Byron Jewell | April 4th, 2020
For the first time in twenty years, Tom Brady will be playing for a team other than the New England Patriots. In what was the biggest move in franchise history, if not NFL history, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have seemingly decided to go “all-in” when they signed the 42-year-old quarterback on a two-year $50 million dollar deal back in March.
This comes right after a season in which previous quarterback Jameis Winston, the former top overall pick in 2012, had the first 30 touchdowns and 30 interceptions season in NFL history while failing to reach the playoffs during his tenure in Tampa Bay. On the defensive side of the ball, the Buccaneers managed to basically retain the whole starting defense from last season. The moves started by placing the franchise tag on Shaquil Barrett, who led the league 19.5 sacks last season. They were also able to re-sign veterans Jason Pierre-Paul and Ndamukong Suh. With free agency slowing down, it’s time to take a look at the draft. The Buccaneers have seven total picks in this year’s draft.
For this mock draft, I used The Draft Networks mock machine.
Make sure to check out all of our other NFL team mock drafts here.
Round 1, Pick 14: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
What’s the point in having Chris Godwin, Mike Evans, O.J. Howard, and Cameron Brate at your disposal, if your offensive line doesn’t give you the chance to get them the ball? Now that you got your quarterback, you need to protect him. Thomas is the perfect selection for this spot. The Buccaneers offensive line was awful last season, giving up 47 sacks, and current free agent Demar Dotson was a big part of that reason. The Buccs did sign Joe Haeg in free agency but Thomas is much better and would be an immediate plug-and-play starter at right tackle. He’s technically savvy, has a strong anchor, and is really balanced. A consensus top 20 prospect, Thomas started every game of his collegiate career and made both first team All-American and All-SEC teams last season.
Round 2, Pick 46: J.K. Dobbins, RB, Ohio State
Let’s take a look at the current running backs in the Buccaneers division, the NFC South. The Saints have Alvin Kamara, the Falcons now have Todd Gurley, the Panthers have Christian McCaffrey, and the Buccaneers have Ronald Jones II? We all know Brady loves utilizing his running backs and with all due respect to Jones, he isn’t a starting caliber running back in the NFL. Dobbins is a consensus top three back in the class and has virtually no weaknesses. A bell cow back at Ohio State, Dobbins ran for over 2,000 yards and 21 touchdowns last year as Junior, while also hauling in 20+ receptions in each of his three seasons as a Buckeye. Dobbins, like Thomas, would be an immediate plug-and-play starter in Bruce Arians‘ offense.
Round 3, Pick 76: Terrell Burgess, SAF, Utah
The Buccaneers have invested a lot into their secondary over recent years, specifically on cornerbacks. But they have a hole at strong safety and Burgess could be the right fit. Though not the best in coverage, Burgess makes his presence felt in the run game. He’s an athletic guy and it shows in space, where he has elite change of direction and is a great tackler. He’s also smart and can read plays very well even though he only started for one season at Utah. You can play him on special teams at first if you’re not comfortable starting him at safety right out of the gate, but Burgess has some nice potential as the Buccs need more playmakers in the secondary.
Round 4, Pick 117: Tyler Biadasz, IOL, Wisconsin
Wisconsin is well known for producing high quality offensive lineman and Biadasz should be no different. As I’ve mentioned already, the Buccaneers offensive line was awful last year, specifically the right side. Biadasz would be another plug-and-play guy at right guard for Tampa Bay, as last year’s starter at the position, Alex Cappa, hasn’t lived up to his 2018 third-round selection expectations yet. Biadasz was a hot commodity at the beginning of the draft process but has since cooled down. He’s extremely powerful at the point of attack, strong hands, and has a really good anchor. This pick makes both Brady and Dobbins’ life much easier overall.
Round 4, Pick 139: Gabriel Davis, WR, Central Florida
Fun Fact: since 2008, Tampa Bay has selected eight players from Florida based schools in the NFL Draft. Based on this, there’s approximately a 50% chance they will likely do it again this year. The Buccaneers recently lost Breshad Perriman in free agency and will be looking for his replacement. Davis isn’t a burner like Perriman, but his ball tracking skills and college production will be intriguing for the Buccaneers. Another pick to help Brady as much as possible.
Round 5, Pick 161: Anthony Gordon, QB, Washington State
As much as Buccaneer will want Brady to play forever, it’s not happening. Yes, he is the ageless wonder, but he is 42-years-old. Gordon only got one year of starting experience under his belt but in the air-raid offense that Washington State head coach Mike Leach ran, it’s equivalent to about two full seasons for any other quarterback. Gordon had over 5,500 passing yards, 48 touchdowns, and completed 71% of his passes. Arians will get to mold his quarterback from the start of his career.
Round 6, Pick 194: Trevis Gipson, EDGE, Tulsa
When you’re this late in the draft, you wanna look for guys who offer upside. Gipson is a good example of this, as he continues to get better every time he takes the field. He had a nice senior season as he had 15 tackles for loss and eight sacks which ultimately lead to an invite to the Senior Bowl down in Mobile. There he got to showcase his talent to more scouts on a national scale and overall had a nice week. He has a nice frame, long arms, and showed he has a few moves up his sleeve. Pierre-Paul is on the wrong side of 30 and this is a nice low-risk high-reward selection.
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Main Image Credit:Embed from Getty Images