JT’s 2023 Buccaneers’ Mock Draft 1.0


The Senior Bowl has come and gone and we are now in the full swing of NFL draft season. This is a critical off season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and this particular draft will be extremely important. This is in large part due to the large number of players being free agents and likely finding their next contract elsewhere.

In many ways this will be an offseason to reload. However, with the Buccaneers being well over the cap at this point, most of that reloading will have to come through the draft. It’s a year where the team will likely have to find several starters in this process.

Reading the tea leaves, we know where the Bucs will likely have needs. Secondary help will be a high priority with multiple cornerbacks and safeties being free agents. There has also been a lot of buzz around finding a new left tackle with Donovan Smith as a potential cut candidate. 

Based on what we know right now and where these players have been projected to be drafted this was my first attempt this season at a full Buccaneers mock draft.

Round-1, 19th – Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State

Joey Porter Jr is a long and athletic cover corner. He thrives in man coverage and has all the tools to be a number one corner in the NFL. If he had better ball skills, the big hole in his game, then he might be in the conversation as the best cornerback in the draft.

Two things make him a natural fit with the Buccaneers. One is the need that they have and the ability Todd Bowles has shown in developing defensive backs. The other that the Bucs co-defensive coordinator was a long time teammate of Porter Jr.’s father, Joey Porter Sr who was a long time starting linebacker with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Round-2, 50th – Jaelyn Duncan, OT, Maryland

It feels like the Donovan Smith era is coming to an end, if not this year then next year. Jason Licht has typically drafted players to sit behind a veteran for a year before taking over as the starter. I would expect that to be the transition plan at offensive tackle this year.

Enter Maryland left tackle Jaelyn Duncan. This looks like one of the more athletic and impressive blockers in this draft class. He had an impressive week at the Senior Bowl and seems primed to be a quality NFL starter sooner rather than later.

Round-3, 82nd – Sydney Brown, S, Illinois

There might not be a faster or more physical safety in this entire draft. Sydney Brown looks like a strong safety at the NFL level, but has excellent speed to stay with tight ends and receivers deep in coverage. He projects as a big time asset as a run defender and as a guy who can take the ball away in pass coverage.

Much like Duncan, Brown was one of the big winners at the Senior Bowl. Based on how Licht has targeted Senior Bowl players in the past and the need the Bucs have at safety, this is as natural of a fit as you could hope for. If Brown is still available at this point then there should be no hesitation with this pick.

Round-5, 155th – Andrei Iosivas, WR, Princeton

At this point there are a lot of questions surrounding the depth of the Buccaneers wide receiver group. Most agree that they need to add speed at this position and develop a quality fourth option in house. Iosivas is a perfect target for this need. 

Andrei Iosivas is 6’3 and has excellent speed. He comes out of Princeton, so the level of competition leaves a lot of questions to how well his physical gifts will translate. However, there is no doubt that he has the raw tools and a good NFL coaching staff might be able to turn him into a quality player.

Round-5, 175th – Keondre Coburn, DT, Texas

What if I told you that the Bucs already have the answer to who their 3 technique defensive tackle will be? Imagine for a moment that the Bucs slide Vita Vea over and allow him to focus on being more of a pass rusher next season. We already saw him take a step forward in this department last year after setting a new career high with 6.5 sacks.

This means the Bucs could look to add a space eating nose tackle to take that responsibility off Vea. That’s exactly what Keondre Coburn does best. At 6’2 and 345 lbs, this is the type of run stuffing nose tackle that can improve the Buccaneers run defense and actually make Vea that much better.

Round-6, 181st – Jake Moody, K, Michigan

Do you really think there’s a scenario where Licht won’t draft a kicker this year? After watching Ryan Succup struggle with any kick over 50 yards there is no question they will be looking for a new answer at the kicker position. And we know all too well that Licht is willing to invest draft picks into specialists.

Jake Moody might have been the best offensive weapon on Michigan’s team last year. He was the 2021 Lou Groza award winner and has shown the ability to hit long field goals even in the elements. Regardless of how you feel about drafting kickers, don’t be surprised to see Moody picked by the Bucs.

Round-6, 196th – SirVocea Dennis, LB, Pittsburgh

At this point in the draft I am looking for someone with potential. A player who can possibly be developed into a future starter. SirVocea Dennis fits that bill,

Dennis has sideline to sideline speed as a linebacker. He’s a high IQ player who is always in attack mode. He needs to continue to improve in coverage, which I feel confident he can, but he brings immediate special teams value.

Round-7, 232nd – Thomas Incoom, DE, Central Michigan

With the potential loss of Anthony Nelson and Carl Nassib in free agency, the Bucs are in the market for a depth pass rusher. That’s exactly what Incoom does best. He was tied for fourth in the country with 11.5 sacks last season.

Thomas Incoom brings good size at 6’4 and 265 lbs. He has decent ability to bend around the edge and rush the quarterback with quickness and fluidity. A nice depth addition at this point in the draft.

Round-7, 253rd – Lew Nichols, RB, Central Michigan

In 2021 Lew Nichols led the country in rushing yards. He’s a tough, no nonsense runner who always seemed to get stronger late in games. He also shows some ability as a pass catcher and blocker.

At 5’11 and 225 lbs he’s more of a power runner than a home run hitter. He reminds me of former Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram from Alabama. I project him to a similar NFL role as how we saw Ingram used with the New Orleans Saints; a gritty workhorse who can get tough yards and goal line touches.

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