Deez Bucz 2019 Buccaneers 7-Round Mock Draft 2.0

Now that the free agency frenzy has calmed down, we can get a little better look at the needs of this Tampa Bay Buccaneers team are going into the 2019 NFL Draft. There’s still the chance that they could sign a couple more free agents, but they should be done buying players since they’re damn near broke. At this point, they’ll have to make some roster moves just to clear enough cap space to sign their seven draft picks. That could be bad news for fan favorites like tight end Cam Brate or even defensive tackle Gerald McCoy as both of them could end up on the trade block.

However, for the sake of this mock, we’ll say that Brate stays put and McCoy is flat out released because there was no interests from other teams in trading for the 30 year-old Pro Bowler. That leaves the Bucs with seven picks in this draft, so here is what I’d like to see happen.

Mock Draft 2.0 (NO TRADES!)

Rd 1- Pk 5: DT Ed Oliver, Houston

I know that linebacker Devin White is a popular choice with this pick, especially after the departure of Kwon Alexander in free agency. However after releasing Gerald McCoy, the Bucs need to replace that giant void in the middle of their d-line first. With Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams off the board already, Oliver would be my pick to do just that. At 6’2″/290lbs, he totaled 192 tackles, 53 tackles for loss, 13.5 sacks, 11 passes defensed and 5 forced fumbles in his three year college career. Much like McCoy, his best asset is his get off at the snap. When words like “explosive and powerful”, “elite and rare”, “quick and smooth” and “aggressive and violent” are used to describe a defensive lineman, you probably shouldn’t pass him up with your 5th pick.

Rd 2- Pk 39: RB Josh Jacobs, Alabama

Even though his career stats aren’t eye popping, Jacobs is still widely considered to be the top running back prospect of this draft and the Bucs could use some help in their backfield. At 5’10″/210lbs, he finished his three year career at Bama with 251 carries for 1,491 yards and 16 touchdowns while averaging 5.9 yards per carry. He also added 48 catches for 571 yards and 5 touchdowns while averaging almost 12 yards per catch. He has elite vision with relentless physicality, which makes him a punishing runner. He’s explosive with good speed and quickness. Extremely tough, hardworking, reliable and smart. An excellent blocker who processes and picks up blitzes well. Only 3 fumbles in 317 career carries so he takes care of the football.

Rd 3- Pk 70: DE/OLB Jaylon Ferguson, Louisiana Tech

Since the Bucs addressed the interior of their d-line in the first round, here they address the edge. Ferguson’s production is difficult to ignore so I’m not sure that he’s still around this late, but for the sake of this mock I’m hoping he is. In his four years at Louisiana Tech, he totaled 187 tackles, 67.5 tackles for loss, 45 sacks and 7 forced fumbles. At 6’5″/270lbs, he could end up being a versatile addition at both defensive end and outside linebacker for the Bucs.

Rd 4- Pk 107: CB Joejuan Williams, Vanderbilt

The Bucs secondary is young. They haven’t yet, but I expect them to add a veteran corner like Morris Claiborne pretty soon here in free agency. With MJ Stewart moving to safety and Vernon Hargreaves moving back outside from the nickel spot, the team could use another big corner to add some good depth at that position. At 6’3″/210lbs, he would add great size to a Bucs secondary that could use some more considering the style of defense that Todd Bowles would like to play. In 2018, he had his best season finishing with 61 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 4 interceptions and 13 passes defensed. He ran a 4.65 forty and put up 17 bench reps at the Combine this year. His best fit for the NFL would be as a press corner, which fits exactly what Bowles has in mind. Good ball skills, physical in coverage and tough against the run. He’s a bit of a developmental project right now, but with the right coaching he could eventually turn out to be a very solid starter.

Rd 5- Pk 145: G Ben Powers, Oklahoma

The Bucs could use some depth on their interior o-line. After re-signing Donovan Smith and retaining Demar Dotson, the tackle positions seem to be taken care of for the time being. However, the starting right guard position is still up in the air. Jason Licht seems to thing that second year player Alex Cappa might be ready to take over that spot. The Caleb Benenoch experiment thankfully is over and it looks as though the Bucs will be moving him to the reserve tackle position. If Cappa does start, the Bucs will need to add some depth at guard. At 6’4″/315lbs, that’s where Powers comes in. He’s a bit of a project right now, but again with the right coaching he could be a solid starter in a couple of years.

