Jan 3, 2014; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Clemson Tigers wide receiver Sammy Watkins (2) runs with the ball as Ohio State Buckeyes defensive lineman Joey Bosa (97) defends during their game in the 2014 Orange Bowl college football game at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Pewter Plank's Fan Interactive 2014 Mock Draft Simulation: Version 1.0

I don’t know about you guys, but I hate mock drafts.

So, in an effort to become the world’s biggest hypocrite, I decided to make a mock draft.

Just kidding. But I do feel that mock drafts have become stale. There are too many of them, and they all follow the same formula: the opinions of some guys that aren’t in an NFL front office, and won’t be in any of the team’s war rooms on draft day.

I wanted to do a mock draft that followed a different formula, and gave Buccaneer fans a choice. I decided to hop on Twitter (@ThePewterPlank) and have you, the readers, play the part of Bucs GM Jason Licht with me.

We used the draft simulator game over at First-Pick.com, which allows for trades and it offered up plenty of surprises. It was plenty of fun interacting with everyone and I’m going to be hitting up the Twitter machine every week until draft night to do this again.

The results didn’t go as planned, but really, what draft ever does?

Without further ado, here is my effort to spice up mock drafts, and entertain the masses: The Pewter Plank’s Fan Interactive 2014 Mock Draft Simulation (Version 1.0).

1. Houston Texans: Blake Bortles, QB, UCF
We all know that head coach Bill O’Brien has a great relationship with UCF head coach George O’Leary, and that leads to the Texans pick of Bortles, who has the prototypical build of an NFL passer, and led his team to a 12-1 record last season.

2. St. Louis Rams: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
With Chris Long on one side, imagine the damage that Clowney could do from the other side. In our draft sim, the Rams couldn’t pass up the opportunity to grab the guy who might just be the most talented player in the whole draft.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Anthony Barr, LB, UCLA
The first shocker of this mock, which is full of them, has Anthony Barr going before Khalil Mack at number three overall to the Jags.

That’s when the fans and I started discussing a trade up to secure the pick of Sammy Watkins. In our Twitter war room, we decided to offer a trade to the Cleveland Browns to move up to #4, which didn’t turn out how we wanted.

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4. Cleveland Browns: Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
While it wasn’t the worst thing in the world to have our trade rejected, it did hurt a little bit that Johnny Football got taken off of the board. With two picks left before our pick, only Teddy Bridgewater was left for the taking. And we just knew that Oakland had their eye on Sammy Watkins. So we decided to make a trade again, knowing there was no way Atlanta would want to swap with us.

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5. Oakland Raiders: Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan St.
This is where I was flabbergasted. The Raiders passed on all of the offensive talent that was laid out in front of them for a guy that they could have easily gotten much later, or with our #7 pick. This pick guaranteed that someone worth taking would be there for Tampa Bay at 7. Bridgewater, Evans, Mack, or Watkins.

6. Atlanta Faclons: Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
The FalCANTs get a tackle to protect Matt Ryan. Whoop-de-doo. No one cares. It’s time for the Bucs pick!

Or is it??

Our Twitter war room was buzzing with trade offers for teams wanting to move up to number seven. We decided to intently listen, because of the overwhelming amount of talent that was still on the board. We knew that we could possibly trade back and still get someone that we covet.

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The Rams and Giants both gave us excellent offers, but it was Buffalo’s that really had us intrigued. Only moving two picks back ensured that someone we liked would still be there, and we would pick up an extra 2nd rounder in the deepest draft in recent history.

We decided to accept Buffalo’s deal and hope for the best. Here are the updated Tampa Bay Buccaneers picks, post-trade:

Screen Shot 2014-04-08 at 3.46.12 PM7. Buffalo Bills (via TB): Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M
The Bills, already with Stevie Johnson and Mike Williams, decided they wanted another similar talent in Evans, who could end up being better than both of their current wideouts. A little shocking, but Sammy Watkins is still on the board.

8. Minnesota Vikings: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
With none of the top quarterbacks available, and our potentially highest rated prospect still on the board, this makes the next pick as easy as can be for the Buccaneers.

9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (via BUF): Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
Watkins is a can’t miss WR prospect, and yet the Bucs are able to trade down and still end up with one of the most talented players in this entire draft. It took some luck to get to this point (Oakland reaching for Dennard, Jags selecting Barr), but Tampa Bay ends up with their speedy game breaker, completely changing the look and feel of their offense.

The Bucs might not be done on the first day of the draft. With two 2nd round picks stockpiled as ammo, we may try to move up based on who is left later on in the 1st round.

10. Detroit Lions: Khalil Mack, LB, Buffalo
Pass rushing extraordinaire Mack falls to the Detroit Lions, who are eager to add another weapon on the defensive side of the football. Lions are building a scary front seven.

11. Tennessee Titans: Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn
Another extremely talented kid that falls due to reaches in the top ten. Robinson can be someone’s starting LT for years to come.

This is where some non-Bucs drama begins. The New York Giants have decided that they don’t like anyone left enough to draft them in the middle of round one. And so, they were actively fielding calls to trade down, and found an offer they liked from the New York Jets.

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12. New York Jets (via NYG):  HaHa Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama
The Jets are all about defense, and need a safety to possibly replace Ed Reed in their secondary.

13. St. Louis Rams: Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
The Rams, who were rumored to be interested in trading one or both of their first round picks, decided to stay put both times. Their first pick brought them a 2nd monster DE in Clowney, and with pick #13, they get a starting tackle to sure up their offensive line.

