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Mike Mayock Raves About DeForest Buckner

Posted Feb 23, 2016

NFL Media's Mike Mayock believes that, down the road, Buckner could become the best defensive player in this year's draft. Many draft analysts believe the Bucs will select him with the No. 9 pick.

So far, ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay has released two mock drafts. In each of his predictions, he has the Buccaneers drafting Oregon defensive end DeForest Buckner with the ninth overall pick. CBS Sports’ Rob Rang agrees – listing Buckner as Tampa Bay’s selection in his own mock draft.

READ: BUCCANEERS' MOCK DRAFT ROUNDUP

Should he fall to No. 9, most analysts agree the Bucs would be landing one of, if not the best defensive lineman in the country. Nearly every mock draft available has Buckner as a top-ten pick, with many listing him in the top five. NFL Media’s Daniel Jeremiah has Buckner listed as the fifth-best prospect in the country and the second-best defensive end, one spot behind Ohio State’s Joey Bosa.

Jeremiah’s colleague, Mike Mayock, has him listed as the top defensive lineman in the country in his position rankings. When asked about Buckner, Mayock said he was very impressed with what he’s seen.

“I think he’s special,” Mayock said on NFL Network. “I think he’s a stud. He’s 6-8, 295. He can play up and down the defensive line of scrimmage. He’s nasty, he’s tough, he’s powerful. He’s got a little Reggie White hump move that’s awesome. Eight to 10 years from now, I think he’ll be one of the guys that we’ll be looking back at that will be in the conversation as the best defensive player to come out of this draft.”

VOTE: WHO SHOULD THE BUCS DRAFT AT NO. 9?

Mayock has Buckner listed as an interior defensive lineman, with pass-rushers being listed separately. Buckner would likely be a defensive end if he ended up in Tampa Bay, though. He played on the edge during his time at Oregon, but is versatile enough to move inside if asked.

Buccaneer fans would like to see the Bucs draft Buckner, or another defensive end, too. Each week, Bucs fans are asked to vote in a poll listing which position they would most like the Bucs to draft in the first round. Of those who voted, 43% would like the Bucs to draft a defensive end while 40% would prefer the team select a cornerback. In total, almost 90% of voters would like the Bucs to draft a defensive player in the first round.