Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2021 Bucs Mock Draft Roundup 7.0

The Buccaneers are returning most of their 2020 starters after a flurry of free agency moves that now bring a clearer focus to their draft needs.

MDR7.0
(AP Photo/Roger Steinman)

The trade that blew up everyone's mock drafts hit last Friday afternoon with the San Francisco 49ers trading up to the third overall pick with the Miami Dolphins, who subsequently moved back up to No. 6 thanks to the Philadelphia Eagles who traded back to No. 12.

The domino effect was immense and it now looks as though three quarterbacks will go in the first three picks of the draft. Depending on what Atlanta does at No. 4, there could be four quarterbacks in the top five, which has never happened before. But we all know quarterbacks rise, that is except for one that NFL.com's Bucky Brooks has falling all the way to the Bucs at No. 32. Yes, we have a draft analyst taking a quarterback as the last pick of the first round and becoming the heir-apparent to Tom Brady, who just signed an extension with the team to remain in Tampa until 2022.

Save for that outlier, many more pundits are honing in on defense again for the Buccaneers, but are focusing more on the interior of the defensive line.

See below for a full list of potential picks from experts around the league.

NFL.com

  • Pick: QB Mac Jones, Alabama
  • Comments: "Tom Brady just signed an extension at age 43, but the Bucs could grab a successor to learn from the G.O.A.T. over the next few years."
  • Pick: RB Najee Harris, Alabama
  • Comments: "Assuming the Bucs' focus is on their championship window, Harris would offer a three-down option who can help the run game and take pressure off of Tom Brady's shoulders."
  • Pick: LB Zaven Collins, Tulsa
  • Comments: "The Bucs add an athletic freak to an already loaded defense. Collins' ability to shoot gaps and slice through the O-line is scary, and he has solid coverage skills, too. The Super Bowl champs get better with this pick."

ESPN

Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN (March 23)

  • Pick: DT Christian Barmore, Alabama
  • Comments: "The Bucs have spent free agency getting the band back together for another season, with wide receiver Chris Godwin, tight end Rob Gronkowski and edge rusher Shaquil Barrett among the players who have been re-signed. Barmore could be a replacement for Ndamukong Suh, who doesn't yet have a free-agent deal. Barmore was a game-wrecker down the stretch for the Crimson Tide, with five sacks in his final five games. He would be an outstanding fit next to nose tackle Vita Vea, who has emerged as one of the most dominant defensive linemen in the NFL."

Todd McShay, ESPN (March 4)

  • Pick: ILB Jamin Davis, Kentucky
  • Comments: "Tampa Bay can replenish a front seven that could look a lot different in Week 1 than it did on Super Bowl Sunday. Davis could potentially be considered a reach here, but he's very underrated, and I love his tape. If the Buccaneers can't hang on to Lavonte David, Davis -- who made 102 tackles and picked off three passes last season -- could slide into his role alongside Devin White. Someone like Alabama defensive tackle Christian Barmore also makes some sense here."

The Draft Network

  • Pick: DT Christian Barmore, Alabama
  • Comments: "The Super Bowl champs don't have many holes. But with Ndamukong Suh not getting any younger, they select his replacement in Christian Barmore. Barmore gets to learn from Suh for a year before stepping in to replace him."
  • Pick: RB Javonte Williams, North Carolina
  • Pick: DL Levi Onwuzurike, Washington
  • Comments: "Tampa Bay is primed to run it back in 2021, but the one spot on the roster that remains in question is the defensive line and the void left behind should Ndamukong Suh not return. Onwuzurike has an appealing pass-rushing skill set and the ability to penetrate the line of scrimmage while also featuring a stout anchor and positional flexibility along the defensive line. He could help replace Suh and solidify the defensive line rotation as the Buccaneers gear up for another title run."

Pro Football Focus

  • Picks:
    Round 1 – OT Walker Little, Stanford
    Round 2 – EDGE Joe Tryon, Washington
  • Comments: [Little] "Walker Little would be coveted as one of the best players in this class if he didn't miss nearly all of the 2019 season and opt out of the 2020 season. He's a former five-star recruit with ridiculous athleticism for his size. Tristan Wirfs was a home run for the Bucs a year ago, and Little could be exactly that as a developmental piece behind Donovan Smith while the veteran plays out the rest of his contract."

CBS Sports

  • Pick: OL Jalen Mayfield, Michigan
  • Comments: "The Bucs don't have many needs -- they kept the Super Bowl band together -- but if the plan is to run it back with Tom Brady, they might as well do their best to make sure he's well protected. Mayfield is an unfinished product but he has flashed first-round traits."
  • Pick: LB Zaven Collins, Tulsa
  • Comments: "Another linebacker? Given Lavonte David's age, why not? Plus, Collins is a tremendous blitzer and can flex out into the slot when needed."

Pewter Report

  • Pick: RB Javonte Williams, North Carolina
  • Comments: "Yes, Miami EDGE players Jaelan Phillips and Gregory Rousseau are still on the board in this mock draft, and Phillips is unquestionably the best edge rusher in the draft on tape. But Phillips has some off-field concerns in his past, including three concussions that forced him to medically retire for about a year. Will teams be comfortable enough with his past to select him in Round 1? Maybe. It's hard for me to know from the outside looking in.
  • I don't love selecting a running back in Round 1, but it's hard to get comfortable with most of the top defensive prospects in this draft class, especially along the defensive line. I think Tampa Bay is going to see Williams as the three-down back that the team has searched for over the past few years. Even if Leonard Fournette returns on a one-year deal, he and Ronald Jones II will both be free agents next offseason, and I doubt Ke'Shawn Vaughn will be capable of manning a full-time role."

Barstool Sports

  • Pick: DT Daviyon Nixon, Iowa
  • Comments: "The Bucs go to the well for the third year in a row taking an Iowa player in the trenches (2019: Anthony Nelson, 2020: Tristan Wirfs). The defending champs re-signed Ndamukong Suh to a 1-year deal, but need to lay a foundation for after this year. Nixon is a freakshow athlete that can generate some pressure and hold up against the run."

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