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Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2023 Mock Draft 9.0: Second Round

The Buccaneers address the offensive line in Round Two as we give the second day of the draft some much-needed attention

Mock Draft

Who will the Tampa Bay Buccaneers take in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft later this month? We've made some predictions (guesses) over the past couple months and variously touched on such prospects as cornerback Devon Witherspoon, edge rusher Nolan Smith, safety Brian Branch, among others. Additional predictions from outside sources for the Buccaneers' first-round pick have included the likes of offensive tackles Darnell Wright and Broderick Jones, running back Bijan Robinson and even, occasionally, quarterback Will Levis and Hendon Hooker.

New predictions will continue to emerge right up until the first night of the draft on Thursday, April 27, and then we'll all watch throughout the evening to see if any of these mock drafters got it right.

And then…the draft will continue for many more hours over the next two days. While it makes sense and is good fun to focus our analysis on the first round in the run-up to the real draft, the Buccaneers and the other 31 NFL teams have a lot more to do on draft weekend. Many of the decisions made on Friday and Saturday will significantly shape the near futures for those 32 teams. Day Two in particular, which covers the second and third rounds, is serious business. Eight of the 22 players who started for the Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV were Day Two picks made by the team in previous years.

That's why, for this week only, we're taking a slight detour from our usual Round One mock draft and will be trying to predict the 32 selections that will be made in Round Two. To do so, we have to know who is already off the board from the night before. Normally for such an exercise I would use our own most recent mock draft, but we haven't done a straight Round One mock without gimmicks for three weeks and too much has happened in the interim. So instead I found a mock draft generator online and ran it a number of times until I got one I liked.

Along with each prediction below you'll find a listing of the player(s) each team took in the first round. There are also five teams listed at the bottom that do not have any picks in the second round, but their first-round results, if they had any, are also included. Here we go.

32. Pittsburgh Steelers (from Chicago): T Anton Harrison, Oklahoma

Round One: CB Deonte Banks, Maryland

Pittsburgh got this pick in the Chase Claypool trade from last season, and it sure is coming in handy now, as the Steelers had all day Friday to look at the top name left on their board. Harrison is more finesse than pure power, which will probably play better at left tackle, but the Steelers could use an upgrade on both ends of their offensive line, which was a major weakness last year.

33. Houston Texans: EDGE Adetomiwa Adebawore, Northwestern

Round One: QB Bryce Young, Alabama; WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State

Houston went all offense in the first round and made sure their new young quarterback had some elite receiving talent to work with right from the get-go. So now it's time to help a defense that has little in the way of young talent up front (the secondary was addressed early and often in last year's draft). Adebawore started to get some late-first round buzz after an incredible Combine performance, and he almost made it. He has some outside-inside versatility that could help the Texans rebuild, as well.

34. Arizona Cardinals: CB Cam Smith, South Carolina

Round One: EDGE Will Anderson, Alabama

The Cardinals were wise to use their premium pick in Round One to improve a pass-rushing unit that lost J.J. Watt and Zach Allen and wasn't particularly productive to begin with. However, the cornerback room was arguably even more barren before the draft, and this could be one of several shots Arizona takes at the position on Days Two and Three. Smith has excellent length, vision and instincts but he falls out of Round One over concerns over his footwork.

35. Indianapolis Colts: CB Emmanuel Forbes, Mississippi State

Round One: QB Anthony Richardson, Florida

The Colts could use an offensive tackle, too, and have brought in Ohio State's Dawand Jones for a Top-30 visit, but they may be able to get Jones in the third round. Instead, they get a cornerback run started by grabbing Forbes, whose slight frame kept him out of the first round but not by much. Forbes is very much a play-maker, which a thin Indy cornerback group needs badly.

36. Los Angeles Rams: EDGE Felix Anudike-Uzomah, Kansas State

Round One: None.

The Rams haven't made a first-round pick since 2016, and they're all-in strategy of trading picks for veterans saw them crater immediately after winning Super Bowl LVI. The depth chart needs help at virtually every position, so while Alabama running back Jahmyr Gibbs is tempting, the Rams use their top pick on a more essential position. Anudike-Uzomah is an intense and flexible edge rusher who already has a well-developed set of pass-rush moves.

37. Seattle (from Denver): DL Mazi Smith, Michigan

Round One: EDGE Tyree Wilson, Texas Tech; WR Jordan Addison, USC

The Seahawks helped a defensive front that need a lot of it by getting Dre'Mont Jones in free agency and Tyree Wilson in the first round, but they could still use a plugger for the middle of the line. The 6-3, 323-pound Smith fits the bill and might even provide some pass-rushing juice as his game gets more polished in the NFL. This is the last of the five picks the Seahawks got in the Russell Wilson trade, which has paid huge dividends already.

