We're two weeks closer to the start of the NFL's new year, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are still looking for clarity on their free agent to-do list. At least when it comes to the 2020 NFL Draft in April, the Buccaneers know exactly which players are going to be available…if not necessarily available at their pick. And that's the main point of our biweekly mock drafts – to see how it falls out for Tampa Bay at number 14.
And now, to paraphrase one of the most cringe-inducing memes on Twitter: "That's it. That's the intro."
That's because this is the "Straight to the Point" version of our mock draft series. Not only are Carmen Vitali and I going to dive right into the picks with almost no preamble, we're also going to make each selection short and sweet. We'll be working on a self-imposed limit of 20 words to justify each pick. Full sentences not required.
Carmen is first this time, alternating picks; still no trades allowed. Go. (That was 12 words).
View Gregg Rosenthal's top 25 NFL free agents and see which two Bucs make the list.
(Not officially part of the abbreviated intro, but necessary: Though you are reading this on Buccaneers.com, none of this is meant to reflect the strategy or thinking of Jason Licht, Bruce Arians or any others involved in the Buccaneers' actual draft decision-making. These are Carmen and Scott's predictions.)
1. Cincinnati Bengals: QB Joe Burrow, LSU (Carmen Vitali)
How about the NBA All-Star Game in Chicago last weekend? Aaron Gordon got robbed but Common's intros were cool.
2. Washington Redskins: EDGE Chase Young, Ohio State (Scott Smith)
Fourth time in five years an Ohio State defender is the first non-QB off the board. Seems to work out.
3. Detroit Lions: CB Jeff Okudah, Ohio State (CV)
Another Ohio Stater, who seems to be the consensus pick for the Lions to pair with Pro Bowler Darius Slay.
4. New York Giants: T Jedrick Wills, Alabama (SS)
Hog mollies. Hog mollies. Hog mollies. Hog mollies. Hog mollies. (Can I save other 10 words for my next pick?)
5. Miami Dolphins: QB Justin Herbert, Oregon (CV)
Like vacation days, words don't roll over. Miami needs a quarterback but takes Herbert over Tua. Yeah, I said it.
6. Los Angeles Chargers: T Andrew Thomas, Georgia (SS)
(I also said it in Version 1.0.) Meanwhile, the Chargers prioritize protecting their QBs over getting a new one.
7. Carolina Panthers: DL Derrick Brown, Auburn (CV)
The best defensive line prospect goes to the team that needs him the most. That was easy.
8. Arizona Cardinals: WR Jerry Jeudy, Alabama (SS)
Love that pick for the Panthers, but this one seems almost as perfect of a fit. Now, whither Tua?
9. Jacksonville Jaguars: LB? EDGE? S? Isaiah Simmons, Clemson (CV)
I don't know where Simmons fits in at the NFL level, but the Jags need help all over the defense.
10. Cleveland Browns: T Tristan Wirfs, Iowa (SS)
Wirfs doesn't make it to the Bucs this time. Greg Robinson was not the answer in 2019.
11. New York Jets: T Mekhi Becton, Louisville (CV)
This is proving to be a rough one for the Bucs. Becton's size and skillset are perfect for protecting Darnold.
12. Las Vegas Raiders: WR CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma (SS)
Tua, you say? In 13 years as a head coach, Jon Gruden has never drafted a QB higher than 59th.
13. Indianapolis Colts: QB Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama (CV)
Tua, I say! Colts give Brissett some competition as they continue to figure out LAL (Life After Luck).
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: DT Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina (SS)
I might flip to K'Lavon Chaisson depending upon free agency losses, but the run on tackles pushed me to defense.
15. Denver Broncos: WR Henry Ruggs III, Alabama (CV)
Looks like everyone is fully back onboard the Kinlaw train for the Bucs. Here, the Broncos need weapons.
16. Atlanta Falcons: EDGE K'Lavon Chaisson, LSU (SS)
Yay, the player I was hoping would make it to Atlanta is there! Wait…that's good for the Falcons. Boo.
17. Dallas Cowboys: CB Trevon Diggs, Alabama (CV)
Seriously, I promise I'm not doing this on purpose with Alabama guys. Dallas just really needs a corner.
18. Miami Dolphins (via Pittsburgh): T Austin Jackson, USC (SS)
Passing over Josh Jones here to take Jackson instead, hoping for better pass protection for the new rookie QB.
19. Las Vegas Raiders (via Miami): LB Patrick Queen, LSU (CV)
Bucs know firsthand how good LSU linebackers can be. Raiders get in on it too, taking Queen over Kenneth Murray.
20. Jacksonville Jaguars (via Los Angeles Rams): CB C.J. Henderson, Florida (SS)
Jags took different CB in our first mock, but Henderson wasn't available. This time the cats pounce on this Gator.
21. Philadelphia Eagles: WR Leviska Shenault Jr., Colorado (CV)
Name me two current consistent/productive Eagles receivers. I'll wait. Meanwhile, Philly goes and gets one.
22. Buffalo Bills: WR Tee Higgins, Clemson (SS)
Buffalo might have preferred the pure speed of Ruggs but they'll get their deep threat from the long-striding Higgins.
23. New England Patriots: EDGE Yetur Gross-Matos, Penn State (CV)
New England needs some help getting pressure on the QB and the Penn State product seems like a Belichick guy.
24. New Orleans Saints: S Xavier McKinney, Alabama (SS)
Lots of moving parts with Vonn Bell, two corners possibly leaving in free agency; McKinney is a versatile do-it-all DB.
25. Minnesota Vikings: DL Ross Blacklock, TCU (CV)
Vikings need defensive line help but considered a wide receiver – have you seen Stefon Diggs' tweets lately?
26. Miami Dolphins (via Houston): EDGE A.J. Epenesa, Iowa (SS)
Top three needs: quarterback, tackle, edge rusher. Check, check, check. Note to self: Helps to have three first-rounders.
27. Seattle Seahawks: EDGE Terrell Lewis, Alabama (CV)
But the Seahawks wanted Epenesa! Lewis is no consolation prize, though, as Seattle gets much-needed edge help.
28. Baltimore Ravens: LB Zack Baun, Wisconsin (SS)
Oof, rough run of picks for Baltimore's board. Is Baun an edge rusher or off-ball linebacker? Maybe both for Ravens.
29. Tennessee Titans: T Josh Jones, Houston (CV)
Agreeing with Scott in 1.0 that I think there's a good chance Conklin gets moved, leaving Tennessee with a need.
30. Green Bay Packers: WR Justin Jefferson, LSU (SS)
I'm well aware the Packers haven't drafted a receiver since 2002, but some things are changing under GM Brian Gutekunst.
31. San Francisco 49ers: S Grant Delpit, LSU (CV)
Richard Sherman could use some safety help as he gets older _shrugs._
32. Kansas City Chiefs: CB Kristian Fulton, LSU (SS)
That's three straight LSU players to end the round! I guess they were good. Lots of good corners left here.