I kind of thought we were past 'say anything season' with some credible information coming out the NFL Scouting Combine last week in Indianapolis. ESPN's Todd McShay is here to tell me and everyone else, otherwise.
In his first post-Combine mock draft, McShay has the Bucs taking Georgia running back D'Andre Swift with the 14th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
I promise you and everyone else who can't see for yourself on ESPN+, I did not read that wrong. In fact, this is what McShay has to say about the pick:
"Swift is explosive, and while Ronald Jones II looked good at moments in 2019, the Bucs could use some explosion in the run game," writes McShay. "Hand him the ball, and watch him make one cut and turn on his 4.48 40 speed. Tampa Bay was bottom-third in rushing last season and ranked 17th in receptions by running backs. Swift, one of the best pass-catching RBs in the class, would help in both areas. But keep an eye on QB and edge rusher too. If Jameis Winston doesn't return and Love or Herbert slide, this could be a good landing spot. And with all of the Bucs' potential losses to their pass rush, reaching for someone such as LSU defensive end K'Lavon Chaisson here could be in play."
View pictures from the RB, OL, PK, and Special Teams groups at the 2020 NFL Combine.
Don't get me wrong – I just profiled Swift in our Prospect Primer series and wholeheartedly agree that he is one of, if not the best, running backs in a deceivingly deep class. Swift posted back-to-back 1,000 yards seasons at Georgia and even though an injury limited him towards the last couple games of the 2019 season, Swift still managed 1,218 yards on the ground with seven touchdowns – a career best. He was also a Coaches Poll All-SEC selection last year and ran a 4.48 40-yard dash at the Combine last week, living up to his name.
But I'd argue that 'reaching' is taking a running back at No. 14 – not a pass rusher like Chaisson, like McShay said. There's also the puzzling fact that Georgia offensive tackle Andrew Thomas is still very much on the board, a position that is very much one of the Bucs' top priorities. Widely considered one of the 'Big Four' tackles, the former Bulldog even topped expert lists going into the Combine. Thomas was outshined in Indy by record-breaking performances by Iowa's Tristan Wirfs and was outran by Louisville's Mekhi Becton in the 40-yard dash, but let's not be too hasty here. Thomas is battle-tested in the SEC and has great tape. Have we learned nothing from now-Ravens' tackle Orlando Brown? McShay doesn't have Thomas going until pick number 29 to the Titans.
But hey, it's not my mock. For that, stay tuned to the Bucs' website for our Mock Draft 3.0 coming out on Thursday.