View photos of Daniel Jeremiah's top 50 2018 NFL Draft prospects 3.0.
Save for a couple outliers, most draft experts are pegging the Buccaneers to select a defensive back with their seventh overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft. Whether that defensive back is a corner or safety seems to be up for debate.
The three most popular names are cornerback Denzel Ward from Ohio State, safety Derwin James from Florida State and defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick from Alabama. Where Fitzpatrick fits in exactly remains to be seen and will probably depend largely on which team he goes to, though most seem to consider him a safety. He could certainly provide some flexibility to the Bucs should they end up with him.
Safety Derwin James is a big body and great tackler, he would be a great complement to the Bucs' 2017 second-round pick Justin Evans who ended up starting for the team during his rookie campaign. Denzel Ward is regarded as the best true corner in this year's draft class and one would have to think him and cornerback Brent Grimes would make a great team in Tampa Bay.
Have you weighed in on which position you think the Bucs should take with their first-round pick? If not, vote here.
The full roundup of expert picks is below.
Chad Reuter (April 5) – S Derwin James (Florida State)
Charley Casserly (April 3) – DB Minkah Fitzpatrick (Alabama)
Bucky Brooks (March 29) – DB Minkah Fitzpatrick (Alabama)
Lance Zierlein (March 29) – CB Denzel Ward (Ohio State)
Pete Prisco (April 5) – G Quenton Nelson (Notre Dame)
Prisco: "This would improve the interior of their line in a big way. He will be special."
R.J. White (March 28) – S Derwin James (Florida State)
Will Brinson (March 26) – RB Saquon Barkley (Penn State)
Chris Trapasso (March 25) – S Derwin James (Florida State)
Mel Kiper Jr. (April 4) – CB Denzel Ward (Ohio State)
Todd McShay (April 4) – CB Denzel Ward (Ohio State)
Kiper: "Easy choice here, too. The Bucs' pass defense was woeful in 2017, and Ward is the best true corner in this class."
McShay: "I'm with Mel here. Tampa Bay still needs help in the secondary, so the Bucs take the best man-to-man corner on the board."
View photos of the third mock draft by Buccaneers.com contributors Carmen Vitali and Scott Smith. Photos by AP Images.
Dan Kadar (April 9) – RB Saquon Barkley (Penn State)
Kadar: "Jacquizz Rodgers is a solid player, but he's more of a third-down back only. Peyton Barber could get a shot, but he hasn't stood out in two seasons in the NFL. Barkley could be a superstar in Tampa."
Scott Reynolds (March 25) – S Derwin James (Florida State)
Reynolds: "Assuming that Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson, North Carolina State defensive end Bradley Chubb and Penn State running back Saquon Barkley are off the board by the time that Tampa Bay is off the clock, the Bucs stay in-state and draft James to bolster their secondary if the team can't – or chooses not to – trade down to acquire more picks."