Mock draft season is well underway. Drafts will be coming out fast and furious until the NFL draft begins in Chicago this spring. Bucky Brooks released his first, who does he choose for the Buccaneers?
Jason Licht’s third NFL draft is upcoming with the Buccaneers. At 6-10, we have talked about the many holes that need to be filled, with the majority of them on the defensive side. Some will be addressed in free agency, but Licht has made it clear that this team will be built through the draft.
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So who will they choose with the number nine pick? It’s time to start predicting, as we are already knee-deep in mock draft season. They will come out from everyone until draft day this spring. Bucky Brooks from NFL.com has released his first mock of the season. With the ninth pick of the draft, who does Brooks believe that the Bucs will choose?
Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson
"The elevation of Dirk Koetter ensures the offense will continue to roll in Tampa, but the Buccaneers need to add playmakers along the line to fix an underachieving defense."
Take a look at the entire mock here.
Here are his stats while at Clemson:
Defense & Fumbles
The numbers don’t lie, and the numbers tell us that Shaq Lawson had a monster season in his final year at Clemson. He clearly is always around the football.
Here is some tape on Lawson from a game against Clemson:
There is a lot to like. It’s great to see that Lawson is comfortable with his hand in the dirt or standing up. Being versatile will keep him on the field in the NFL. He also explodes off of the snap. Nobody will get the first step on Shaq Lawson, he is going to get the first step on them. His spin move is better than good. Look at the tape, he can split double teams with it.
But he is not the perfect candidate. The tape does reveal some difficulty in disengaging from blockers. He even went to an “arm tackle” because he had such difficulty releasing from his opponent in one instance. There was also some inconsistent effort. He didn’t always play to the whistle if the play wasn’t coming directly towards him, which is concerning. He also needs more of a variety of pass rush moves, other than the spin move. Linemen were able to get under his pads at times, rendering him ineffective.
With Hargreaves and Ramsey gone early in the mock, Lawson certainly isn’t a bad choice. But the Bucs would need to know what they are getting into, and that he needs a lot of refinement.