2020 Bucs Mock Draft Roundup 10.0

LSU linebacker K'Lavon Chaisson poses for a portrait during the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine, Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2020 in Indianapolis. (Todd Rosenberg via AP)
LSU linebacker K'Lavon Chaisson poses for a portrait during the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine, Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2020 in Indianapolis. (Todd Rosenberg via AP)

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers hold the 14th overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft. As such, the field for potential first-round draft picks is wide open and despite it being January, draft pundits from around the country continue to weigh in.

The Bucs' needs and draft focus will be largely affected by what they are able to do (or not do) in free agency. With that in mind, let's see who the analysts have as front-runners to land in Tampa Bay come end of April.

NFL.com

Pick: EDGE K'Lavon Chaisson, LSU

Comments: "No matter what happens with pending free agent Shaq Barrett, adding Chaisson to this Todd Bowles-led defense is the fastest road to wins added at pick No. 14."

Pick: EDGE K'Lavon Chaisson, LSU

Comments: "The Bucs need to work out the contract situation with Shaq Barrett, who is headed for free agency after posting 19.5 sacks in 2019, but adding more punch on the defensive line would make sense no matter what happens."

Pick(s): 1st round – EDGE A.J. Epenesa, Iowa; 2nd round – RB J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State; 3rd round – OT Ben Bartch, St. John's

Comments: "Even if Shaq Barrett returns, as is expected, the Bucs could use another big body like Epenesa on the defensive line."

NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah breaks down this year's draft.

ESPN

Todd McShay, ESPN (March 2)

Pick: RB D'Andre Swift, Georgia                                                                  

Comments: "Swift is explosive, and while Ronald Jones II looked good at moments in 2019, the Bucs could use some explosion in the run game. Hand him the ball, and watch him make one cut and turn on his 4.48 40 speed. Tampa Bay was bottom-third in rushing last season and ranked 17th in receptions by running backs. Swift, one of the best pass-catching RBs in the class, would help in both areas. But keep an eye on QB and edge rusher too. If Jameis Winston doesn't return and Love or Herbert slide, this could be a good landing spot. And with all of the Bucs' potential losses to their pass rush, reaching for someone such as LSU defensive end K'Lavon Chaisson here could be in play."

Pick: EDGE K'Lavon Chaisson, LSU

Comments: "I mentioned in my Mock Draft 1.0 the Bucs' possible departures along the defensive line -- Ndamukong SuhCarl NassibJason Pierre-Paul and Beau Allen are all free agents -- and Chaisson would be a perfect fit as an outside linebacker in Todd Bowles' 3-4 defense. Chaisson had just 9.5 sacks in his college career, but this is a bet on a terrific upside for a twitchy pass-rusher who should test well at the combine later this month. After taking Devin White in the first round last year, Tampa can go back to the LSU well here with Chaisson."

The Draft Network

Pick(s): Round 1 – OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia; Round 2 – QB Jacob Eason, Washington; Round 3 – RB Eno Benjamin, ASU

Comments:

Thomas: "The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' offense is ready to fly in Year 2 under Bruce Arians. But this time without the interceptions. Sure, Tampa Bay could look at a quarterback here, but the odds are strong that its QB of choice may be lingering later in the draft — so the time is now to target Andrew Thomas, who can challenge Donovan Smith at left tackle and should provide a boost up front after testing with better athleticism than expected in Indianapolis."

Eason: "Ah-ha! The Buccaneers do get their young quarterback to groom. This is the best scheme fit in the league for Jacob Eason."

Benjamin: "A complimentary pass-catching back in Arians' offense makes a lot of sense and if the Buccaneers don't secure a veteran to fill the void, Eno Benjamin has plenty of pass-catching on his resume (82 receptions)."

Pro Football Focus

(Analytics) Eric Eager & George Chahrouri (March 9)

Pick: S Grant Delpit, LSU

Comments: "The Bucs have quietly built a defense over the last year. They invested heavily in the cornerback position last season, and Delpit adds another playmaker on the back end. Delpit is projected to have the best playmaker rate (pass breakups plus interceptions) of any safety in this class, and he comps to the likes of Devin McCourty and Earl Thomas III.

CBS Sports

Pick: OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia

Comments: "Thomas is the fourth offensive linemen off the board, and he's the fourth offensive linemen to help himself with a strong combine performance. In Tampa Bay, he solidifies an offensive line that ranked in the bottom third in both pass protection and run blocking, according to Football Outsiders."

Bleacher Report

Pick: EDGE K'Lavon Chaisson, LSU

Comments: "Star pass-rusher Shaquil Barrett is set to become a free agent alongside starting quarterback Jameis Winston, with the Buccaneers only able to use the franchise tag on one of them. Statements made by head coach Bruce Arians throughout the offseason hint at a possible Winston departure. But whether Barrett, Winston or both are back next season, Tampa needs to head into the draft thinking about adding to each position.

LSU's K'Lavon Chaisson is a truly special athlete and player at the outside linebacker position. The Tigers asked Chaisson to rush the quarterback but he was also tasked often with dropping into coverage or stacking up against the run. In that way, he's more like 2019 draft pick Josh Allen from Kentucky than he is a pure pass-rusher.

A quarterback could definitely be the selection here, but in my rankings, there isn't a passer worthy of the No. 14 overall selection, which is something Arians and general manager Jason Licht must consider when deciding how to fill the quarterback depth chart this offseason."

Pewter Report

Pick(s):

Round 1: RB Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin

Round 1: [TRADE] OL Josh Jones, Houston at No. 23 after trading the team's second-round pick and TE O.J. Howard to New England

Round 3: CB Bryce Hall, Virginia

Round 4: G Damien Lewis, LSU

Round 4 (compensatory): WR/RB Antonio Gibson, Memphis

Round 5: QB Nate Stanley, Iowa

Round 6: ILB Shaquille Quarterman, Miami

Comments: "What?! The Bucs draft a running back in the first round – with the 14th overall pick?

Yes, Taylor, who averaged 2,000 yards per season for three years at Wisconsin, is worth drafting in the middle of the first round because he's an elite player. Several 1,000-yard rushers, including Saquon Barkley (second overall, 2018), Christian McCaffrey (eighth overall, 2017) and Ezekiel Elliott (fourth overall, 2016), were all elite backs coming out of college and were drafted inside the Top 10.

The fact that the top four offensive tackles – Alabama's Jedrick Wills, Louisville's Mekhi Becton, Iowa's Tristan Wirfs and Georgia's Andrew Thomas – will likely all get drafted by the time Tampa Bay is on the clock allows the Bucs to take the top running back in the draft."

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