38. Las Vegas Raiders: EDGE Isaiah Foskey, Notre Dame

Round One: QB Will Levis, Kentucky

The Raiders may actually address the edge rusher position with the seventh-overall pick, but in the first-round mock I generated they jumped on Levis, making the recently-signed Jimmy Garoppolo a one or two-year bridge. Fortunately for the Raiders, who need a complement to star edge rusher Maxx Crosby, this year's class of edge rushers in pretty deep in the second tier of players. Foskey plays hard and can cover a lot of ground in space, but he also has a lot of room to grow as a pass-rusher.

39. Carolina Panthers: WR Jalin Hyatt, Tennessee

Round One: QB C.J. Stroud, Ohio State

The Panthers have done a lot of work in free agency, so a depth chart that appeared to have a lot of glaring holes in February looks a lot more solid now, if a bit older. Those free agent additions included wideouts Adam Thielen and D.J. Chark, but Carolina could still help out its new franchise quarterback with Hyatt, who has top-end speed with a gliding stride.

40. New Orleans Saints: RB Jahmyr Gibbs, Alabama

Round One: DL Bryan Bresee, Clemson

The most common NFL comp you'll see for Gibbs is Alvin Kamara, so of course he lands in New Orleans, where he could be replacing the original Kamara sooner rather than later. The Saints need some more pass-catchers for Derek Carr, but the value is better here with Gibbs than any available receiver or tight end. Besides, Gibbs is a great route-runner with soft hands who could very much be a security blanket for Carr in the passing game.

41. Tennessee Titans: C John Michael Schmitz, Minnesota

Round One: T Paris Johnson, Ohio State

Yes, the Titans took a tackle in Round One, but their O-Line needs a more complete overhaul and the depth chart is pretty barren at center after the free agency departure of Ben Jones. Schmitz fits the Titans' run scheme well and is the top-rated pure center on most draft boards.

42. New York Jets (from Cleveland): S Antonio Johnson, Texas A&M

Round One: T Broderick Jones, Georgia

The Jets have back-to-back picks here in the second round, as they got this one from Cleveland in the Elijah Moore trade. Even though they traded for former Ravens safety Chuck Clark (at the discount price of a seventh-round pick), I don't think that takes them out of the safety market in the draft. Johnson is the top-rated safety on the board and also has some positional flexibility to possibly help out in the slot.

43. New York Jets: LB Trenton Simpson, Clemson

Round One: T Broderick Jones, Georgia

More help for the defense in New York with a pick that could end up looking like a steal. Simpson has garnered some on-and-off first-round buzz over the last couple months and he's got very good functional speed to make plays all over the field.

44. Atlanta Falcons: WR Josh Downs, North Carolina

Round One: CB Christian Gonzalez, Oregon

It's no secret that Arthur Smith's Falcons likes big pass-catchers (and big players everywhere on the field), and Downs is definitely not that. In fact, if he was bigger than his listed 5-9 and 171 pounds, he almost certainly would have gone in the first round based on his enormous production and his feel for the game. But the Falcons did sign former Bucs wideout Scotty Miller recently, which breaks the big-receiver mold for them. Downs could dominate in the slot while much bigger pass-catchers Drake London and Kyle Pitts cause mismatches elsewhere.

45. Green Bay Packers: TE Darnell Washington, Georgia

Round One: WR Zay Flowers, Boston College

I won't be the first to point out how juicy it would be if the Packers finally used high draft picks on receivers and tight ends at the same time Aaron Rodgers is leaving town. Robert Tonyan left for Chicago, leaving Josiah Deguara and his 13 catches in 2022 as the top man on the Packers' tight end depth chart. Even Marcedes Lewis is gone! Washington didn't put up big receiving numbers at Georgia but he showed some pass-catching chops at the Combine and at the very least would be a powerful inline blocker.

46. New England Patriots: CB Tyrique Stevenson, Miami

Round One: EDGE Lukas Van Ness, Iowa

The Patriots tend to play more man-to-man defense in the secondary than most teams, so they key in here on Stevenson, who excelled in press-man coverage for the Hurricanes while not faring quite as well in zone schemes. Stevenson has enough size (6-0, 198) to match up with the league's bigger receivers and he is tough in contested-catch situations.

