By now, you've probably seen multiple mock drafts all across the board. Some have a front-loaded quarterback grab (like our Buccaneers.com version 3.0), some have a little more diversity, but most all have a clear definition of the top three quarterback prospects (Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, Josh Rosen) and top three non-quarterback prospects (Saquon Barkley, Bradley Chubb and Quenton Nelson).
If you're a Bucs fan, you should be rooting for that front-loaded quarterback grab. The more quarterbacks are taken in the first six picks, the more chance one of those top three non-QB prospects are available at pick number seven. Even in mock drafts where one of the big three are available, it's almost always the guard Quenton Nelson out of Notre Dame that falls with Barkley and Chubb scooped up somewhere in picks 1-6. Enter Pro Football Focus' Steve Palazzolo, who actually has all of the aforementioned threesome available for the Bucs.
Palazzolo has the first six picks as follows:
- CLE – QB Baker Mayfield, OU
- NYG – QB Sam Darnold, USC
- NYJ – QB Josh Rosen, UCLA
- CLE – DT Maurice Hurst, Michigan
- DEN – S Derwin James, Florida State
- IND – CB Josh Jackson, Iowa
7. TB – RB Saquon Barkley, Penn StateSo, there you have it. That's how the Bucs conceivably land the number one prospect in the 2018 draft with a whole six picks ahead of them. Never mind that the Browns need a running back and have a pick to burn at four after taking their quarterback of the future. Forget that Indy badly needs edge help and Chubb is still on the board at six. But hey, at the end of the day, unless you're a GM or player personnel executive in those war rooms, how much do any of us know about… well, anything really?**Did I mention this mock is three rounds? The Bucs don't have a third-round pick, having surrendered it as part of the trade for DE Jason Pierre-Paul, so that leaves a second-round prediction of cornerback Mike Hughes out of Central Florida. He'd be a welcome addition to Tampa Bay's secondary after opposing quarterbacks recorded just a 35.5 passer rating against him last season.
View photos of the third mock draft by Buccaneers.com contributors Carmen Vitali and Scott Smith. Photos by AP Images.
PFF's mock is usually a bit… unorthodox, given that they almost exclusively use their own rating system to justify their predictions. It's a rating system that has DE Bradley Chubb falling to the Oakland Raiders at No. 10 – one pick after the San Francisco 49ers take DE Harold Landry out of Boston College. Other surprises see the Buffalo Bills staying put at picks No. 12 and 22 in the first round and taking Oklahoma State QB Mason Rudolph with the latter - with Wyoming QB Josh Allen still on the board. Yeah, Allen doesn't go until the second round to the Denver Broncos at pick No. 40. **If you want to read the full chaos that is PFF's NFL Mock 4.0, go here.