, Herbert is smart and can sling it.
7. Panthers – Auburn DT Derrick Brown
The Panthers are dreadful defensively, particularly upfront. Brown will occupy space and make things difficult for opposing offenses.
8. Arizona – Clemson LB Isaiah Simmons
The Cardinals were sweating it out, but Simmons falls in their lap and will help to build a defense to go with an emerging offense led by Kyler Murray.
9. Jaguars – Florida CB C.J. Henderson
Henderson has rocketed up draft boards with some GMs feeling he may and up being a better pro prospect than Okudah. Good news for Henderson, he will be familiar with all the jorts (jean shorts, people) in the crowd in Jacksonville and will feel right at home.
Georgia OT Andrew Thomas – Photo courtesy of UGA
10. Browns – Georgia OT Andrew Thomas
The Browns had pretty good success drafting another tackles named Thomas – Joe Thomas – years ago, and hope lightning strikes again by taking the talented Bulldog.
11. Jets – Iowa OT Tristan Wirfs
Protecting Sam Darnold has to be a priority for the Jets, who also need wide receiver help. But with a deep class at receiver, the Jet make the smart move and nab a Top 5 talent at No.11.
12. Raiders – Alabama Wr Henry Ruggs III
Jon Gruden loves speed on offense and Ruggs will provide the burst and juice Gruden craves and gives Derek Carr something to work with on offense.
13. 49ers – South Carolina DT Javon Kinlaw
San Francisco needs receiver help, but like the Jets, they know the position is deep so they take another big need with the selection of Kinlaw who helps fill the loss of DeForest Buckner.
Okay Bucs fans, your team is on the clock and general manager Mark Cook will be drafting your seven selections. Let’s see what happens and let me know what you think.
Round 1 – No. 14: Louisville OT Mekhi Becton
The stars aligned and Becton drops to Tampa Bay. Perhaps it was partly because of a rumored failed drug test at the NFL Combine, but mainly because the Dolphins decided to go with a quarterback with their first pick. Becton fills a huge need but with the addition of Joe Haeg he won’t necessarily have to be thrown into action from Day 1. Still the Bucs will want to get him in the starting lineup sooner rather than later.
Round 2 – No. 45: LSU RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire
Edwards-Helaire is the perfect fit in Bruce Arians’ offense and will become one of Tom Brady’s favorite weapons as the season rolls on. While Ronald Jones II will get the start to the season, Edwards-Helaire will still get his touches and once he earns the trust of Arians he will be the team’s primary third down back, catching passes out of the backfield.
Round 3 – No. 76: Alabama DT Raekwon Davis
Davis could go earlier but if he slips to the third round I would take him in a flash. Davis has plenty of growing up to do in the NFL, but his power and length are just God-given abilities that can’t be coached. Learning behind Ndamukong Suh will take the the pressure off of him to perform early, and Davis can be a rotational player, and gain confidence as he grows.
At 6-foot-2 and with 4.48 speed, Peoples-Jones isn’t as fast as Breshad Perriman but still can help stretch the defense, while also being in the mix as a kick returner for the Buccaneers. Had Peoples-Jones played for a more dynamic offense with a better quarterback his draft stock would likely be higher.
Round 5 – No. 162: Michigan G Ben Bredeson
Tampa Bay needs to flood the offensive line position and do so by taking Bredeson, who isn’t the most athletic player at guard in the draft, but with four years of starting experience in the Big Ten, he offers smarts and can be a mauler at times. The Bucs need to run the ball better and look to add depth to their offensive line.
Round 6 – No. 195: Maryland S Antoine Brooks, Jr.
Brooks isn’t the best cover safety in the draft, and his limitations in that department is why he will slip to Day 3. But Brooks is a thumper and plays the run well, and could be used down in the box and even as an occasional blitzer in Todd Bowles scheme.
Round 7 – No. 242: Miami RB DeeJay Dallas
Dallas has the chance to develop behind Jones and Edwards-Helaire and also be a special teams contributor. A former quarterback and wide receiver, Dallas understands the game, and has very good hands. He was underused at Miami and could turn out to be a Day 3 steal for Jason Licht – I mean me.
And that concludes the 2020 NFL Draft. Well at least my mock draft anyway. Let me know what you think and if I should send my resumé to the Bucs front office next week or not.
Cook’s musings and ramblings about the Buccaneers, pop culture and the NFL. Good stuff. Check it out.
• Draft weekend – starting tonight – is going to be strange. For the first time since 2011, I will be at home for the draft and not at the AdventHealth Training Center (One Buccaneer Place) eating free food, watching the TVs in the media room and listening to Ira Kaufman complain that no one made coffee. I’ll miss the anticipation of the picks, the sound of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell being booed by the crowd and the “What in the heck was that team thinking?” pick that happens every year. There is always one or two in the first round
Former Bucs K Roberto Aguayo – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
For me the biggest “What in the heck was that team thinking?” came in 2016 when the Buccaneers drafted Florida State kicker Roberto Aguayo in the second round. When it was announced the Bucs had moved up I was sure it was for Ohio State safety Von Bell or someone else. Literally anyone else would have surprised me less.
I remember Scott Reynolds saying, “You must be excited, Mr.Noles fan!” But my head was on the desk as I slowly banged it hoping it was a bad dream. No, I didn’t like the Aguayo pick from the start.
Oh well. Can’t score if you don’t shoot, or risk your biscuits … or triscuits, or whatever they say upstairs in Jason Licht’s office. Regardless it will be interesting to watch the first two days of the draft this year to say the least.
Just, please, no kickers this year, Jason.
• Patriots fans are going to lose their minds when Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski decide to go into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as Buccaneers because they had more fun in Tampa Bay playing for head coach Bruce Arians. Can’t wait to see it.
• Gronk! The Gronkster! The Gronkinator! This new Bucs roster is starting to remind me of some of the old Bucs locker rooms full of a wide assortment of characters. And will there be a crazier personality than Rob Gronkowski? The dude is a human YouTube channel and a mix of Johnny Knoxville, Hulk Hogan, a Greek God and Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez all rolled into one.
TE Rob Gronkowski – Photo by: Getty Images
Not since Mike Alstott was a Buccaneer will a player be as popular with the women fans as Gronk. Trust me on this. I got more texts and messages from my lady friends on Wednesday when the trade was announced than guys.
True story. And no, ladies, I am not allowed to take photos of players in the locker room. Talk about wardrobe malfunctions. Eyes up, boys. Eyes up.
• And for the 18 people who bothered to watch my What’s Cooking Show last year, is there a better guest to have than Gronkowski? I am going to need your help Bucs fans. As the season gets closer, I need y’all to start a social media campaign telling Gronk that he needs to be a guest of the show. Maybe he will even convince Tom Brady to join him. That would be epic.
For those who didn’t watch, yes I’m talking to the 98.3 percent of you reading this, below is an episode from last season – a good one with Will Gholston. (Shameless plug)
One last thing about Gronkowski. my favorite Gronkowski moment came last New Year’s Eve when he was on with Steve Harvey waiting on the ball to drop on New Year’s Eve. Here is the clip.
My favorite Gronk clip – the time he destroyed Steve Harvey’s LEGO head on national tv then mocked him.
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, the beach and family time.Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
PewterReport.com prides itself on being the most complete, comprehensive news source covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and delivering inside scoop on the team found nowhere else.