Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Mel Kiper Releases Third Mock Draft

ESPN's resident draft expert believes that the Buccaneers will select a cornerback with their first-round pick.

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ESPN's Mel Kiper seems to be sold on the Buccaneers' first-round draft pick.

Last week, following the first few days of free agency, Kiper released his third mock draft of the 2016 offseason. So far, in all three of his mock drafts, he has had the Bucs selecting former Florida cornerback Vernon Hargreaves with the No. 9 pick.

](http://www.buccaneers.com/news/article-smith/Buccaneers-Bring-Chris-Conte-Back/08cfc2f8-1909-4be7-b7c0-d9414392458d)"No change here from the previous mock," Kiper wrote. "Hargreaves is highly regarded throughout the league and certainly could be drafted before this point."

The top free agents still on the market, according to NFL.com.

Kiper's mock was released prior to the Buccaneers' signing of free agent cornerback, Brent Grimes, who is coming off of three-straight appearances in the Pro Bowl. Kiper knew that the Bucs could be looking for secondary help through free agency but believes Tampa Bay will still go with Hargreaves, regardless of their signings.  

"The Bucs could get secondary help in free agency," Kiper added, "but Hargreaves at this point would be hard to pass up, too."

Hargreaves seems to be the popular name associated with the Bucs at No. 9; Kiper's colleague, Todd McShay, also has Hargreaves as the team's selection.

Most draft analysts believe that the Buccaneers will go with a corner or defensive end with their first-round pick. But the Buccaneers have already acquired a highly-regarded corner and defensive end, Grimes and Robert Ayers, through free agency. As free agency wraps up in the next few weeks, it will be interesting to see if analysts' predictions shift toward other positions, or if their opinions remain the same, like Kiper's.

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