Round 6- Pick 197: WR Hunter Renfrow, Clemson

Adam Humphries is on record saying that Renfrow is even better than him. With Hump now gone, maybe the Bucs should replace him with the 2.0 version. At 5’10″/185lbs, he’s small in stature but big at heart. Smart player with great hands who doesn’t shrink from big moments totaling 17 catches for 180 yards and 4 touchdowns in the two title games against Alabama. Walked on at Clemson and played all four years totaling 186 catches for 2,133 yards and 15 touchdowns. He would replace what the Bucs lost in Humphries free agency departure to Tennessee and give Jameis Winston another reliable pass catcher.

Round 7- Pick 215: QB Nick Fitzgerald, Mississippi State

I know the Bucs just re-signed Ryan Griffin and signed Blaine Gabbert, but they need to get serious about finding a long term solution to their backup quarterback situation if neither one of these guys are it. At 6’4″/230lbs, he has a strong arm and a solid frame so the physical tools are there for the Bucs coaching staff to work with. Fitzgerald is a dual threat QB who led the SEC in total offense in 2018 and finished his career with the most rushing yards by an SEC quarterback with 3,607 yards. After sitting behind Dak Prescott for his first two seasons, he finished with 6,000 yards, 52 touchdowns and 30 interceptions in his final three years adding 46 rushing touchdowns as well. Not only could he be a future backup, but the Bucs could also use him in similar ways that the New Orleans Saints use quarterback Taysom Hill.

CONCLUSION

Well, there’s the boring version of my mock draft 2.0 without trades. I selected three defensive players, 4 offensive players and no linebackers. The Bucs currently have 10 LB’s on their roster with two free agent re-signings from last year’s team and two free agent signings. I decided to add pieces where I felt there was more of a need, especially on defense, due to the lack of picks. I ended up with a defensive tackle to replace Gerald McCoy, an edge rusher to add to the rotation and eventually replace Jason Pierre-Paul, a possible starting running back, hopefully another eventual starter at outside cornerback, a reserve guard and possibly a future starter, the replacement for Adam Humphries and possibly a new backup quarterback of the future. It wouldn’t be a bad haul if I do say so myself.

Now for the fun mock with trades. This one will include an unlikely, yet still possible trade with the Patriots before the draft as well as a trade during the draft. Since the Bucs have got to clear up some cap space, if for no other reason but to sign their draft picks, they have to make some roster moves. They only have a few options here. Trade or release Gerald McCoy freeing up $13.5 million. Trade Cam Brate freeing up $7 million. Restructuring Mike Evans contract which would free up however much money. Or any combination of the three.

For the sake of this mock, I’ve traded both McCoy and Brate…TO THE SAME TEAM! Yes in a blockbuster deal, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers sent defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and tight end Cam Brate to the New England Patriots for two third round picks in this upcoming draft. I know what you’re thinking. That’s a lot, right? Well, hear me out on this one. New England just lost what many consider to be the best tight end of all time in Rob Gronkowski to retirement. They need a new #1 tight end. They lost both Malcolm Brown and Trey Flowers off of their defensive line to free agency. They need a disruptive d-lineman. The Patriots are also entering this year’s draft with 12 picks, including 6 of the first 101 picks. After their 32nd pick in the first round, they have two second rounders and three third rounders. In this trade, they keep their early third round pick and give the Bucs the two late third round picks. It doesn’t sound so insane now, does it?

In addition to that trade, the Bucs also trade their 5th pick in the first round to the Washington Redskins. They are in desperate need of a QB and don’t want the New York Giants to draft Dwayne Haskins from Ohio State. So they decide to jump right in front of them to the Bucs 5th spot and grab him. It cost them though. In return, the Buccaneers get the Redskins 15th pick of the first, their 46th pick of the second, their 76th pick of the third, their 173rd pick of the fifth and a 2020 second round pick. Jason Licht ends up with nearly 2,200 points worth of draft picks for their 5th pick worth 1,700 points. Now the Bucs have 12 total picks in this draft to work with, including 7 of the first 101 picks. It’s a good thing they cleared up a bunch of cap space. Now let’s go shopping!

Mock Draft 2.0 (WITH TRADES!)

Rd 1- Pk 15 (from Washington): OT Jawaan Taylor, Florida

Since the Bucs have probably missed out on most of their defensive targets in this first round at this point, they go ahead and draft their right tackle of the future in Taylor. He could be the first offensive lineman off the board and gone by now, but if he’s still sitting there then the Bucs will be getting a rare combination of mass, length, mobility and power that will help anchor Jameis Winston’s right side for years to come. At 6’5″/335lbs, he has excellent functional athleticism with impressive power and vice grip hands. Explodes out of his stance with great balance and smooth footwork for his size. He has all the physical and athletic tools to be a top right tackle in the league with the right coaching staff.

