After what is now the closest vote we’ve had for any pick thus far, the first six picks of our 2018 Daily Norseman Community Mock Draft are in the books.
- Cleveland Browns - Sam Darnold, QB, USC
- New York Giants - Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
- New York Jets (from Indianapolis Colts) - Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
- Cleveland Browns (from Houston Texans) - Bradley Chubb, DE, North Carolina State
- Denver Broncos - Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame
- Indianapolis Colts (from New York Jets) - Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
Now, we’re on to a former divisional rival of the Minnesota Vikings, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The NFC South sent three teams to the NFC playoffs this past season. The Buccaneers. . .were not one of those teams. They have some holes to fill, and there’s plenty of talent on the board for them to do that.
Let’s take a look at Tampa.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2017 record: 5-11 (4th place, NFC South)
DT Beau Allen (free agent signing), K Chandler Catanzaro (free agent signing), DE Vinny Curry (free agent signing), CB Brent Grimes (free agent signing), C Ryan Jensen (free agent signing), DE Jason Pierre-Paul (acquired via trade with New York Giants), DT Mitch Unrein (free agent signing)
DT Chris Baker (signed with Cincinnati), RB Doug Martin (signed with Oakland), DE Clinton McDonald (signed with Denver), G Kevin Pamphile (signed with Tennessee)
Cornerback - Tampa re-signed Brent Grimes not too long ago, but at age 34 he looks like he’s on his last legs. They need at least one cornerback out of this draft, and probably more.
Defensive line - The Bucs made a couple of moves at the defensive end position, signing Vinny Curry as a free agent and swinging a trade for Jason Pierre-Paul. However, JPP is no spring chicken, and they could use another guy to work into their rotation along with Noah Spence, who missed a lot of last year because of injury. Tampa could also look to their defensive interior, as they lost Chris Baker earlier this offseason.
Offensive line - Like a lot of the teams that are selecting this high, the Buccaneers have issues along the offensive line. They have a couple of decent players up front in center Ali Marpet and right tackle Demar Dotson (though Dotson seems to be perpetually hurt), but they have significantly more question marks.
Safety - Chris Conte is listed as a starter for the Buccaneers at safety. That means they need safety help.
Marcus Davenport, DE, Texas-San Antonio - Davenport is a player that is definitely going to need some time to develop, as he played his college ball at a smaller school. Still, he has as much physical talent as any other defensive end in this year’s draft, and if the Buccaneers can coach him up sufficiently, the reward for taking him could be huge.
Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama - The Buccaneers could use some help at safety, and the versatile Fitzpatrick could step in and be an immediate contributor for them at that spot. He could also drop down and play in the slot a little bit, given the situation.
Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame - While McGlinchey’s ideal fit at the next level is probably at right tackle, if he were to get selected here by the Bucs, he’d probably slot in at the left tackle spot, since Demar Dotson has shown that he’s really not terribly dependable. McGlinchey is probably the best pure offensive tackle in this class, but this still might be a little too high for him.
Vita Vea, DT, Washington - While it isn’t the biggest need for the Buccaneers, the loss of Chris Baker (and the acquisition of a couple of defensive ends already) might have the Buccaneers focusing on the interior rather than the outside. Vea is a big, run-stuffing tackle that the Bucs could team inside with Gerald McCoy, and is a ridiculous athlete for a man his size.
Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State - While Ward doesn’t have the versatility that Fitzpatrick possesses, he is probably the best pure corner in this year’s draft class. While he does lack a little bit in the size department, Ward is an outstanding athlete, and isn’t limited to being either a “man” or a “zone” type of corner. He can do both equally well.
The Buccaneers really don’t have a need at receiver or at linebacker, which is why some of the players we’ve seen available for previous teams are not on the list of potential options here. I think we’ve got everything just about covered as far as Tampa’s needs.
Next up, we hit our first NFC North rival, as the Chicago Bears will find themselves on the clock with the #8 overall selection.
With the seventh pick in the 2018 Daily Norseman Community Mock Draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (should) select ____________
This poll is closed
Marcus Davenport, DE, Texas-San Antonio
Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama
Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
Vita Vea, DT, Washington
Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State