Saturday, August 29, 2020

Tampa Bay Buccaneers NFL Mock Draft Roundup, 2.0

Throughout the year and leading up to the 2021 NFL draft, we will update our Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mock Draft Roundup showing picks for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from several prominent sites and draft analysts.

The following are picks in recent mock drafts for the Bucs:

Rotoworld - Thor Nystrom (8/21)

28. Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson

If Ronald Jones takes a developmental leap or Ke'Shawn Vaughn proves to have starting chops, Tampa will look another direction. But if that duo underwhelms in 2020, taking a high-end running back prospect like Etienne or Chuba Hubbard at the end of Round 1 would make a ton of sense for the Bucs, who may enter 2021 with only one year left of the Tom Brady contention window.

PFF - Mike Renner (8/19)

28. Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson

Someone had to take a running back! Etienne may not be your prototypical between-the-tackles back, but he is precisely what you want in space. He broke the single-season record for broken tackles per attempt last year, with 91 broken tackles on 207 attempts.

The Draft Network - Kyle Crabbs (8/19)

31. Quincy Roche, EDGE, Miami (FL)

The Buccaneers are projected to own somewhere around $20M in 2021 salary cap space entering next offseason with the cap reduction to $175M due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But that figure comes with Shaq Barrett, Lavonte David, Rob Gronkowski, Ndamukong Suh, and Chris Godwin all not under contract. This could get ugly and the Bucs are going to have to make some tough choices. If Barrett explodes yet again as a pass-rusher, he may be the top name to be replaced, as top EDGE contracts can get rather pricey. Roche is explosive and sudden and will benefit from transferring from Temple to Miami to level up his frame before the 2021 draft.

Pro Football Network - Oliver Hodgkinson (8/16)

26. Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson

Shaquil Barrett, Lavonte David, and Ndamukong Suh are all due a payday next year, and with wide receiver Chris Godwin also out of contract, it seems impossible that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers keep them all. Edge rusher and wide receiver are two big needs but don't rule out the Bucs striking for a running back early in the 2021 NFL Draft, with Ronald Jones playing for his career this coming season.

When Trevor Lawrence appeared to have a minor sophomore slump early in 2019, running back Travis Etienne was the man that Clemson leaned on. Power and speed are the keys to Etienne's success, and he also has the pass-catching ability, which is becoming increasingly necessary to succeed in the NFL. Expect Etienne to pay one of the first running backs off the board in April.

ESPN - Todd McShay (8/12)

25. Jay Tufele, IDL, USC

I liked what Tampa Bay did this past April, crossing off needs at offensive tackle (Tristan Wirfs), safety (Antoine Winfield Jr.) and running back (Ke'Shawn Vaughn). Now, with Ndamukong Suh coming off the books, the Bucs could use some more beef up the middle with Vita Vea. Tufele not only provides value as a run-stopper but also as an effective pass-rusher from the interior. He's big, quick and very strong at the point of attack. Linebacker/edge would also potentially be in the cards here if there were value, and if Vaughn doesn't show pop in Year 1 alongside Ronald Jones II, someone like Oklahoma State running back Chuba Hubbard could even be discussed.

The Draft Network - Jordan Reid (8/10)

28. Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson

What a difference an offseason makes in Tampa Bay. With the greatest quarterback of all-time now under center and highly motivated to prove many wrong, the Bucs enter a Super Bowl or bust window over the next two seasons. With an offense loaded across the board, the one position that has an interesting mix of players is in the backfield. With Ronald Jones struggling to catch on as a receiving threat, the team drafted Ke'Shawn Vaughn in the third-round and signed what's left of LeSean McCoy.

As the back-to-back ACC Player of the Year, Etienne is lightning in a bottle. Often mistaken for simply being a speed demon, he made significant strides during his junior season as he showed much more catch consistency out of the backfield. His vision, explosiveness, and being able to finish runs with touchdowns frequently help make him a fit in Tampa.

Pro Football Network - Matthew Valdovinos (8/9)

26. Abraham Lucas, OT, Washington State

Yes, back-to-back offensive tackle selections is a tad boring. But Donovan Smith will only have one more year on his deal after the 2020 season, and Lucas is one of my favorite tackle prospects in the class. Similar to Tristan Wirfs, Lucas is an elite athlete. His pass protection ability rivals that of Sewell, and for a coach like Bruce Arians, pass protection is vital. Lucas was made for Bruce Arians' offensive attack.

The Draft Network - Joe Marino (8/3)

28. Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson

Tampa Bay has plenty of quantity at running back, but little in the way of actual quality. In an effort to maximize its opportunity to compete for a Super Bowl with Tom Brady and Bruce Arians, the Buccaneers should be searching for X-factors, which is exactly what Etienne can be for the Tampa Bay offense.

Etienne has rare acceleration and developed wonderfully as a pass-catcher in 2019 at Clemson. His explosive, big-play potential would create yet another layer in an already difficult-to-defend offense in Tampa.

Previous update: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mock Draft Roundup 1.0

MORE TEAMS: All NFL Team Mock Draft Roundups

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