Tampa Bay Buccaneers Post Free Agency Seven Round Mock Draftby Jack Gaffney April 5, 2021 8 comments
After a dominating performance to win Super Bowl LV over Kansas City, Jason Licht and The Tampa Bay Buccaneer brass have opted with the strategy to (for the most part) keep their championship-winning squad intact.
They handed out big money to bring back major cogs such as Shaquil Barrett, Ndamukong Suh, Leonard Fournette, Rob Gronkowski, and Tampa Bay lifer Lavonte David. On top of the franchise tag being given to receiver Chris Godwin, it does not appear that there is a major glaring weakness to this Buccaneer roster going into their defense of the championship. However, it would be wise to start looking towards the future with some big names not getting any younger.
To help with this mock draft, I used The Draft Network’s mock draft simulator.
Make sure to check out all of our other NFL Team Mock Drafts.
Round 1, Pick 32: Christian Barmore, IDL, Alabama
There were some intriguing options on the board here, most notably linebackers Zaven Collins and Jamin Davis, but in the end, Tampa Bay goes with the best interior defensive lineman in the class with Barmore in what is a solid value pick at 32.
Suh is back again for the Bucs, but it is only a one-year deal and he will be 35-years-old next January. William Gholston is about to turn 30, so it would be good to get some youth in between the tackles to pair with Vita Vea in the 3-4 defense.
The only concern with Barmore is that he has played just 22 games in college, a significant amount of those in which he did not start. However, to his credit, he had a great 2020 campaign, tallying eight sacks, 37 tackles (9.5 for a loss), and had first-team All-SEC and CFB National Championship Defensive MVP Honors.
Round 2, Pick 64: Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami (FL)
While I would not expect Rousseau to fall this far, if he does Licht would be a fool not to take a chance on him at the end of the second round. Factors for the pass rusher’s free-fall include only having one full year of tape (fractured ankle in 2018 and opted out of the 2020 season) and being a raw defensive prospect as he played receiver and safety in high school.
That said, his one full season had him in the same breath as Chase Young. Maybe you have heard of him. In 2019, Rousseau put up 15.5 sacks, forced two fumbles, and logged 54 tackles (19.5 for a loss). Tampa would be a great landing spot, as he would not have major expectations off the bat and would get the chance to learn from the likes of Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul while getting valuable NFL reps.
Round 3, Pick 95: Trey Smith, IOL, Tennessee
With Alex Cappa hitting free agency after this upcoming season and coming off a year of zero sacks allowed along with a career-high snap count, it might not be the worst idea to get a guy who could replace him. The Bucs could decide to let him test the market in 2022.
Smith started at Tennessee playing left tackle before moving over to right guard, where he is projected to play in the NFL. At 6-foot-6 and 330 pounds, he brings a lot of brute strength to the table. In three years at Tennessee, Smith only was credited as giving up three sacks in 30 games (via Pro Football Focus), and had a good showing at this year’s Senior Bowl.
Smith has had battles with blood clots in lungs in 2018 and had to take blood thinners to get back on the field the following season.
Round 4, Pick 137: Stone Forsythe, OT, Florida
Standing at 6-foot-8 and weighing nearly 320 pounds, and with a top-10 name like Stone Forsythe, it is stunning how this gentleman fell in this mock to a day three pick. Forsythe started on the right side of the line before making the switch to left tackle. In 2020 he was a key cog in one of the nation’s best offensive line units while protecting the blindside of Kyle Trask.
With his size, Forsythe can be an absolute menace for opposing front-fours. Even with some concerns with his feet and with a high pad level that he (for obvious reasons given his height), has no control over, giving him some time behind Donovan Smith would prove beneficial for the big man before hopefully taking his spot down the road.
Round 5, Pick 176: Marlon Williams, WR, UCF
Once again, it is a Florida school prospect for the Buccaneers in Williams in the fifth round. Antonio Brown is likely not returning to Tampa Bay, and it is never a bad idea to get depth at receiver when your quarterback is Tom Brady.
Williams enters the draft coming off a 71-catch season for 1,039 yards and ten touchdowns; all career bests. The Mobile, AL native was used primarily in the slot for Central Florida and can create after the catch on top of having good hands to bring in passes to match. However, he did not appear to have a full route tree at UCF. Williams also has experience returning kickoffs and punts, as well as some experience as a quarterback in the wildcat.
If Byron Leftwich wants a gadget-play quarterback, Williams might be the perfect guy.
Round 6, Pick 217: Thomas Graham Jr. CB, Oregon
Based on some other mocks, this would be an absolute stunner if Graham Jr fell to round six. At 5-foot-11 and only around 200 pounds, Graham is somewhat undersized but does not play like it.
With speed and agility being knocks on him, the former Duck makes up for it with a high compete level and good tackling ability, averaging close to 60 tackles a season in three years in Eugene. On top of that, he had eight interceptions to his name in his college career, along with 32 pass breakups.
Again, it would be a stunner if Graham fell to round six, but if he does, Tampa Bay should be all over him.
Round 7, Pick 251: Jaret Patterson, RB, Buffalo
You may recall Patterson from an unprecedented 408-yard, eight touchdown performance he had against Kent State in 2020. Those are Derrick Henry High School numbers… beyond preposterous.
Despite being only 5-foot-11 and a tick under 200 pounds, Patterson was able to average over six yards per carry while running for a bit short of 4,000 yards in three years at Buffalo. There will be no slander of competition in the MAC, (#MACtion).
Patterson also has shown the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield, having 13 grabs for 209 yards in 2019, but oddly had zero receptions in 2020. Regardless, pairing him up in a committee with Fournette and Jones would be an interesting three-headed monster for the Buccaneers to torment opposing defenses.
For more on Patterson, check our scouting report on him here.
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