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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Buccaneers Mock Draft Roundup 9.0

Experts peg the secondary as main need for Tampa Bay as we enter Draft Month 2018.

It's April. That means it's Draft Month, people. With the majority of free agency moves in the rear-view mirror, all focus has shifted to the upcoming draft and team needs left unfulfilled.

Most experts have the Bucs addressing their secondary need, with three prospect names emerging in particular: all at different positions. It's a mix of Florida State and fan-favorite Derwin James at safety, cornerback Denzel Ward or the do-it-all defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick.

It should be noted that most mock drafts have running back Saquon Barkley, defensive end Bradley Chubb and G Quenton Nelson off the board before the Bucs are up at seven – although, there are a few that have the Bucs passing on Nelson in favor of a secondary player.

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.

Bucky Brooks (March 29) – DB Minkah Fitzpatrick (Alabama)

Lance Zierlein (March 29) – CB Denzel Ward (Ohio State)

Chad Reuter (March 29) – S Derwin James (Florida State)

Daniel Jeremiah (March 6) – S Derwin James (Florida State)

Peter Schrager (March 1) – DT Vita Vea (Washington)

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)

Trapasso: "James brings a much-needed element of size, length, and athleticism to the Tampa Bay secondary."


Mel Kiper Jr. 3.0 (March 28) – CB Denzel Ward (Ohio State)

Kiper: "Quenton Nelson might have been in play here, but the Bucs signed center Ryan Jensen in free agency and can move Ali Marpet back to guard. I think this pick has to be a defensive back -- the Bucs had the league's worst passing defense in 2017. Tampa Bay could choose from the best corner or safety on its board, and Ward is the top corner in this class. Former first-round pick Vernon Hargreaves III has not impressed, and Brent Grimes will be 35 when the season begins."


Dan Kadar (April 2) – DE Bradley Chubb (NC State)

Kadar: "The Buccaneers have been aggressive this offseason, acquiring defensive ends Vinny Curry and Jason Pierre-Paul. Curry has only had nine sacks since 2015, though, and is better as a depth piece. Chubb could be a star in Tampa with his ability to play the run and the pass.

Pewter Report

Scott Reynolds (March 11) – DE Vita Vea (Washington)

Reynolds: "Despite pulling a hamstring on his second attempt, Vea ran an eye-popping 5.10 in the 40-yard dash at 347 pounds with a 1.76 10-yard split. To put that number in perspective, Nathan Shepherd, an athletic, 315-pound defensive tackle from Fort Hays State ran a 5.10, and McCoy ran a 4.99 at 295 pounds at the NFL Scouting Combine. We're talking a tenth of second difference between McCoy and Vea despite Vea weighing more than 50 pounds more. Vea also had 41 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press, which was second only to Stanford defensive tackle Harrison Phillips' 42."

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