Buccaneers 7-Round NFL Mock Draft after re-signing Jamel Dean, trading Shaq Mason
By Josh Hill
Note: Pick acquired from Texans in Shaq Lawson trade.
Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are going to be in Tampa Bay together for at least one more season, but there’s change happening this year that could be addressed in the draft. Julio Jones and Breshad Perriman are free agents and Russell Gage has struggled to stay healthy during his time with the Bucs.
No matter who the quarterback is next season he’s going to need reliable targets, and Derius Davis could step into that WR3 role as an explosive rookie.
There’s also an expectation that Godwin could get moved out of the slot in Dave Canales’ offensive next season, which is where Davis could step in and see some immediate reps. Scotty Miller is also a free agent, which means if Godwin moves, there will be a need to replace him as the slot receiver and Davis seems to offer more upside than if Canales were to roll with Kaylon Geiger.
Despite how much of a frustration the offensive line was last season, there are a handful of young players ready to step up now that things are changing. Even before Shaq Mason was traded, the Bucs right guard situation needed to be looked at, and adding Atonio Mafi provides the position with some nice depth.
With Mason gone, John Molchon is the only right guard under contract and Mafi could come in and compete in training camp for the starting role. He’d join an offensive line in transition, as Tristan Wirfs is moving to left tackle (unless the Bucs are able to draft someone like Broderick Jones) and Ryan Jensen is coming back after missing all but last year’s Wild Card game with an injury.
Why not take a flier on a potential guard who can develop into some meaningful depth, especially given the situation Tampa Bay was in last year when the depth chart got thin pretty quickly?