-In Monday's edition of Football Morning in America, Peter King released his first – and only – mock draft of 2020 just days before the real thing happens Thursday night. In it, he goes through the entire first round and has the Buccaneers picking from the defensive side of the ball with their 14th overall selection.
With all of the 'Big Four' offensive tackles gone, King takes South Carolina defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw for Tampa Bay, figuring that they go with more of a best-player-available approach.
"Heard a few things here—that Tampa would love to get a complete running back who can catch to complement Tom Brady, and that they're jonesing for a top corner," writes King. "With Vita Vea and Ndamukong Suh big bodies on the defensive front, they're not desperate for a disruptive defensive tackle here, but the value is excellent. I can also tell you that if Kinlaw is around at 14, Tampa will get some calls from teams—and not just for Kinlaw, but for Jerry Jeudy and maybe Henry Ruggs. One of the things the Bucs would love about adding an impact player along the front seven: Suh is 33 and Jason Pierre-Paul is 31, and defensive coordinator Todd Bowles is very big on disrupting the pocket. You can't have enough impact players up front."
The Bucs ending up with another interior defensive lineman would be far from worst-case scenario, especially given Kinlaw's talents. It would make the Bucs' number one rushing defense even better and maybe even improve the pass rush from the interior, a place the Bucs were lacking last year. Not a bad situation if the Bucs' biggest need isn't a good value by the time 14 rolls around.
King has the tackle run starting with the Giants at No. 4 taking Tristan Wirfs. The last of the four comes off the board at No. 11 to the Jets with Mekhi Becton. King even has a radical idea for where Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa ends up. Instead of going to Miami, as many have predicted, he mocks a trade up by the New England Patriots to take Tagovailoa right before the Bucs at the No. 13 spot, which previously belonged to the San Francisco 49ers. It's even more interesting given that 49ers GM and Buccaneer Legend John Lynch said in his conference call today that the Niners are indeed open to trading back. Interesting.
2020 NFL Draft details:
-The NFL is partnering with Snapchat, Spotify and yes, TikTok, to help fans 'virtually immese themselves in the action.' The NFL and ESPN have also teamed up for interactive features across multiple platforms. There is also a Predict the Pick contest on NFL.com and the ESPN Draft Challenge that allows fans to become the GM.
Snapchat will offer a variety of shows and AR technology to put you in the draft. "Starting on Night 1 of the Draft, fans can capture themselves in a virtual moment of being drafted by their favorite team, complete with a hat and jersey," said a statement released by the league. "The Lens also includes a donation button in support of the NFL's Draft-A-Thon fundraising initiative in support of COVID-19 relief efforts. Draft Day 1 features on Snapchat also include a number of Draft-themed Stickers and Filters for fans to decorate their Snaps. In addition, custom NFL Lenses will be available in Snap's desktop app, Snap Camera, and will feature a jersey and hat for all 32 NFL teams, allowing fans to represent their favorite team."
Additionally, Spotify has created official draft playlists curated by top prospects and TikTok will have a designated hashtag challenge using #GoingPro. "Starting Thursday, April 23 the NFL will feature a number of #GoingPro native videos on its official TikTok page featuring various players and social media influencers," said the release.
-The Bucs announced confirmed guests to their draft party and it not only includes Bucs Super Fan and also Backstreet Boy, Nick Carter, but Tampa Bay's first three draft picks from last year. Devin White, Sean Murphy-Bunting and Jamel Dean will all be on hand to interact with fans and share their reactions and experiences from their rookie seasons. There will also be interactive games and a rolling comment section throughout the night. You may even have an opportunity to ask yours truly a few questions.
It all kicks off at 7 p.m. Thursday night. See you there!
Bucs Tweet of the Day: