The clock is about to strike midnight on all of our pre-draft analysis. With that in mind, here’s a final mock draft for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers round by round.
Round 1 Pick 7
Johnny Maziel QB – Texas A&M
Don’t act like this one surprises you. Head coach Lovie Smith has been smitten by Johnny Football and we know the quarterback position has been given a temporary placeholder in Josh McCown. The Cleveland Browns, reportedly, aren’t high on the former Aggie passer which will allow Manziel to slide to seven. Even with other glaring needs the new regime pulls the trigger.
Round 2 Pick 38
Kelvin Benjamin WR – Florida State
While many of our mock drafts had Mike Evans going to Tampa Bay in the first, there is a deep enough talent pool for the Bucs to be patient when looking for a receiver. Without Mike Williams a suitable replacement needs to be found for 2014. Why not select a huge receiving target who might even be an upgrade in the red zone; a place where Williams thrived. While Benjamin’s 40 time (4.61) might raise a few questions, he has big play potential, which is something the Bucs could use.
Round 3 Pick 69
Trai Turner OG – LSU
Now that the Davin Joseph era has come to an end, the Bucs could use a replacement at the guard position. Turner has his weaknesses but he also has some strengths, which include the potential to be a nasty run blocker at the NFL level. Turner possesses speed and athleticism for a big body.
Round 3 Pick 84 (From Cardinals)
Billy Turner OT North Dakota State
The Cardinals bite on trading Mike Glennon for their third round pick. Having a solid offensive line is important for any NFL team and no coach knows that more that Smith. When Turner falls to 84 the Bucs use the third round to fill in their needs on the offensive line. Turner projects as a third round prospect but if he can live up to his pass blocking potential, this might be a steal for Tampa Bay.
Round 5 Pick 143
Christian Kirksey OLB Iowa
If Kirksey is still available the Bucs will have to consider taking the Iowa product who has the ability to rush the passer and still be effective in the passing game. Kirksey ran a sub 4.6 40 without lacking in ability to mix it up on the line of scrimmage. Smith and general manager Jason Licht see potential in the Hawkeye and give him a chance to showcase his ability opposite Lavonte David.
Round 6 Pick 185 (From Bills)
Crockett Gillmore TE Colorado State
Gillmore drops all the way to the sixth round which tempts Smith and Licht take a stud tight end from the Mountain West. A versatile tight end that has excellent pass catching skills, especially in traffic, Gillmore provides competition for Tim Wright. At worst the former Colorado State pass-catcher would give Tampa Bay a dangerous target along with Wright to frustrate defenses.
Round 7 Pick 221
Zach Fulton OG Tennessee
It’s the seventh round and at this point, there’s no telling what will happen. If Fulton makes his way into the final frame of the draft perhaps the Smith regime brings in another body on the front lines. Fulton is raw just as any late round draft pick should be, but he does have plenty of experience (28 starts) tangling with SEC defensive lineman.