One of the suggestions every fan has for their favorite football team around NFL Draft season is to “trade back.” Fans love the draft, and love having draft picks, so it’s no surprise that moving down the board to get more picks is an exciting proposition.
So in this Mock Draft, we’ll look at the Buccaneers’ picks if they were to move down in the first round to recoup picks from the Darrelle Revis and Gabe Carimi trades, while still addressing needs and picking up players for Lovie Smith’s roster.
Trade: Rather than predicting a specific trade, we’ll just assume that the Buccaneers move down into the 11-13 range and pick up an extra third and fourth round selection from the team in question. Predicting trades in the NFL Draft is like playing the lottery, so we’ll avoid the specifics and use the draft trade value chart as a loose base for what a trade would look like.
First Round: Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina
Ebron is a versatile, athletic weapon at the tight end position, and provides enough blocking to play full-time as a tight end. He can line up inline or out in the slot, and the Buccaneers can use Tim Wright as a second tight end to further exploit the middle of the field.
Second Round: Scott Crichton, DE, Oregon State
Critchton is described by CBS Sports as a “safe pick” who lacks tremendous upside but also seems ready to make an impact in the NFL. Given the failure of Da’Quan Bowers to make an impact, getting a safe, productive end who can contribute next to Gerald McCoy should be a priority.
Third Round: Weston Richburg, C, Colorado State
Richburg is a rising star at center after a good Senior Bowl week, and may even rise above the third round before all is said and done. Adding a reliable center means Jeremy Zuttah can move to guard to replace Carl Nicks (injury) or Davin Joseph (poor play, injuries).
Fourth Round: Jared Abbrederis, WR, Wisconsin and Zach Mettenberger, QB, LSU
The Buccaneers use the fourth round to add depth at receiver and potential under center. Abbrederis is a jack-of-all-trades receiver who doesn’t stand out in any one area, but is a reliable option in the passing game. Mettenberger is coming off of an injury, but provides ideal size and arm strength to transition into a starting role once healthy and familiar with the NFL game.
Fifth Round: Brandon Thomas, G/T, Clemson
Thomas is a talented lineman who seems to be a bit of a ‘tweener between guard and tackle, but according to CBS Sports, he did well at both positions at the Senior Bowl. Versatile depth is crucial for an offensive line, and Thomas provides that.
Seventh Round: Eathyn Manumaleuna, DT, BYU and Dri Archer, WR/OW, Kent State
In the seventh round, the Buccaneers add a backup defensive tackle and a wild card offensive weapon with return skills and blazing speed.