In the weeks leading up to the NFL Draft, many analysts have suggested that the Buccaneers could use their first-round pick on a running back. In this week’s Mock Draft Roundup, two different running backs were projected to Tampa Bay – Florida State’s Dalvin Cook and Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey. Cook is a popular name associated with the Bucs, having been linked to the team by several major outlets in the past weeks, while McCaffrey’s stock continues to rise after a strong performance at the NFL Scouting Combine.
But earlier this week, a new running back was linked to the Buccaneers at No. 19. In their most recent mock draft, Pro Football Focus listed LSU’s Leonard Fournette as the Buccaneers’ first-round pick. PFF has Cook going No. 17 to the Redskins and McCaffrey going No. 27 to the Chiefs.
“Fournette would have been a good fit for Washington, but he also fits what Tampa Bay is trying to build offensively,” PFF’s Steve Palazzolo wrote. “RB Doug Martin is coming off an injury-riddled season, and Fournette can take right over in the Bucs’ downhill scheme that works well with his strengths. At his best, Fournette led the nation in forced missed tackles in 2015, with 83, as he brings speed and power to the position—even though he may be limited in the passing game.”
Many believe Fournette could be the top running back in this year’s class. He shined at the NFL Scouting Combine, running the 40-yard dash in 4.51 seconds at 240 pounds.
Others players linked to the Buccaneers in recent mock drafts including Washington wide receiver John Ross, Connecticut safety Obi Melifonwu and Alabama tight end O.J. Howard. For this week’s complete Mock Draft Roundup, click HERE.