Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 2021 NFL three-round mock draft
By Rob Leeds
With the 2020 NFL season more than halfway complete, here is a way too early look ahead at some potential options for the Buccaneers in a mock draft.
Is it ever too early for a mock draft? The Buccaneers are winning, and this season has been a ton of fun for most fans, but it is still clear that some holes need to be addressed before the start of next season.
The Bucs have a ton of weapons on both sides of the ball, and this season should be a great success for a team that has historically struggled in this position, but a great 2021 draft class would go a long way with setting the team up for glory in Tom Brady‘s final season.
Round 1: Jalen Mayfield, OT, Michigan
Drafting a tackle in the first round is a risky move for the Buccaneers. The main goal is to keep Tom Brady protected during his final season Bucs, and a rookie brings question marks to the table. Mayfield would only be drafted to replace Donovan Smith, but this is a gamble for the Buccaneers.
Smith has caught a ton of flak from the fanbase over the years, mostly due to his mediocre level of play relative to his extremely high salary. While there have been moments that Smith has been a liability on the field, his performance is still average across the league by most rankings, and moving on from that for a rookie is dangerous in a critical year for the franchise.
If Tampa Bay decides that Smith is no longer worth the money, Jalen Mayfield is not a bad replacement.
The Michigan Wolverine standout has found a ton of individual success this season, leading many to believe that he will land in the first round of the upcoming draft. With this pick, the Buccaneers would lock down their offensive line for the foreseeable future, and they can use Mayfield or Wirfs at either spot with limited drop-off.