47. Washington Commanders: LB Drew Sanders, Arkansas

Round One: CB Joey Porter Jr., Penn State

Washington signed off-ball linebacker Cody Barton from the Seahawks but only gave him a small one-year deal after Barton logged 16 starts over four seasons in Seattle. They could still use a rangy middle-of-the-field defender like Sanders, who might have been a first-round pick if not for positional-value concerns. Sanders could help on occasion as a pass-rusher off the edge, too.

48. Detroit Lions: TE Luke Musgrave, Oregon State

Round One: DL Jalen Carter, Georgia; RB Bijan Robinson, Texas

Bijan Robinson was a bit of a luxury pick for Detroit in the first round (they had an extra one to be luxurious with), but the tight end depth chart really does need help after last year's T.J. Hockenson trade. Musgrave can make plays downfield and add on YAC to shorter catches by muscling through linebackers.

49. Pittsburgh Steelers: DL Keeanu Benton, Wisconsin

Round One: CB Deonte Banks, Maryland

The Steelers got the tackle they needed for their offensive line to start the day and now pick up reinforcements on the other side of the trenches. Benton is thick and sturdy and plays with power and tenacity. He could be an upgrade over Montravius Adams at the nose for the Steelers, who get plenty of pass rush production from T.J. Watt, Alex Highsmith and Cameron Heyward.

50. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: T Cody Mauch, North Dakota State

Round One: EDGE Nolan Smith, Georgia

Mauch is probably better suited to play right tackle because he's a mauler of a run-blocker who may need to work on his footwork a bit to ascend as a pass-blocker. As such, this would be a fine pick if the Bucs really are considering moving Tristan Wirfs to the vacated left tackle spot. Mauch is excellent on the move, which should serve him well in the outside zone blocking scheme new Offensive Coordinator Dave Canales is expected to implement. The Buccaneers are still deciding whether to play last year's second-rounder, Luke Goedeke, at guard or tackle, and since Mauch has the flexibility to kick inside, too, there will be plenty of options to find the best starting five. Also, something tells me that Mauch and second-year tight end Ko Kieft would become fast friends.

51. Miami Dolphins: T Matthew Bergeron, Syracuse

Round One: None.

Will Bergeron stick at tackle in the NFL despite some protection issues in college? Maybe, maybe not, but it's a good pick for the Dolphins either way because there are multiple spots that need upgrading on their offensive line, particularly if they are going to keep Tua Tagovailoa upright for the whole campaign. It's not as if the Dolphins haven't tried to improve their O-Line, but while they have aggressively built a very talented roster across the board they have missed on several swings up front on offense. Bergeron could be an upgrade at right tackle or either guard spot.

52. Seattle Seahawks: C Joe Tippman, Wisconsin

Round One: EDGE Tyree Wilson, Texas Tech; WR Jordan Addison, USC

The Seahawks had four picks in the first two rounds to work with thanks to the Russell Wilson trade, and they haven't strayed too far from the trenches, including their selection of Mazi Smith earlier on this night. The trend continues with Tippman, who follows in the footsteps of a great many Wisconsin offensive linemen. (Shout out to Paul Gruber!) Seattle nailed their OT rebuild last year with Charles Cross and Abe Lucas, and they did sign former Lion center Evan Brown in free agency. However, Brown got just a small one-year deal, so I still think the Seahawks continue to rebuild up front with young talent.

53. Chicago Bears (from Baltimore): EDGE Tuli Tuipulotu, USC

Round One: T Peter Skoronski, Northwestern

The Bears got this pick from Baltimore in the Roquan Smith trade, and they pour it right back into their defense, though up front rather than in the middle. Jaquan Brisker led the Bears' defense in 2022 with 4.0 sacks. Fun fact: Jaquan Brisker is a safety. The Bears are absolutely desperate for edge rushers, and elite ones are not easy to find outside of the top half of the first round, but Tuipulotu has the size/athleticism blend to potentially develop into a big-time threat.

54. Los Angeles Chargers: WR Tank Dell, Houston

Round One: T Darnell Wright, Tennessee

Remember those draft simulations I ran in order to find a first-round mock I liked? I probably should have kept going until I got one with the Chargers taking a speedy receiver in the first round. They really need to get Justin Herbert a speedy option or two, and they try here with the very undersized Dell, who is not only crazy fast but also very shifty. This could work alongside Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, if those two can stay healthy.

