It’s officially draft week. After months of evaluation and speculation, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will finally be adding future young stars to their roster. Now it’s just a question of who those stars will be.
Based on what we know now, there is a pretty good sense of the positions the Bucs will target in the draft. We also know the types of players that will project well to their scheme and what prospects have had a chance to shine in the pre-draft process.
Based on all of these things, here is my final predictive Buccaneers mock draft for the year.
19) Anton Harrison, OT, Oklahoma
In a perfect world I believe Jason Licht would want to trade down before making this pick. However, with many offensive tackle needy teams picking around the same area of the draft, it might be too much of a risk to trade down and risk losing his guy. If there is a run of offensive tackles before the Bucs pick then I expect them to stay out and pick Harrison at 19.
Harrison is incredibly light on his feet and will be a perfect fit in the new outside zone system that the Bucs are installing on offense. He’s also a true left tackle which would allow the Buccaneers to keep star Tristian Wirfs at his more natural position at right tackle. These two factors make him a perfect match for the Buccaneers beyond his natural talent.
As a player, Harrison can absolutely glide in pass protection to mirror his opponents. And while not a powerhouse he does possess a relatively to hold up as an island. His footwork and hand usage need a little work, which is why he slides to 19, but he’s still only 21 years old and I believe his best football is still ahead of him.
50) Derick Hall, EDGE, Auburn
The word finesse doesn’t exist in Hall’s game. A power pass rusher who plays with strength, hustle and a high level of intelligence. He usually seems to put himself in a good position to make a play and has the athletic ability to create chaos regularly.
As much as there is to say about Hall as a player, he comes off as an even more impactful person. He was a team captain at Auburn and was a semifinalist for the Jason Witten Man of the Year Award in college football last year. His locker room presence will undoubtedly add to an already strong culture in Tampa Bay.
82) JL Skinner, SS, Boise State
Skinner is a giant safety prospect at 6’4 and 209 lbs. Unfortunately he wasn’t able to do athletic testing through the pre draft process due to an injury, but everything I’ve seen of him tells me that he is a very good athlete at that size. He projects as a box safety in the NFL, despite being used in a variety of ways in college.
For a big, physical safety, Skinner has soft hands. He has seven career interceptions including four last season. He will be limited in coverage at the next level, but in terms of box safeties his coverage ability is pretty good for the position and should be able to handle running backs and tight ends consistently.
153) Luke Schoonmaker, TE, Michigan
Schoonmaker wasn’t ever a star in college football, but he always impressed when on the field. Even when he wasn’t the starter he made his presence felt as a high impact blocker. Once he got his chance to be the lead tight end last year he emerged as a dependable pass catcher as well.
There is reason to believe that he could be more than just a great blocking tight end in the NFL. He had great combine workouts and seems to have the traits of a playmaker down the line. With a year or two of development he could turn into an impact starter.
175) Karl Brooks, DT, Bowling Green State
Brooks will be moving from a defensive end to a defensive tackle in the NFL. On top of that, it will be a big jump in competition coming from the Mid American Conference. However, the projection is so far so good to this point.
Despite moving to a new position, Brooks was one of the more impressive defensive linemen at the Senior Bowl. Coming into a team where he can develop as a situational pass rusher (like the Bucs) would be a great transition plan for him at the next level. And while I still have a lot of questions about what he will look like as a NFL player this is a low risk, high reward bet.
179) Clayton Tune, QB, Houston
A five year player at Houston, Tune has a total of 47 college games worth of experience. He improved each year before throwing for over 4,000 yards and 40 touchdowns in 2022. Tune has nothing left to accomplish at the collegiate level and should be one of the more NFL ready prospects at his position.
Tune also has a decent set of physical tools. He has an average to above average NFL arm and can throw with nice velocity. He also has enough mobility to keep a defense honest and pick up yards, via scramble or designed run. Don’t count Tune out of having a Kirk Cousins type of career path.
181) Jalen Moreno-Cropper, WR, Fresno State
Undersized, but not under talented. Moreno-Cropper has good speed and a good awareness of space and how to get himself open. He was leading receiver at Fresno State for the last two seasons and has special teams value with kick return experience.
I don’t see Moreno-Cropper as a long term starter due to his physical limitations, but he’s a nice depth piece who will be able to make plays when called upon.
196) Charlie Thomas, LB/SS, Georgia Tech
Thomas is one of my favorite linebackers in this draft. He is fast and plays with a reasonably high awareness to always find himself around the ball. Most importantly, Thomas has good coverage ability as a former college safety.
I project Thomas as a good fit for the “money backer” role that Deone Bucannon played under Todd Bowles. He can be brought in specifically on passing downs and use his speed and tackling as a special teams player.
252) Mohamed Ibrahim, RB, Minnesota
Ibrahim always seems to fall forward. He isn’t particularly big at 5 ‘8 and 205 lbs, but he runs with a purpose and is plenty physical. While he doesn’t have the frame of a power back, he certainly has the mentality.
What he lacks in size, Ibrahim gains in quickness. He has good burst to hit the hole and always seems to find daylight. In the right niche as a rotational back Ibrahim could have an impact on the Buccaneers next year.