What goes around comes around and just like the artist of that song, one of the more popular picks for the Buccaneers in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft according to draft experts around the league also has JT as his initials. He also happens to be my original pick in our Buccaneers.com mock drafts and his name is Joe Tryon out of Washington. There was some buzz about Vita Vea's former teammate early in the draft cycle and then he largely dropped out of analysts' predictions… until the week of the actual draft.
Between him and Miami's Gregory Rousseau, many pundits have the Bucs taking an edge rusher to shore up a rotation with Jason Pierre-Paul and Shaq Barrett. But as General Manager Jason Licht said last week, the Bucs only have 'wants' this year rather than 'needs' after returning all 22 Super Bowl starters. They have the luxury of truly taking best playeer available and we will find out this Thursday night who that happens to be.
See below for a full list of potential picks from experts around the league.
- Bucky Brooks, NFL.com (April 27)
- Pick: EDGE Gregory Rousseau, Miami
- Comments: "The Bucs could prepare for JPP's potential departure next March by taking his clone at the end of Round 1.The Miami standout is an intriguing pass rusher with the length and athleticism to give blockers problems off the edge and inside."
- Rhett Lewis, NFL.com (April 26)
- Pick: EDGE Jayson Oweh, Penn State
- Comments: "A luxury pick here for the Bucs, as they attempt to go for two and repeat as Super Bowl champs. Tampa inked Shaq Barrett to an extension and brought JPP back, too, but the supremely athletic Oweh gets a chance to learn from two of the best at the position, while contributing in a rotational role off the edge. Seeing how vital pass rush was in Tampa's playoff run, supporting that aspect of last season's success seems like a solid move."
- Chad Reuter, NFL.com (April 23)
- Round 1 – Gregory Rousseau, Miami
- Round 2 – DT Daviyon Nixon, Iowa
- Round 3 – LB Chazz Surratt, North Carolina
- Round 4 – OG Aaron Banks, Notre Dame
- Round 5 – QB Sam Ehlinger, Texas
- Round 6 – OT Royce Newman, Ole Miss
- Round 7 – CB Jason Pinnock, Pitt, WR Rico Bussey, Hawaii
- Comments: Rousseau] “Rousseau's an excellent fit for Tampa Bay because he can play the five-technique to give veterans [William Gholston and Ndamukong Suh a breather. He can also stand up at times, which would address a need for Tampa in 2022 if Jason Pierre-Paul were to move on in free agency. Suh and Gholston are also scheduled to be free agents after this season, so I wouldn't be surprised if the Bucs select front-seven defenders with their first two picks."
- 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
- Jake Arians, The Draft Network (April 27)
- Pick: QB Mac Jones, Alabama
- Comments: "While many thought Jones could go as high as No. 3, when he made it out of the top 10 the QB needs changed. He falls all the way to No. 32 to the World Champion Buccaneers as the future successor to Tom Brady. Jones and the Buccaneers should be thrilled with this outcome."
- Justin Melo, The Draft Network (April 27)
- Pick: EDGE Joe Tryon, Washington
- Comments: "What do you give the team that just won the Super Bowl and brought everybody back? You continue to invest in what got you there. The Buccaneers rode an elite defense to an easy win in Super Bowl LV. They value their ability to get after the quarterback. Jason Pierre-Paul is entering his age-33 season. Tryon would give them another fun piece that could develop into a full-time starter in a year or two. Tryon is long, explosive, and downright athletic. The Buccaneers have the coaching staff and system in place to help a player like Tryon flourish."
- Trevor Sikkema, The Draft Network (April 26)
- Pick: RB Travis Etienne, Clemson
- Comments: "The Buccaneers brought in a lot of running back help, but don't have much long-term security at the position. They could also go defensive line here for future depth, but for as many running backs as they have, none have the home run ability of Etienne."
Pro Football Focus
- Eric Eager & George Chahrouri (April 26)
- Pick: WR Rondale Moore, Purdue
- Comments: "Strengthening a strength is by no means a bad thing. The Bucs rode the deepest receiving corps to a Super Bowl last season, and Moore should fit in perfectly. Moore, who missed much of the past two seasons, is as dangerous with the ball in his hands as anyone in this draft. He is another weapon for Tom Brady's arsenal."
- Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports (April 27)
- Pick: TRADE with Dallas
- Comments: "The Bucs, who have everyone but Antonio Brown back from the Super Bowl-winning team (and AB could re-sign soon), trade down and the Cowboys move up to get another need on the defensive side of the ball: safety. TRADE DETAILS: Cowboys trade up from No. 44 to No. 32; Bucs get picks No. 44, No. 75."
- Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports (April 27)
- 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."
- John Ledyard, Pewter Report (April 27)
- Pick: EDGE Joe Tryon, Washington
- Comments: "I'm not bullish on Tryon, but landing with the Bucs gives him a much better chance to succeed than most spots in the NFL. In Tampa Bay, Tryon can continue to develop behind Shaq Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul, earning playing time sparingly as a much-needed No. 3 edge rusher. For the next year or two, Tryon's presence could be a welcome depth addition. The question is if he'll reach his ceiling in time to be a desirable full-time starter in the NFL.
- Other players the Bucs could consider if the board falls like this mock draft: Georgia CB Tyson Campbell, Georgia EDGE Azeez Ojulari, Penn State EDGE Jayson Oweh, Minnesota WR Rashod Bateman, Notre Dame OT Liam Eichenberg (to move to guard), UNC RB Javonte Williams and Alabama C Landon Dickerson, if his health checks out."
- 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."