Rd 2- Pk 39: DT Christian Wilkins, Clemson


Since they didn’t get Quinnen Williams or Ed Oliver in the first round, the Bucs might still have a shot at Wilkins to replace McCoy on the interior d-line early on in the second round. At 6’4″/300lbs, he’s quick off the snap and explodes with great leverage. Short arms, but powerful hands and knows how to use them. Toughness, effort, leadership and character cannot be questioned. He’s a good pass rusher and a solid point-of-attack run defender. Finished his four year college career with 192 tackles, 40.5 tackles for loss, 16 sacks and 15 passes defensed.

Rd 2- Pk 46 (from Washington): ILB Mack Wilson, Alabama

After losing Kwon Alexander and Adarius Taylor to free agency, the Bucs could use a little more help at inside linebacker. They missed out on Devin White and Devin Bush in the first round, but Wilson is a pretty good consolation prize. At 6’1″/230lbs, he’s a smaller linebacker but he lays the wood as a tackler and has above average coverage ability and impressive ball skills. His versatility would fit right in with Todd Bowles scheme. He finished his college career with a strong senior season totaling 65 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 2 interceptions and 5 passes defensed. The numbers aren’t that impressive, but there were many games where he didn’t see the field in the second half due to Bama blowing teams out. So when you consider his lack of playing time, his numbers were pretty solid.

Round 3- Pick 70: DE/OLB Jaylon Ferguson, Louisiana Tech


Since the Bucs addressed the interior of their d-line already, here they address the edge. Ferguson’s production is difficult to ignore so I’m not sure that he’s still around this late, but for the sake of this mock I’m hoping he is. In his four years at Louisiana Tech, he totaled 187 tackles, 67.5 tackles for loss, 45 sacks and 7 forced fumbles. At 6’5″/270lbs, he could end up being a versatile addition at both defensive end and outside linebacker for the Bucs.

Rd 3- Pk 76 (from Washington): G Chris Lindstrom, Boston College

Even though Jason Licht recently said that he thought second year player Alex Cappa was “ready to compete for the starting right guard spot”, the key word there is “compete”. The question is, who will he be competing with? The Bucs did sign free agent guard Earl Watford, but is he the answer? I’m not so sure. Why not make the competition even more interesting by adding a draft pick into the mix? At 6’4″/305lbs, Lindstrom “has no major flaws in his game and is extremely consistent” according to DraftNetwork.com. They go on to say that “few guards offer his combination of size, movement skills and technique”. He rarely loses a one-on-one battle and he creates movement in the run game. He may not be an elite prospect, but he’s a plug and play starter in the NFL.

Rd 3- Pk 97 (from New England): RB Darrell Henderson, Memphis

The Bucs still need to add some talent to their backfield and here’s where they do it. At 5’9″/200lbs Henderson may not have the size to be an NFL feature back, but he’s an ideal addition to any backfield by committee like the Bucs have. He finished his three year college career with an extremely productive junior season totaling 214 carries for 1,909 yards and 22 touchdowns while averaging almost 9 yards per carry. He also added 19 catches for 295 yards and 3 touchdowns while averaging 15.5 yards per catch. He’s a dynamic playmaker with outstanding balance and joystick-like agility and control. His skills set would fit in nicely with the rest of the Buccaneers backfield.

Rd 3- Pk 101 (from New England): DT Khalen Saunders, Western Illinois

Yes, the Bucs already addressed the interior d-line earlier in this draft. However, Saunders makes for an interesting developmental prospect. At 6’1″/320lbs, he has excellent quickness and mobility for his size. In his final two seasons, he totaled 129 tackles, 25 tackles for loss, 14 sacks, 4 passes defensed and 4 forced fumbles. He has all the physical tools to be a dominant interior defender, but he’s raw. He just needs a good coaching staff to help him with his technique and figure out how to use those tools. When or if he does, WATCH OUT!

