Who might the Bucs draft to find help?

by Gary Shelton on March 5, 2020

in general

Arians could go a lot of different directions./STEVEN MUNCIE

Thursday, 4 a.m.

After hours of dedicated research, after studying reports and evaluations, after watching a full four seconds of the NFL scouting combine, I feel I can safely say this:

The Tampa Bay Bucs, with their first pick in the NFL draft, are going to draft somebody.

From somewhere.

Of course, they will be absolutely thrilled that he was still available when they selected.

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That's what it is like these days. Imagine yourself blindfolded in a dark room. Someone spins you around three, four times. Then you throw a dart at a wall with two dozen names. That's your pick.

The way I see it, the Bucs are going to take a quarterback in this year's draft. Unless they take a tackle, which they will unless a pass rusher is available, provided they like him more than they like the best safety on the board. A running back is possible, or maybe a defensive tackle. At this point, all we can be sure of is that they won't trade up to take a kicker. I mean, what franchise would be silly enough to do that?

Oh, right.

This is what happens when the Bucs fall out of their normal top 10 drafting slot. Everyone becomes a possibility. It's called "guesswork." It seems to be very popular on the internet.

Mind you, the grades of the teams are not final, and no one is leaking anything to anyone. Free agency hasn't been addressed, which leaves the Bucs will the possibility of Jameis Winston, Tom Brady (right), Drew Brees (sure), Philip Rivers, Andy Dalton and a cast of thousands to lead their team. Still, mock drafts are very readable, even if everyone is copying Mel Kiper's paper. Original thought is not a very big thing in mock drafts.

So who are the Bucs taking?

Let's look at the possibilities:

Sports Illustrated: Jordan Love, quarterback, Idaho State: (Fansided has the Bucs taking him without moving up). The world seems split on Love, who was excellent as a junior and wayward as a senior. His 17 interceptions were the college equivalent of Winston. But SI is so convinced the Bucs are going to take him they have them trading their first and third round draft choices to move up and get him. Here's the question though: With a rookie quarterback, do the Bucs slide from a seven-win team to a five-win one?

CBSsports.com: K'Lavon Chaisson, Edge, LSU. (Also Mel Kiper and NFL.com (Jeremiah): Chaisson would be tempting, but doesn't it matter what the Bucs do in free agency with Shaq Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul? If Tampa Bay re-signs either of them, the need for an edge rusher is lessened.

Todd McShay, ESPN: D'Andre Smith, running back, Georgia: Don't get me wrong. I agree the Bucs need a better running back. The few flashes that Ronald Jones showed last year weren't enough. But is Smith the answer?

USAToday: Andrew Thomas, tackle, Georgia: (Also Yahoo.com and NBCsports.com): I like the idea of the pick . But is the player good ugh. Others have the Bucs taking a tackle in Tristan Wirfs of Iowa (Charlie Casserly, NFL.com) or Josh Jones of Houston (SBnation). I'm all for a stronger offensive line. But there are a lot of names in no particular order.

Bleacher Report: Grant Delpit, safety, LSU: The Bucs came a long way at cornerback after last year's draft. Could safety be a target this year? Maybe. But there are a lot of players fighting for playing time. Delpit would have to convince the Bucs he's a head above.

NFL.com (Drew): Jzvon Kinlaw, DT South Carolina: Again, tell me what's going to happen with Ndamukong Suh before the team takes another defensive tackle. If Suh and Beau Allen both leave, this makes some sense.

Walter Football: Xavier McKinney, safety, Alabama: Is he a better fit than Delpit? That's one of the things the Bucs would have to decide even if they wanted to go with a safety.

Sporting News: A.J. Espenesa, edge, Iowa: Again, how are the Bucs going to come out of fee agency? They may need another position more desperately afterward.

There. Don't you feel better about the Bucs' options after seeing what's out there. As near as I can tell, every warm body in the draft is a possibility.

Except for a wide receiver, of course.

Those guys can wait until the second round.

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