Last time you all saw my Bucs mock draft, you saw my replacements edition. This time, you will see what I think the Bucs will do during the 2021 NFL Draft.
Lets dive in.
Round 1, Pick No. 32: IOL Landon Dickerson, Alabama Crimson Tide
When evaluating Landon Dickerson, he checks off everything you want and need for a player playing in the interior. Big, strong, can move, but has some medical red flags that Tampa Bay needs to check out. If Dickerson can do that, then he is the pick. He’s a top-20 pick without the injury history.
In the background of the Alabama Pro Day, you can see him doing cartwheels down the sideline. That makes me think he is closer to being ready to play than not. We recently learned on NFL Network that Dickerson organized and ran a weight room and training facility for himself and his teammates to work in before the draft. If that doesn’t make you love him, I don’t know what will.
This pick for the Bucs is a luxury. Now they don’t have to worry about bringing back Alex Cappa or Ryan Jensen. The Bucs have the luxury to keep one of Jensen and Cappa, while deciding to bring back Stinnie for depth in the 2022 season. Also, don’t think Dickerson has value in 2021. If Jensen goes down, there is no true backup center on the roster at this time.
Round 2, Pick No. 45: Bucs Trade Up To Select EDGE Joe Tryon, Washington
- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers receive pick No. 45.
- The Jacksonville Jaguars receive picks No. 64 and No. 137.
I promise I didn’t copy our own J.T. Olson for my final Bucs mock draft.
Tryon has an outstanding first step, motor, and flexibility coming off the edge to be a supporting player for 2021. However, his best days will be ahead of him in his career.
The former Huskie checks off all the boxes physically and athletically. He is just not “elite” in any of his traits as of yet. With some time to learn from Shaq Barrett and JPP, Tryon will be able to add more to his repertoire and truly learn his craft.
Another luxury pick for the Bucs, solidifying the edge is never a bad thing especially with JPP on the final year of his current deal. Having Anthony Nelson to pair with Tryon will be key to keep JPP and Shaq healthy for another deep playoff run.
Round 3, Pick No. 95: OT Walker Little, Stanford Cardinal
Wide receiver and running back are so tempting in this range. But I need you to hear me out and why I think Licht loves Walker Little.
Like Dickerson, Little checks off all the football boxes and has some of the best tape in his class. A strong tackle class and Little missing the 2019 and 2020 seasons have pushed him down the board, but he offers so much upside at the tackle position. It’s something that doesn’t come around every year.
At the tail-end of the top-100 it is nearly impossible to find high-level tackle play. Little has the ability to start at both tackle spots going forward and he can immediately be that sixth offensive lineman we saw Joe Haeg play last season. Little is the ultimate value for a third-round pick.
If the Bucs do not think Antonio Brown is coming back, I can easily see this selection being one of the best receivers who falls. For now, I think AB is back as a long-term solution and the running back position can be solved in FA and/or the draft in 2022. I don’t think the Bucs hesitate to pull the trigger in this mock if Little is there at 95.
Round 5, Pick No. 176: WR Demetric Felton, UCLA Bruins
If Felton makes the roster, it will be mainly due to his special team ability. He did not test the way that he wanted to athletically, but the tape is there. Felton can be an emergency running back and wide receiver if needed. He can also be a returner, gunner, and core special teamer. That type of versatility is valuable especially when you are keeping three quarterbacks the way the Bucs have operated in previous seasons.
Round 6, Pick No. 217: S Damar Hamlin, Pittsburgh Panthers
Drafting a safety from Pittsburgh worked out once before, and the Bucs may find a replacement for the safety described in Jordan Whitehead. Hamlin is not Whitehead in terms of talent, but he is a mini-me clone who offers the skillset at a discount. Whitehead may ultimately price himself out of TB next offseason and the Bucs would be wise to have another body for special teams and injury. Right now, if both starting safeties were to go down to injury, Edwards and Hamlin could be your discounted version of Winfield Jr. and Whitehead.
Round 7, Pick No. 251: IDL Isaiah Loudermilk, Wisconsin Badgers
Loudermilk is a HUGE body. When watching the film of Loudermilk for this mock draft, you can see where his body can be a positive and negative for him. He is tall, but still has room to grow and add weight to fill out to be a 1-5 technique depth piece. It would be on the coaching staff to teach Loudermilk how to use his body, stay lower, and get in the weight room to use more power.
We are looking at a practice squad player here, but getting him in the building with a semi-offseason could do Loudermilk some good. It would help him and the Bucs see if he can be a big body depth piece to replace Steve McLendon this offseason.
Round 7, Pick No. 259: LB K.J. Britt, Auburn Tigers
The Bucs need bodies at linebacker. When you make the commitment to David and have Devin White ready to go on the roster, it’s hard to use too high of a pick on one. There will still be plenty of veteran LB depth if injuries were to occur. Britt would come in to compete with a Jack Cichy-type player on the roster. While Cichy may be the better linebacker, Britt may be the better special teams player.
Overall, this Bucs mock seems like a very Licht-type draft. Great talent, early upside, and Day 3 picks where one hits and the rest aren’t on the roster anymore. This is NOT a bad thing. Picking a wide receiver or running back too early would be detrimental to either that player or one of the many runners on the roster. The Bucs love Rojo, trust Lenny, and believe in Gio Bernard and Ke’Shawn Vaughn enough to carve out roles for this season.
You’re likely replacing Justin Watson if you draft a receiver. The problem with that is the return of Brown -or one of the incumbent/eventual practice squad guys- will likely produce the same result. Drafting a receiver early also means the Bucs are unlikely to keep Chris Godwin next season. I just don’t see that happening. Look at the tape from last season and watch the many high difficulty catches and crucial first down receptions Godwin had. He is not leaving the building. Tyler Johnson will only get better and Scotty Miller has proven he has a vital role in this offense. With a healthy O.J. Howard, the Bucs will be using less 3-4 WR sets. So, being 6-7 deep at WR (assuming Brown is back) may not be the wisest move with pick investments.
Only Licht knows, but this is my guess. The interior defensive line looks solid enough this season. But next year would be a vital year to address the position. But right now, it’s more about play the game of play now/build for the future and trust what we have. The Bucs played one game last season to their potential and it was the Super Bowl game itself.
Let’s see how many they can string together with everyone healthy and another year in the systems.
As always, drop a comment below letting us know what you think about this Bucs mock draft, AND GO BUCS!