Filling out a Tampa Bay Buccaneers mock draft is fun but challenging, because the reigning Super Bowl champions simply don’t have a lot of holes to fill on their roster.
With all 22 starters returning from their Super Bowl LV-winning team, led by GOAT quarterback Tom Brady, the Bucs have plenty of flexibility entering the 2021 NFL Draft.
Let’s see how much better general manager Jason Licht can make this loaded roster in a seven-round mock draft from The Draft Network’s simulator.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers mock draft: Team finds Tom Brady’s successor
- First round, 32nd pick: Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU
- Second round, 64th pick: Kellen Mond, QB, Texas A&M
- Third round, 95th pick: Jay Tufele, iDL, USC
Before we get into the contents of that subheading and the obviously notable third-round pick Tampa Bay made in this scenario, check out the additions the Bucs made to their already-loaded defense.
Trevon Moehrig is expected to last until the second round, yet it’d make sense for the defending champs to take him. Moehrig can play either safety spot alongside Antoine Winfield, but with Jordan Whitehead still in the fold, the Horned Frogs star has the skill set and ball production to fill in at slot cornerback.
In Round 3, we have an experienced, high-upside interior defender in Jay Tufele from USC. His two years of solid production for the Trojans are worth taking a flier on. His decision to opt out of 2020 was due to his sister battling for her life after contracting COVID-19. Otherwise, Tufele would be a higher pick.
Tufele could start over William Gholston at some point during the 2021 campaign, too. Beyond this next season, the future up front between Gholston and Ndamukong Suh is cloudy, so Tufele fits a real need here.
Saving the most interesting for last: Kellen Mond enters the fold as the chief candidate to be Brady’s heir apparent. Although Mond has the fleet feet of a dual-threat QB, he’s well-versed in a pro-style offense from his time at Texas A&M, and nearly led the Aggies to the College Football Playoff last season.
Texas A&M didn’t have the best supporting cast to flank Mond in the SEC. In Tampa Bay, he’d have an absolutely loaded cast of skill players in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin to throw to in the coming years. He should have a couple seasons to learn from TB12, which should set Mond up for success in the NFL.
Mond may well see his stock climb leading up to the draft simply due to the position he plays. Whether it’s the second or third round, he’s a worthy investment for the Bucs as they develop a contingency plan behind Brady.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers mock draft: Marvin Wilson headlines Day 3 picks
- Fourth round, 137th pick: Marvin Wilson, iDL, Florida State
- Fifth round, 176th pick: Chris Rumph II, EDGE, Duke
- Sixth round, 217th pick: Josh Imatorbhebhe, WR, Illinois
- Seventh round, 233rd pick (via HOU): Rachad Wildgoose Jr., CB, Wisconsin
A former 5-star recruit whose performance trailed off a bit in 2020, Marvin Wilson got lost in obscurity at Florida State amid tons of turnover and losing for the Seminoles in recent years. That shouldn’t be held against Wilson, however, and if he were flanked by as many stud defenders as the Bucs have on their front seven, he’d likely be able to contribute right away as an NFL rookie.
The middle two Day 3 picks here are Duke pass-rusher Chris Rumph II and freakish Illinois receiver Josh Imatorbhebhe. Rumph’s slender frame is thought to be a big negative, yet he can explode off the edge like few others and would only need to be a situational specialist for Tampa Bay right now.
As for Imatorbhebhe, well, yeah. “Freakish” is the best way to describe him. So raw as a wideout, but it doesn’t matter in the sixth round. You’re looking for traits, and Imatorbhebhe has a unique one: A mind-boggling 46.5-inch vertical jump:
That’s one number — unlike a 40-yard dash — that can’t be fudged at a pro day. Considering how much Bucs head coach Bruce Arians likes to air out the deep ball, imagine having someone with Imatorbhebhe’s leaping ability for designed shot plays and red-zone targets.
In a trade with the Houston Texans, the Bucs send their two later seventh-round picks in exchange for a higher choice to close out the draft. Rachad Wildgoose Jr. appeared in just two games this last year but saw significant action as a freshman and sophomore for a Wisconsin program that produces NFL players on the regular.
Wildgoose’s raw coverage skills and ability to play the nickel make him an appealing seventh-round flier who’d take some time to develop, but could pay off as a rotational secondary player and special teams ace in the meantime.