Rd 4- Pk 107: CB Joejuan Williams, Vanderbilt


The Bucs secondary is young. They haven’t yet, but I expect them to add a veteran corner like Morris Claiborne pretty soon here in free agency. With MJ Stewart moving to safety and Vernon Hargreaves moving back outside from the nickel spot, the team could use another big corner to add some good depth at that position. At 6’3″/210lbs, he would add great size to a Bucs secondary that could use some more considering the style of defense that Todd Bowles would like to play. In 2018, he had his best season finishing with 61 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 4 interceptions and 13 passes defensed. He ran a 4.65 forty and put up 17 bench reps at the Combine this year. His best fit for the NFL would be as a press corner, which fits exactly what Bowles has in mind. Good ball skills, physical in coverage and tough against the run. He’s a bit of a developmental project right now, but with the right coaching he could eventually turn out to be a very solid starter.

Rd 5- Pk 145: OLB Carl Granderson, Wyoming

I know that the Bucs already addressed OLB earlier in this draft too, but why not add another guy to the mix with Granderson. He’s another raw prospect, but his production is hard to ignore. He finished his four year career at Wyoming with 173 tackles, 35.5 tackles for loss, 16.5 sacks and 3 interceptions. At 6’5″/255lbs, he’s a better run defender than a pass rusher but he has the physical tools to get the job done. Scouts say his best fit for the NFL is as a standup 3-4 outside linebacker, which would fit Bowles defensive scheme quite well.

Rd 5- Pk 173 (from Washington): C Jesse Burkett, Stanford

The Bucs could use some depth on the interior o-line, especially at center where they have no true backup. At 6’3″/305lbs, he could stand to add a bit more mass to his frame and needs to add more power. In case you haven’t noticed yet, I’m looking for prospects with potential. Players that have the physical characteristics needed to succeed, but just need the right coaching to get them to that next level. If Bruce Arians is as confident in his coaching staff as he claims, then these are the types of players that he’ll be looking at in this draft and Burkett is one of those players.

Rd 6- Pk 197: WR Hunter Renfrow, Clemson

Adam Humphries is on record saying that Renfrow is even better than him. With Hump now gone, maybe the Bucs should replace him with the 2.0 version. At 5’10″/185lbs, he’s small in stature but big at heart. Smart player with great hands who doesn’t shrink from big moments totaling 17 catches for 180 yards and 4 touchdowns in the two title games against Alabama. Walked on at Clemson and played all four years totaling 186 catches for 2,133 yards and 15 touchdowns. He would replace what the Bucs lost in Humphries free agency departure to Tennessee and give Jameis Winston another reliable pass catcher.

Rd 7- Pk 215: QB Nick Fitzgerald, Mississippi State

I know the Bucs just re-signed Ryan Griffin. And I know the Bucs just signed Blaine Gabbert. But they need to get serious about finding a long term solution to their backup quarterback situation if neither one of these guys are it. At 6’4″/230lbs, he has a strong arm and a solid frame so the physical tools are there for the Bucs coaching staff to work with. Fitzgerald is a dual threat QB who led the SEC in total offense in 2018 and finished his career with the most rushing yards by an SEC quarterback with 3,607 yards. After sitting behind Dak Prescott for his first two seasons, he finished with 6,000yards, 52 touchdowns and 30 interceptions in his final three years adding 46 rushing touchdowns as well. Not only could he be a future backup, but the Bucs could also use him in similar ways that the New Orleans Saints use quarterback Taysom Hill.

CONCLUSION

How bout dat? The Bucs end up with 12 picks in this draft, 6 on offense and 6 on defense. In the real world, I highly doubt that Jason Licht would hang on to all 12 picks. Somewhere, at some point, he would use some of them to trade up to get a kicker. I’m kidding…kind of. However, I didn’t want to do that. I wanted to add more talent and more depth to this roster and I think I did just that on both sides of the ball.

So there it is, my Mock Draft 2.0 with and without trades. Let me know what you think, Bucs fans. What would you do differently? Which picks did you like? Which picks did you not like? Who’s not in my mocks that you think should be? I want to hear from you, so let me know what you think. I’m sure that I’ll come out with at least one more mock draft before the actual draft next month so keep an eye out for it.

Until then, as always…GO BUCS!!!

Jon Hinkle

Jon Hinkle

My name is Jon Hinkle, also know as Deez Bucz to most Buccaneers fans. I have been given the opportunity by WhatTheBuc.net to do some writing about one of my favorite subjects...Buccaneer football and all that goes with it. This is my first public writing gig, so I'm hoping that I can entertain the fine fans of Tampa Bay while learning and gaining experience towards a possible new career in sports reporting. I hope everyone enjoys the fruits of my labor and I look forward to bringing some new and exciting stories to Bucs Nation! And as always.....GO BUCS!!!

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