"What do you get the team that has everything?" That's the question being asked by multiple draft analysts when trying to predict what the Buccaneers will do in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft at pick number 32.
The truth is, not even the Buccaneers know for certain, with General Manager Jason Licht saying on Wednesday that the team will look to take the best player available and that all options are on the table, including trading up or back.
After bringing back all of the Super Bowl starters from the 2020 team, the Bucs have a lot of 'wants' but not a lot of 'needs' as Licht put it. As a result, draftniks have wildly differing opinions of what the Bucs will do, including a trade down, with no two analysts naming the same prospect yet again.
See below for a full list of potential picks from experts around the league.
- Maurice Jones-Drew, NFL.com (April 13)
- Pick: S Trevon Moehrig, TCU
- Comments: "When you bring back all 22 starters from a Super Bowl team, you have the luxury of taking the best player available. Moehrig adds secondary depth and could become a starter by midseason."
- Peter Schrager, NFL.com (April 8)
- Pick: QB Davis Mills, Stanford
- Comments: "I don't know where Mills goes exactly, but the buzz around the league is that he could be a first-round pick and will most likely be the sixth quarterback selected. I'll throw him to Tampa Bay, where he can learn from a pretty good QB1."
- Daniel Jeremiah, NFL.com (April 6)
- Pick: WR Elijah Moore, Ole Miss
- Comments: This is a luxury pick for the Bucs as they try to run it back with some insurance in case they do not re-sign Antonio Brown. Moore is a dynamic playmaker with a different skill set than Mike Evans and Chris Godwin."
- Mel Kiper Jr. & Todd McShay, ESPN (April 20)
- 1st Round – OT Jalen Mayfield, Michigan (Todd's pick)
- 2nd Round – WR Tylan Wallace, Oklahoma State (Todd's pick
- Comments: [Mayfield] "Mayfield is a drive blocker who can help open lanes for the Bucs' running game. I think he'd serve as a swing tackle early on before eventually earning a starting gig opposite 2020 first-rounder Tristan Wirfs."
- [Wallace] "Antonio Brown doesn't appear to be returning, and Tom Brady is at his best when he can get the ball to multiple targets. Wallace has a lot of speed, too."
The Draft Network
- Benjamin Solak, The Draft Network (April 20)
- Pick: TRADE with PHI
- Comments: "Philadelphia receives: 2021 first-round pick (32 overall)
- Tampa Bay receives: 2021 second-round pick (37 overall), 2021 fourth-round pick (123), 2021 sixth-round pick (225)
- Tampa fielded two trade-up offers here: one from the Eagles, and one from the Chargers, who need to address their tackle room after neglecting it in Round 1. I gave the Eagles the trade-up package here, as there's more talent in the tackle class for the Chargers to wait on—the same is not true for the cornerback room."
- Trevor Sikkema, The Draft Network (April 16)
- Pick: OL Landon Dickerson, Alabama
- Comments: "What do you get the team that has everything? The next best thing in the offensive trenches, that's what. Dickerson would be a surefire first-round player if it weren't for his extensive injury history. That might push him to the second round. But with Tampa as the gatekeepers of Round 2, perhaps they could make Dickerson a first-rounder after all.
- The Buccaneers have their whole starting five from last year returning for 2021, but how often do you get through a whole season with no injuries on the offensive line? Not often. Dickerson has the size and athletic profiles to play all five spots on the offensive line as a reserve for 2021, and with both Ryan Jensen and Alex Cappa free agents for 2022, they can have some flexibility with who to pay."
Pro Football Focus
- Sam Monson (April 12)
- Pick: WR Elijah Moore, Ole Miss
- Comments: "To me, Elijah Moore, and any slot-only receiver in the NFL, is a luxury pick in the first round, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have earned themselves exactly that. Between winning the Super Bowl and then successfully taking care of business so far this offseason to almost exactly run it back in terms of personnel, the Bucs have arguably the best roster in the league heading into a defense of their title. The only player of significance from last year's team not currently back with the team is Antonio Brown, who had a couple of big games down the stretch.
- Moore would give them the ability to move on from Brown and not worry about depth at receiver should injuries bite the way they did last season. He would compete with Tyler Johnson, the team's 2020 fifth-round selection, to pick up the slack in that eventuality. I have real concerns about Moore's ability to play on the outside in the NFL, but there is a good chance he would never need to with Tampa Bay, which would immediately maximize his potential impact."
- Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports (April 20)
- Pick: DL Levi Onwuzurike, Washington
- Comments: "What do you get the team that has everything? How about one of the best players in this class who will make an already dominant defense even better. That's Onwuzurike, who opted out in 2020 but looked in mid-season form when he showed up at the Senior Bowl."
- Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports (April 21)
- Pick: OL Alex Leatherwood, Alabama
- Comments: "Leatherwood represents the future of the offensive line for Tampa, and he could play guard early in his career."
- Scott Reynolds, Pewter Report (April 12)
- Round 1 – C Landon Dickerson, Alabama
- Round 2 – OLB Payton Turner, Houston
- Round 3 – RB Michael Carter, North Carolina
- Round 4 – ILB Derrick Barnes, Purdue
- Round 5 – WR-TE Jacob Harris, UCF
- Round 6 – RB Demetric Felton, UCLA
- Round 7 – DT Jonathan Marshall, Arkansas
- Round 7 – TE Tony Poljan, Virginia
- Comments: [Dickerson] "The Bucs will be looking for players who love football and play the game with a passion. No one may be more passionate about football than Dickerson, who is selected with the No. 32 overall pick.
- After tearing his ACL in the SEC Championship Game against Georgia, Dickerson still dressed for the National Championship Game and begged head coach Nick Saban to snap the ball at the end of the end of the game. After that happened and the Crimson Tide won, Dickerson hoisted Saban into the air – doing so with a surgically-repaired knee."
- Steven Cheah, Barstool Sports (April 12)
- Pick: CB Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech
- Comments: "Sometimes injuries work in a team's favor. The Bucs catch some luck with Farley who falls almost out of the 1st round. He falls a bit because of his back surgery which is supposedly minimally invasive and he should be ready for off-season activities. Farley was the first big, notable opt out for 2020. He's a really interesting prospect that came to Virginia Tech as a Wide Receiver. But at 6'2" 207 lbs. he offers plus size at the Cornerback position. He plays with with good aggression and can tackle too. The Bucs have a good set of Cornerbacks, but Carlton Davis is entering a contract year and Farley gives the team a nice insurance policy in case he walks while still being able to contribute Year 1."