Buccaneers: Cardinals trade up, among other surprises in CBS Sports mock

SOUTH BEND, IN - OCTOBER 17: Quenton Nelson #56 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish celebrates after a 10-yard touchdown reception by Corey Robinson against the USC Trojans in the fourth quarter of the game at Notre Dame Stadium on October 17, 2015 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
SOUTH BEND, IN - OCTOBER 17: Quenton Nelson #56 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish celebrates after a 10-yard touchdown reception by Corey Robinson against the USC Trojans in the fourth quarter of the game at Notre Dame Stadium on October 17, 2015 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

NFL mock drafts are all the rage this time of year, and Buccaneers fans have been looking to them to fuel off-season conversations of possibilities. Whether you disagree or agree with them, most at least provide some interesting versions of how things may unfold this spring.

For the Buccaneers, there are three dominant areas most mock drafts have them addressing: offensive line, defensive line, and secondary.

Specifically, Bradley Chubb, Minkah Fitzpatrick, and Quenton Nelson are the rotational names which seem to be fitting into the seventh pick.

It was Nelson who went into the spot-on CBS Sports’ latest mock draft. Citing the Notre Dame interior lineman as “the best offensive line prospect in this class”, R.J. White is not alone authoring this pick, but he may be in some other areas.

First, it was the New York Giants. In the mock, White has them taking Penn State running back Saquon Barkley.

This isn’t a surprise for me based off of Barkley’s talent alone, but more based on what the Giants need versus talent available.

Yes, New York needs a running game, but they also need an offensive line. If defenders are hitting Barkley or Wayne Gallman or Paul Perkins behind the line of scrimmage consistently, then the running game doesn’t stand a chance.

The team has one starting guard, and two guys who have barely played. Currently, they simply don’t have the salary cap space to target one in free-agency and are better at running back than interior offensive line.

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I know that sounds weird, but it’s true. The more common-sense move is either on the defensive side all together, a quarterback, or for them to draft Nelson themselves.

Honestly, a trade back by the Giants may be the best thing new general manager Dave Gettleman could do at this point.

Next up, was the Arizona Cardinals. The trading up wasn’t necessary the surprise, although I don’t believe the team is in position roster-wise to be doing so.

To jump from fifteenth into the Top-10 is going to cost more than the talent gap justifies in this circumstance. Basically, the guy you can get at number ten, isn’t so talented compared to who you can get at fifteen that a trade requiring the draft capital it will is worth it.

What really surprised me was the pick. Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen. Now, Allen is talented, sure. However, is he Top-10 talented? I have my doubts.

Also, this would make the fourth quarterback taken in the first ten picks of the 2018 NFL Draft. Do we really believe there are four franchise quarterbacks in this class? Because if you’re taking one in the Top-10, and if you’re trading up to get one, then you believe they are just that.

Four quarterbacks were taken in the first two rounds in 2017. Mitch Trubisky, Patrick Mahomes, Deshaun Watson, and Deshone Kizer.

Three of the four look like guys their teams could eventually build around, but one, well there’s a reason the Browns are mocked taking a quarterback in this draft. But now we think there are four guys in the Top-10? Doubtful.

With the 22nd pick in the NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills select quarterback Lamar Jackson. Here we go again. This makes five in the first round alone.

Listen, I’m not saying these guys don’t have potential, but we’re getting close to class of 1983 territory here. If this is the case, then there have got to be some seriously talented players in the class, and no offense to anyone but the top passer this year is the third best last year if not worse.

Jackson as an upgrade over Tyrod Taylor. Maybe three years from now. But not right now. If the Bills are going to compete, they need to get better on offense and defense.

Jacksonville just showed a team can make it one quarter from the Super Bowl in the AFC with a stout defense. Guess who’s mocked right behind Jackson to the Bills. Arden Key to the Rams.

Key helps Buffalo in 2018 much more than Jackson does.

Oh, the irony. With the 29th pick, I’d love to see the Jaguars take a quarterback.  Blake Bortles isn’t the worst quarterback in the league, but the team has enough weapons on offense for them to install a rookie with a reasonable expectation of success.

Now, let’s say they bring back Bortles and his $19 Million cap figure with zero dead money upon release. Drafting a guy like Lamar Jackson or Josh Allen here, makes a lot of sense.

It gives them a year to groom the younger quarterback to eventually replace Bortles, or it gives him the push he needs to break through the plateau he’s been at for three years.

Either way, Jacksonville wins. And there are plenty of talented players left in the draft to help out in 2018 as well. If the Jaguars are going to draft for depth, it makes more sense to draft depth at a critical position, not tight end.

Next: Off-Season Preview: Quarterback

These are my thoughts on the latest mock draft put out on CBS Sports. It was a very well done draft by Mr. White, even if I disagree here and there.

Look it over and let me know what you think about the Buccaneers’ pick, and any other picks that surprised you for good or bad reasons.

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David Harrison is one of the Buccaneers Co-Experts for The Pewter Plank. You can reach him about this or any other NFL topic on Facebook, or on Twitter.