Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2020 Bucs Mock Draft Roundup 16.0

The FINAL mock draft roundup before we find out the real thing this weekend. Draft week is here!

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Houston offensive lineman Josh Jones (74) during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Washington St. Friday, Sept. 13, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)

The final roundup! It's draft week and tthe Tampa Bay Buccaneers hold the 14th overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft. As such, the field for potential first-round draft picks is getting more and more clear with draft pundits from around the country getting their last minute choices in.

The Bucs' needs and draft focus have been greatly affected by what they were able to do in free agency. With that in mind, let's see who the analysts have as front-runners to land in Tampa Bay come Thursday night and beyond.

NFL.com

Pick: OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia

Comments: "Thomas could go earlier because of his length and sturdy build (6-5, 315). The Bucs would love to see him or Becton in this spot so they can protect new sensation "Tampa Brady."

Pick: OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia

Comments: "Keeping Tom Brady upright in 2020 has to be the most important thing for Tampa's offense. The Bucs' offensive line isn't bad, but they could use another talented big body. Thomas could go as high as the top 10 if there's a run on tackles, though he's viewed by most teams as the fourth OT off the board."

Pick: OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia

Comments: "Adding protection around Tom Brady is priority No.1 for the Buccaneers."

Pick: OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia

Comments: "The Bucs are all in on Tom Brady. Adding some protection for him is a good idea."

ESPN

Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN (April 14)

Picks: Round 1 - OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia; Round 2 – RB Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin

Comments: Round 1:
"I'll stick with offensive tackle here, as it is the best way to help Tom Brady and a Bucs team that is trying to win now. Thomas started the past two seasons at left tackle for the Bulldogs, but he was their starting right tackle as a freshman, so he has some experience there. This is too high for a running back, but Tampa Bay could address that position in Round 2."

Round 2: "How about this help for Tom BradyRonald Jones II was in and out of Bruce Arians' doghouse last season, so it wouldn't be surprising for the Bucs to target a running back on Day 2. Taylor rushed for 6,174 yards in his career, but he also lost 15 fumbles, and that's how you catch Arians' ire. Taylor's 4.39 40-yard dash at the combine was an eye-opener, though, and there's a chance he's the top back off the board."

Todd McShay, ESPN (March 30)

Picks: Round 1: OT Mekhi Becton, Louisville Round 2: S Jeremy Chinn, Southern Ill.          

Comments: Round 1: "I had Georgia running back D'Andre Swift going to Tampa Bay in my last mock, and it's still a possibility. But after going all-in on Tom Brady, the Bucs really need to focus on protecting him. And right tackle is a priority with Demar Dotson not likely to return. The 6-foot-7, 364-pound Becton carries his frame incredibly well and would help reduce Tampa Bay's 2019 tally of 47 sacks allowed."

Round 2: "Only two teams gave up more passing yards than the Bucs' 270.1 per game in 2019, and Chinn comes with versatility to move around in the secondary."

The Draft Network

Pick: OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia

Comments: "The Tampa Bay Buccaneers can't turn their nose up at a starting-caliber tackle now that Tom Brady is there. Andrew Thomas is pro-ready too."

Pick: OT Jedrick Wills, Alabama

Comments: "The Bucs are in win-now mode. Finding protection for Tom Brady is at the top of their list and Wills proves to be a day one starter at right tackle."

Pick: [TRADE UP] OT Jedrick Wills Jr., Alabama at Pick No. 8

Comments: "YES. YES. YES. HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO SAY YES? Y-E-S."

Pro Football Focus

Pick: DT Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina

Comments: "The signing of Joe Haeg means the Buccaneers don't have togo offensive tackle. And at this point, the value looks like it will be elsewhere. Kinlaw's 91.7 pass-rushing grade over the past two seasons is the highest of any interior player in the draft class."

CBS Sports

Pick: OT Josh Jones, Houston

Comments: "The Bucs don't move up for a OT but they take the best available at No. 14. Jones had a fantastic 2019 season and an even better Senior Bowl, and in Tampa he'll be tasked with protecting 43-year-old Tom Brady."

Bleacher Report

Pick: OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia

Comments: "Contrary to popular belief, the Buccaneers have a pretty good offensive line. Left tackle Donovan Smith, center Ryan Jensen and guard Ali Marpet are all solid, particularly in pass protection.

The line's bad reputation comes because the Bucs are the only team in the NFL incapable of finding replacement-caliber running backs, and because we assume that a quarterback's protection must have been terrible when he throws 30 interceptions in a year, not that he thinks underneath zone defenders don't really exist.

Of course, no team signs 43-year old Tom Brady and thinks: "Yep, our line is good enough. No need to protect our investment at all!" And the Bucs appear to be moving on from the aging Demar Dotson, leaving a huge hole at right tackle. Andrew Thomas is the smoothest and most fundamentally sound of this year's top tackles. He should be able to step right in and provide both Brady and Bruce Arians a little peace of mind."

Pewter Report

Pick(s):

Round 1: OT Josh Jones, Houston

Comments: "We wouldn't be surprised if that ultimately happens, but in our final mock draft, we have Jones going to Tampa Bay at No. 14.

Why?

Because there is a good chance that the top four offensive tackles – Alabama's Jedrick Wills, Iowa's Tristan Wirfs, Louisville's Mekhi Becton and Georgia's Andrew Thomas – will be gone by the time Tampa Bay is on the clock. The Bucs have done plenty of research on Jones, who allowed just 18 pressures on 1,282 passing plays in his four years as a starter at Houston, according to ProFootballFocus.com."

Round 2: RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, LSU

Comments: "Edwards-Helaire makes a return appearance in the final PewterReport.com Bucs mock draft, after first appearing in the second edition as the team's second-rounder following the Senior Bowl. After drafting Houston offensive tackle Josh Jones in the first round, the Buccaneers upgrade their running game with Edwards-Helaire in the second round.

Round 3: RB Cam Akers, Florida State

Comments "Tampa Bay finishes out Day 2 by staying on offense and getting another weapon for Tom Brady in Akers, a multi-purpose running back that can make big plays carrying the ball or catching it. Akers had a pair of 1,000-yard seasons at Florida State running behind one of the worst offensive lines in college football. He also didn't have the benefit of good quarterback play and a consistent passing attack, which meant teams would often stack the box against the Seminoles on early downs to stuff the run and attempt to stymie Akers."

See full article for all seven rounds.

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