Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2020 Bucs Mock Draft Roundup 15.0

Georgia's Andrew Thomas seems to be leading the way in who draft pundits are predicting the Bucs will pick at No. 14 overall in the NFL draft next week.

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Georgia tackle Andrew Thomas participates in the vertical jump during the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine, Friday, Feb. 28, 2020 in Indianapolis. (Ben Liebenberg 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 getting more and more clear with draft pundits from around the country continuing to weigh 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 end of this month.

NFL.com

Pick: OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia

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

Pick: OT Jedrick Wills, Alabama

Comments: "When you sign the G.O.A.T., you protect the G.O.A.T. Wills is a skilled pass blocker who should help keep TB12 upright.

Pick: OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia

Comments: "The Bucs may have landed the big fish of free agency in Tom Brady, but bringing back Ndamukong Suh, Jason Pierre-Paul and Shaq Barrett could be just as important in 2020. Keeping Brady upright so he can get the ball to his two 1,000-yard receivers is, of course, a priority. Thomas can play guard or tackle for Tampa Bay and was a dominant run blocker for a host of running backs during his time at UGA."

Pick: OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia

Comments: "Thomas is a versatile tackle who will protect Tom Brady and fit the Bucs' downhill play-action passing game."

ESPN

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."

Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN (March 20)

Pick: OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia

Comments: "After the Bucs largely bypassed free agency to address their offensive line -- they did add swing tackle Joe Haeg -- this is the spot in which they need to get help protecting Tom Brady. (It felt strange to type that.) With Demar Dotson still a free agent, the right tackle spot is wide open. Thomas played both left and right tackle for the Bulldogs, and he would help keep Brady's jersey clean. I also thought about a running back to help Brady, with D'Andre Swift a great option to catch a bunch of passes from the future Hall of Famer. But offensive tackle feels like a lock at this point."

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 Andrew Thomas, Georgia

Comments: "This is best-case for the Bucs, who need a right tackle because they signed some guy named Tom Brady. Thomas is a top-flight left tackle who began his college career on the right side."

Bleacher Report

Pick: OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia

Comments: "The Tampa Bay Buccaneers added the GOAT in Tom Brady, but now they have to protect him. The best-case scenario is for Andrew Thomas to be available at No. 14 overall to do just that.

Thomas, a three-year starter at Georgia, is a rock-solid left tackle with a no-nonsense approach to the position. He's not flashy athletic, and he's not mammoth strong (6'5", 315 lbs). But he is poised and patient as a pass protector and strong enough in the running game to cause problems for defenses.

With Brady and head coach Bruce Arians wanting to win from the pocket, improving the edge of the offensive line is a massive need. With one pick, the Bucs can solve their most important position."

Pewter Report

Pick(s):

Round 1: OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia

Comments: "The Bucs have a pressing need at offensive tackle, especially on the right side with the contract of 34-year old Demar Dotson expiring this offseason. Joe Haeg was signed this offseason and is the current projected starter there until Thomas is ready to assume that role. That could very well come in Week 1 of Thomas' rookie year because he's that talented.

Tampa Bay was fortunate to see Thomas slide down to No. 14 and doesn't hesitate pick him. Of the top four tackles in the 2020 NFL Draft class, Thomas ranks behind Iowa's Tristan Wirfs, Louisville's Mekhi Becton and Alabama's Jedrick Wills in terms of athleticism, but he's athletic enough to be a quality starter in the NFL for a decade."

Round 2: WR Brandon Aiyuk, ASU

Comments: "After the Buccaneers address the tackle position with the selection of Georgia's Andrew Thomas in the first round, the second round offers up a bit of a surprise selection in Aiyuk, a speedy receiver from Arizona State. Tampa Bay needs a No. 3 receiver for Bruce Arians' three-receiver sets, and lost Breshad Perriman to the New York Jets in free agency.

Conventional wisdom suggests that the Bucs might take a running back in the second round, but the team won't reach for one just to fill a need. It has to be the right running back with a grade worthy of selecting with the 45th overall pick. There is a chance that Wisconsin's Jonathan Taylor, Georgia's D'Andre Swift, Ohio State's J.K. Dobbins and LSU's Clyde Edwards-Helaire are gone by the time Tampa Bay is on the clock in the second round.

Whether that scenario unfolds or not, wide receiver became a priority with Perriman's departure. The Bucs address that position by selecting Aiyuk, a perfect fit in the team's vertical passing attack."

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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