14. Chicago Bears: Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State
With Marc Trestman in control of the offense, the Bears decide to go defense and grab a corner to possibly replace Charles Tillman.

15. Pittsburgh Steelers: Kony Ealy, DE, Mizzou
The Steelers want someone who can take down Flacco and Dalton in the AFC North. Ealy could be that guy.

16. Dallas Cowboys: Aaron Donald, DT, Pitt
While it’s not the flashy pick you would expect from Jerry Jones’ crew, Donald is a good DT for the 4-3 scheme that Dallas is running and will be an instant starter on the front four.

The Baltimore Ravens were on the clock next, but decided to take an offer from their division rival, the Cleveland Browns.

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17. Cleveland Browns (via BAL): Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State
The Browns used their 26th overall pick and their 2nd rounder to ensure the services of Cooks, who recorded the fastest 40 time among receivers at the combine. He and Josh Gordon could make for quite the tandem in Cleveland.

The Giants, who were on the clock again from their trade with the Jets, decided to flip that pick to the Eagles in another effort to move further down and stockpile picks.

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18. Philadelphia Eagles (via NYG/NYJ): CJ Mosely, LB, Alabama
The Eagles get a solid middle linebacker that they hope will sure up that defense and give Chip Kelly’s offense some breathing room.

And now the trades are just rolling in at an exponential rate. Miami was on the clock, but the 49ers gave them a deal they couldn’t refuse to get the 19th pick.

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19. San Francisco 49ers: Jimmie Ward, SS, Northern Illinois
The 49ers get a guy who replaces Dashon Goldson at SS, one year after his departure to Tampa Bay.

20. Arizona Cardinals: Zack Martin, OT, Notre Dame
Martin is a guy that is rising up a lot of draft boards, and the Cardinals decided he was a talent they could not pass up.

21. Green Bay Packers: Calvin Pryor, FS, Louisville
The Packers need a safety, and jump at the chance to get Pryor.

Those pesky Giants are at it again. It seems like they don’t want to pick anyone. This time, it comes at the Bucs’ expense. The Saints see a weapon they can give to Drew Brees, and they do not hesitate to get him.

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22. New Orleans Saints (via NYG/PHI): Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State
Robinson is a guy that a lot of people have falling into the 2nd round, but New Orleans likes what they see and go up to get their man.
Robinson is a guy that a lot of people have falling into the 2nd round, but New Orleans likes what they see and go up to get their man.

23. Kansas City Chiefs: Odell Beckham, WR, LSU
With the Saints reaching up to grab Robinson, the Chiefs are extremely happy to take Odell Beckham. After losing McCluster to free agency, Beckham provides an all-around threat to line up next to Dwayne Bowe.

24. Cincinnati Bengals: Timmy Jernigan, DT, FSU
The Bengals have built a ferocious defense, but lost some pieces in free agency this offseason. Jernigan should be able to help plug up the middle of the Bengals’ D.

25. San Diego Chargers: Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State
Last year they got Manti Te’o, and his game was almost as nonexistent as his girlfriend. San Diego hopes that Shazier will stand out more on the outside while Te’o finds his game on the inside.

26. Baltimore Ravens (via CLE): Kelvin Benjamin, WR, FSU
Torrey and Steve Smith (no relation) are both speedy guys, but aren’t the biggest of the bunch. Benjamin gives them a tall threat that can win the jump balls and still separate from defenders.

27. New York Giants (via NO): Jason Verrett, CB, TCU
The Giants FINALLY decide to pick, and grab a cornerback to go along with Prince Amukamara. It’s a little strange that they traded down to target this guy, who isn’t at a dire position of need.

But wait! The Giants were stockpiling those picks for a reason: they weren’t done. With the Panthers on the clock, the Giants decided to see what it would take to get a 2nd pick in a row. They succeeded.

Screen Shot 2014-04-08 at 4.24.09 PM28. New York Giants (via CAR): Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina
Eli Manning hasn’t had a great receiving tight end since Jeremy Shockey, and Ebron could be even better. They manage to address both sides of the ball in the first round.

29. New England Patriots: Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech
And with the best TE off the board, the Pats get the next best thing. Amaro becomes the tight end that replaces Aaron Hernandez.

30. Miami Dolphins (via SF): Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama
Dolphins needed a tackle to replace Jake Long, and finally get their guy.

31. Denver Broncos: Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
With Rodgers-Cromartie on the move, the Broncos are hoping that Fuller can step in and be just as effective.

32. Seattle Seahawks: Xavier Su’a-Filo, OG, UCLA
With the final pick of the first, the ‘Hawks sure up their interior line to help Beast Mode find more running lanes.

With the help of some reaches in the top 10, and The Pewter Plank Twitterverse, the Buccaneers had an amazing success in our first round interactive mock draft! They ended the day with Sammy Watkins, who could be their highest rated player, and an extra 2nd round pick. With those picks, they could get one of the quarterbacks that have fallen into the 2nd, and/or sure up their offense line with some depth.

I want to thank everyone who participated with me on Tuesday afternoon to make this mock draft happen! If you want to participate next week, keep checking in with @ThePewterPlank on Twitter to see what day and time we decide on for next week!


We hope you enjoyed our new take on the mock draft. Would you like to see the Buccaneers select Sammy Watkins? Let us know in the comments, our poll, and on Twitter!

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Tags: 2014 NFL Mock Draft Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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