55. Detroit Lions (from Minnesota): LB Jack Campbell, Iowa

Round One: DL Jalen Carter, Georgia; RB Bijan Robinson, Texas

The Lions got this pick in the Hockenson trade but they already picked up a new tight end with their earlier pick in this round. Detroit sunk a lot of free agency resources into their secondary and got Jalen Carter for their front in the first round, but they can definitely upgrade over Alex Anzalone, Malcolm Rodriguez and James Houston in the middle. Campbell may not have high-end physical traits to push him into first-round consideration but he's going to produce.

56. Jacksonville Jaguars: EDGE B.J. Ojulari, LSU

Round One: TE Michael Mayer, Notre Dame

The Jaguars do have Josh Allen and Travon Walker, both top-seven picks, to rush the passer. But Walker is capable of playing a more versatile role than just blasting around the corner, so adding another option off the edge could give the Jacksonville defense another dimension. And, really, you can never have enough good pass-rushers, which Ojulari may prove to be if he can clean up his approach at the next level.

57. New York Giants: G Steve Avila, TCU

Round One: WR Quentin Johnston, TCU

Apparently, the Giants had quite a scouting presence at TCU games this past fall. Avila and Quentin Johnston can room together as rookies on the team's road trips this season after helping the Horned Frogs reach the national championship game last season. The Giants need a couple upgrades on their interior O-Line and the rather sizeable Avila can probably step right in as a Day One starter.

58. Dallas Cowboys: DL Siaki Ika, Baylor

Round One: TE Dalton Kincaid, Utah

The Cowboys re-signed Johnathan Hankins, but only to a one-year deal and he just turned 31. They could look for a new nose tackle early in the draft, and that's what I have them doing here with Baylor's 335-pound gap-plugger. Dallas had the NFL's 22nd-ranked rush defense in 2022; Ika could help with that and does have some ability to get upfield on passing downs despite his large frame.

59. Buffalo Bills: RB Devon Achane, Texas A&M

Round One: G O'Cyrus Torrence, Florida

Achane feels like more of a Round Three or Four pick due to his size (5-8, 188), but it only takes one team to fall in love with that 4.3 speed, which accompanies quick feet and surprising toughness between the tackles. The Bills did the smart and unexciting thing with a much-needed guard in the first round but here they indulge themselves a bit with another weapon for Josh Allen.

60. Cincinnati Bengals: TE Sam LaPorta, Iowa

Round One: S Brian Branch, Alabama

Even with four tight ends going off the board in the first 48 picks, the Bengals still have several talented ones to choose from at this spot as they seek to replace the departed Hayden Hurst. LaPorta ran a 4.59 40-yard dash at the Combine and showed quite a bit of athleticism in the other drills, and he was highly productive for the Hawkeyes. He has room for improvement as both a blocker and a pass-catcher but could develop into a three-down tight end.

61. Chicago Bears (from San Francisco through Carolina): EDGE Derick Hall, Auburn

Round One: T Peter Skoronski, Northwestern

The Bears picked up this extra draft capital as part of their trade down out of the top spot in Round One, and they use it to double up their chances of finding an effective edge rusher after taking B.J. Ojulari just eight picks earlier. The pass rush need is great enough for the Bears, especially after their work on the rest of the defense in last year's draft and free agency this year, that it makes sense to take two bites of the apple.

62. Philadelphia Eagles: S Jordan Battle, Alabama

Round One: CB Devon Witherspoon, Illinois; EDGE Keion White, Georgia Tech

The Eagles surprisingly retained both Darius Slay and James Bradberry at cornerback but saw both Chauncey Gardner-Johnson and Marcus Epps depart. That's about 1,800 safety/nickel snaps to account for, and even after signing Terrell Edmunds I think the Eagles could still add another safety early in the draft. Battle is an instinctive safety who, like Gardner-Johnson, can also provide some value playing in the slot.

63. Kansas City Chiefs: CB Kelee Ringo, Georgia

Round One: EDGE Will McDonald, Iowa State

The Chiefs could probably use another receiver, but given where we are on the pecking order at that position they can probably wait until the next round. You can never have enough cornerbacks, especially when every postseason for the foreseeable future is probably going to include battles with the likes of Josh Allen, Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert. Kansas City plays man coverage more than any other defense in the NFL, and Ringo is a big and physical corner who excels in press-man duties.


No picks in the second round:

Baltimore Ravens

Round One: EDGE Myles Murphy, Clemson

Minnesota Vikings

Round One: DL Calijah Kancey, Pittsburgh

Cleveland Browns

Round One: None.

Denver Broncos

Round One: None.

San Francisco 49ers

Round One: None.

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