The Buccaneers come into the draft with several pressing needs. Most notably at the tackle position. The signing of Joe Haeg helped address some of the depth issues on the line but the Bucs will be best served by drafting an NFL-ready lineman. With the 14th pick, it is very possible that one of the ‘Big Four’ lineman will be available. On the other hand, they could not.
With that said, could the Bucs be better served moving back in the draft to get more bang for their Buc?
In this mock, the Bucs look to Miami to make it happen. Loaded with draft picks and a lot of potential, the Dolphins could be interested in moving up 12 spots to further secure their future. In this scenario, the Buccaneers trade their first-round pick (14th overall) and their fourth-rounder (117th overall) to Miami for the 26th and 39th overall selection in the draft.
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Round 1, Pick 26 (From MIA) – Austin Jackson OT, USC
Assuming the big four linemen of the draft are off the board, Austin Jackson represents a fine alternative and a player, that given some work, could make an impact and provide solid depth to the line. He started all 13 games last season for the Trojans at left tackle and earned All Pac 12 honors after spending the summer donating bone marrow for his sister.
Round 2, Pick 39 (From MIA) – Antoine Winfield Jr. S, MINN
Now, safety isn’t the most pressing need for the Bucs, however, the availability of Antoine Winfield Jr. at 39 may be too hard to pass up. Not necessarily the fastest of players, his high I.Q., natural instincts, and motor make up for that. Winfield, son of 14-year NFL veteran, Antoine Winfield Sr., has the ability to play multiple safety roles and could provide much-needed talent to the Bucs secondary.
Round 2, Pick 45 – Clyde Edwards-Helaire RB, LSU
Playing in the shadow of quarterback Joe Borrow, Clyde Edwards-Helaire had quite the season with the Tigers in 2019. In 15 games, Edwards-Helaire racked up 1,414 yards on the ground with 16 touchdowns, averaging 6.6 yards per carry. In addition, he had 55 receptions for an additional 453 yards. With Tom Brady under center for the Bucs, production out of the running backs on the ground and through the air is paramount to the success of the offense. Edwards-Helaire fits that bill to a tee.
Round 3, Pick 76 – Jacob Eason QB, WASH
An intriguing project for Bruce Arians, Jacob Eason comes with a big arm and a lot of upside. With what he needs to improve (decision making, some fundamentals), being mentored by Tom Brady is the perfect situation. Eason started all 13 games for Washington after transferring from Georgia. In those 13 games, Eason threw for 3,132 yards and 23 touchdowns with only eight interceptions.
Round 4, Pick 139 – Quintez Cephus WR, WI
A fantastic route runner with good hands, Quintez Cephus could flourish playing with Tom Brady and behind Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. The 6-foot-1, 207-pound receiver comes with a significant red flag as he missed the entire 2018 season because of sexual assault allegations. The case was eventually dismissed and he returned with a strong 2019 campaign with the Badgers with 59 receptions for 901 yards and seven touchdowns.
Round 5, Pick 161 – Larrell Murchison DT, NC State
Larrell Murchison has a strong start to the year with NC State in 2019 and could offer some solid depth to the Buccaneers defensive line that welcomed back Ndamukong Suh in the offseason. Lack of effort is not in Murchinson’s DNA, however, he will need to get stronger and work on some fundamentals. At the end of the day, he could be a strong rotational piece for the Bucs on the line.
Round 6, Pick 194 – Alex Taylor OT, SC State
For his size (6-foot-1, 309 pounds), Alex Taylor shows a ton of athleticism from the tackle position. With that said, his overall talent is raw and he could use some time to develop into a solid NFL tackle but could be a steal this late in the draft if it all comes together for him.