2016 NFL Mock Draft: Buccaneers Select Eli Apple

Nov 28, 2015; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines wide receiver Jehu Chesson (86) can
Nov 28, 2015; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines wide receiver Jehu Chesson (86) can /

It’s mock draft season, and the Buccaneers are selecting number nine. The experts are releasing their drafts in preparation for the NFL Combine. Who do the Bucs select?

Super Bowl 50 is just under two weeks away. For the rest of the league, it’s preparing for free agency and the NFL draft. The Buccaneers are no different. Jason Licht and company are already busy at work, planning who to scout, plotting their board, and preparing how to use the ninth pick of the draft.

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With that, the mock drafts have begun to come out. They will come out at a rapid pace after the Combine next month, but they have started to trickle out from the experts. Daniel Jeremiah from the NFL Network recently released his first one. Who does he select for the Bucs with the number nine pick?

Eli Apple, CB, Ohio St.

"The Buccaneers need to upgrade this position and Apple has a nice mix of size, athleticism and toughness."

Take a look at his entire mock by clicking here.

Take a look at Apple’s stats from Ohio St:

Defense & Fumbles

TacklesDef IntFumbles
*2014Ohio StateBig TenFRCB153320535.50.0382.701011
2015Ohio StateBig TenSOCB132310332.00.0188.00710
CareerOhio State5630867.50.04164.001721

Here is some footage of Apple:

His size isn’t bad, standing at 6’1″. It puts Apple bigger than Hargreaves and the same size as Ramsey. He is always around the football, there is no doubt about that.

But, at number nine, I am just not sure. When you look at footage, Apple doesn’t take great angles when he approaches a runner to make the tackle. He leaves room for elusive NFL backs and receivers to be able to make Apple miss a lot of tackles. He also seems to have some difficulty shedding a blocker to come up to help with the run, an essential skill for an NFL corner.

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He makes plays on the ball, but there is a great amount of footage of interceptions on bad throws. It’s good to make the quarterback pay for his mistakes, but you also need a guy that is adept and taking the ball away from a receiver, and there just isn’t a ton of that on the film I have viewed.

In this scenario, with Ramsey gone at number six, Vernon Hargreaves would be a better choice.

What do you think, Bucs Nation?