Though many NFL Mock Drafts have the Tampa Bay Buccaneers linked to talented DT Javon Kinlaw, the selection wouldn’t make much sense.
Throughout the early NFL Mock Draft process, the Buccaneers have been linked to selecting three positions: OT, QB and DT.
While the offensive tackle position is certainly understandable from the Buccaneers perspective and even quarterback would be worth addressing if the organization was sold on the right prospect and decided to part ways with Jameis Winston, what wouldn’t make much sense would be drafting an interior defensive lineman.
This has nothing to do with the talent of Javon Kinlaw.
Kinlaw played for a bad South Carolina team against many SEC offensive lines and still found a way to make a major impact. There’s no doubting that he’s going to be a dependable and solid option for whatever NFL organization decides to draft him when it’s all said and done.
But that shouldn’t be the Buccaneers.
If Tampa Bay elects to part ways with Ndamukong Suh– as most expect they will due to his high asking price- the Buccaneers will obviously have a hole to replace. Even though that hole seems like it may be big enough to address, it’s not worth taking a risk on a first-round draft pick.
It would be much more beneficial for the Buccaneers to address the offensive line in the first-round and potentially sign a young free-agent who can provide much of the same production as Suh for less money. Then, Tampa Bay could look at interior linemen in the middle-to-late rounds of the draft. That’s the recipe for success.
This has nothing to do with Kinlaw, it has to do with efficiency.
In the current defensive system, the Buccaneers need an interior lineman who can take up space, stop the run and allow the linebackers to finish off plays. That’s a job that many defensive linemen- not taken in the first-round and not given high salaries- can perform.
Because of that, drafting a defensive lineman in the first round just doesn’t add up. If the Buccaneers are sold on Kinlaw, they may still take him at No. 14, but I’m convinced that the organization will address other more pressing needs in a more efficient manner.