Our series “32 NFL Mock Drafts in 32 days” continues with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Buccaneers have been busy in free agency as they have brought back all 22 starters from their Super Bowl-winning team in 2020. Heading to Cleveland for Draft Day, the Buccaneers currently have eight selections. For a team that finished as Super Bowl Champions in 2020, the draft provides them with a chance to bolster their squad for another run at the Lombardi trophy.
Tom Brady rolled back the years as he led his squad of misfits and ex-retirees on a merry march to his seventh Super Bowl ring and Tampa Bays’ second. Despite starting slowly and finishing in a wild card spot, the Buccaneers produced one of the best playoff ventures ever.
Being forced to go away from home in the NFL is difficult at the best of times but in the postseason it is even harder. Never mind the fact it is at the end of a long grueling season, you are also going up against the best the NFL has to offer. Tampa went away to take on the Washington Football Team in the wild card game and came away with the win. After that, it was a trip to divisional rivals the New Orleans Saints in the divisional round.
After losing to Dree Brees and the Saints twice during the regular season the Buccaneers finally got revenge as they sent Brees of into retirement and advanced to an NFC Championship showdown with the Green Bay Packers. Green Bay could do nothing to stop the Buccaneers marching on and a date with the Kansas City Chiefs was set for Super Bowl LV.
Now, as the preparation starts for 2021 the Buccaneers have committed to bringing back the stars that won them their first Super Bowl since the 2002 season. Shaquill Barrett, Rob Gronkowski, Ndamukong Suh, Chris Godwin, and Lavonte David are all suiting up and heading back for another run at the title.
Now attention turns to the draft and the Buccaneers finding players for the future. They have 22 starters who just won a Super Bowl but they won’t be around forever and 2021 gives them the chance to bring in their stars of the future whilst also having Super Bowl-winning starters for them to sit behind. Not many teams can boast a Super Bowl-winning caliber team after the dominos have fallen in free agency and prior to the draft. Tampa needs to take advantage of the position they find themselves in.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers NFL Mock Draft: Day One
1.32 | Asante Samuel Jr. | CB | Florida State
What better pedigree is there for a future NFL star than his dad being a star in the league? Asante Samuel is a former pro-bowl cornerback in the NFL and his son Asante Samuel Jr. is built just like him. A physical and competitive corner who is able to create big plays on defense. Tampa’s defense excelled in 2021 and looks to continue that into the future. Asante Samuel Jr. is a big step forward in keeping this defense one as of the best for years to come.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers NFL Mock Draft: Day Two
2.64 | Alim McNeil | DI | North Carolina State
Unfortunately, great players like Ndamukong Suh can’t play forever, and finding players to replace them becomes extremely important. In steps Alim McNeil. The 6-2, 320 pound monster from North Carolina State can be the man to replace Suh when he hangs up his jersey. At North Carolina State, McNeil played all over the defensive line and racked up the sacks and tackles for loss wherever he went. Power, speed, and strength are all hugely important on the defensive line and this kid has them all.
3.95 | Kellen Mond | QB | Texas A & M
Tom Brady might very well play forever and ever but on the off chance age finally catches up with the vampire the Buccaneers bring in a quarterback to sit behind him for a year. Kellen Mond excelled when he appeared at the Senior Bowl and certainly got some head scouts thinking. A dual-threat quarterback seems to be the way the league is going these days and Mond is certainly capable of being one. A year to learn from the best to ever to do it could have this quarterback ready to be a starter in the league when Count Brady returns to his lair.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers NFL Mock Draft: Day Three
4.137 | Amari Rodgers | WR | Clemson
As things stand, Antonio Brown has not been re-signed to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Whether or not he does is yet to be seen but even if that does happen the Buccaneers should be in the market for a new wide receiver. Chris Godwin is playing on the franchise tag and who knows what Antonio Brown will turn up if he is re-signed. Amari Rodgers from Clemson has been a dynamic big-time playmaker for Clemson throughout his college career.
Rodgers has got better and better each college year and he is ready to make the jump to the NFL. A player who has the ability to be an instant star in the league.
5.176 | Tariq Thompson | S | San Diego State
A strong secondary is key to a successful defense and Tariq Thompson could be a late-round gem for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. A tough tackler who isn’t afraid to get physical. Strong at shutting down the run game and someone who also racked up 12 interceptions and 35 pass break-ups throughout his college career. Another candidate to grow into a starter in the NFL.
6.217 | Tre McKitty | TE | Georgia
As previously mentioned all good things must come to an end, and like Ndamukong Suh, Rob Gronkowski can’t play forever. Tre McKitty fits the bill to come in and be a replacement. Strong in the run blocking game and with a bit of practice he can become better in the passing game. A development project for the Buccaneers, but who better to learn from than Rob Gronkowski and Tom Brady?
7.251 Josh Ball | OT | Marshall
Depth at every position is key, but especially for your players who are battling in the trenches for the majority of the game. Josh Ball shows an understanding of blocking in both the passing and running game and he picks up his assignments quickly. Given his size, he moves extremely well and is strong through the block. A late-round find that could turn into a starter in the near future.
7.259 | Buddy Johnson | LB | Texas A & M
The last pick in the 2021 NFL draft. Buddy Johnson is a linebacker who excels when it comes to stopping the run. His patience on defense stops him from getting drawn into where offenses want you to think where the ball is and gets him to where the ball actually is. Another depth addition at this stage.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2021 NFL Mock Draft Recap
With the thoughts of “running it back” strong in the minds of everyone associated with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, they have managed to bring back all 22 starters. In the 2021 draft, they have managed to plan for the future and bring in plenty of young talent who have a positive outlook and can learn from some of the best to ever do it. The Buccaneers could be staying at the mountain top of professional football for a very long time.
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