We knew that the Buccaneers picking last in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft meant a lack of parity among predictions within the mock draft community but up until this point, we had still seen some recurring names each week.
This week, each draft analyst has a completely different idea for which prospect the Bucs could choose come April 29. It ranges the gamut from NFL Network's Peter Schrager picking a quarterback for Tampa Bay to Chris Trapasso of CBS Sports picking a cornerback.
See below for a full list of potential picks from experts around the league.
- 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."
- Adam Rank, NFL.com (April 1)
- Pick: CB Asante Samuel Jr., Florida State
- Comments: "All right, nostalgia might be getting the best of me here. But I don't think it's a reach to go cornerback at this spot. Especially since there are so few needs on this team. And if I'm being honest, sons of former NFL players have done well in the Bucs' secondary. But that's only if you follow the trends."
- Todd McShay, ESPN (April 5)
- 1st Round – OLB Zaven Collins, Tulsa
- 2nd Round – OT James Hudson, Cincinnati
- Comments: [Collins] "It's best available player for a team that is returning all of its starters from a Super Bowl-winning roster. Collins is a 3-4 OLB who could replace Jason Pierre-Paul if the Bucs don't bring him back in 2022. He sneaks in to close Round 1, marking Tulsa's only first-round pick in the common draft era (since 1967)."
- [Hudson] "Hudson is a former defensive lineman who is still working through his technique, but he's a nasty finisher and can be a starting tackle in the NFL. He'd serve as depth early in his career behind Tristan Wirfs and Donovan Smith."
- 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."
The Draft Network
- Trevor Sikkema, The Draft Network (April 12)
- 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."
- Brentley Weissman, The Draft Network (April 9)
- Pick: DL Levi Onwuzurike, Washington
- Comments: "Tampa Bay is returning all 22 starters from their championship team, so this is truly a team with very few holes. In this circumstance, the Buccaneers draft a player who at least will see the field as a part of a rotation, as teams normally rotate defensive linemen to keep them fresh. Onwuzurike is the best interior pass rusher in this class. He has very good first-step quickness and the length to win the edges inside. He would be a great player to develop behind Ndamukong Suh while also playing on passing downs."
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 12)
- Pick: RB Travis Etienne, Clemson
- Comments: "The Bucs are returning everyone save Antonio Brown for the '21 season, so there aren't a lot of needs here. But if they go with best player available, they could certainly do worse than Etienne, who would add another layer of dynamism to this offense."
- Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports (April 7)
- Pick: CB Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech
- Comments: "Far from a major need for Tampa Bay, but Farley is too good of a talent to pass with the last pick in Round 1."
- Jon Ledyard, Pewter Report (March 24)
- 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."
- Steven Cheah, Barstool Sports (March 26)
- 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."