NFL Mock Draft 2023: Latest expert predictions for Buccaneers

KNOXVILLE, TENNESSEE - OCTOBER 29: Hendon Hooker #5 of the Tennessee Volunteers throws a pass against the Kentucky Wildcats in the fourth quarter at Neyland Stadium on October 29, 2022 in Knoxville, Tennessee. (Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images)
KNOXVILLE, TENNESSEE - OCTOBER 29: Hendon Hooker #5 of the Tennessee Volunteers throws a pass against the Kentucky Wildcats in the fourth quarter at Neyland Stadium on October 29, 2022 in Knoxville, Tennessee. (Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images) /

Let’s take a look at the latest NFL Mock Drafts from experts around the league to see who the Bucs are predicted to be taking with the No. 19 pick. 

We’re just a few weeks away from the NFL Draft, and plans are starting to get locked into place. The annual game of smoke and mirrors is underway across the league, with rumors winds beginning to howl and prospect stocks rising and falling by the day.

This happens every year, but it always adds to the intrigue. Guys who were second day projections before the NFL Combine are now being talked about as potential first round picks, while others have seen their draft stock fall.

At a certain point things normalize, and but we never know what the exact point in the process that ends up being. Are we still at the point where stocks are swelling out of control or are we starting to get a read on things?

Let’s take a look at what the experts are predicting for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the No. 19 pick.

NFL Mock Draft: Latest expert predictions

Danny Kelly, The Ringer: Dawand Jones, OT/Ohio State

If the Buccaneers are going to right some wrongs from last year, that starts with trying to find some help up front. Offensive lineman have been mocked to the Bucs over the last few months, and Jones is one of many options the team will likely have at No. 19.

Drafting Jones wouldn’t prevent Tristan Wirfs from moving to left tackle — not that that’s a bad thing — but it would potentially give the team twin anchors on the exterior offensive line for years to come.

Kelly writes:

"After releasing longtime starter Donovan Smith, the Buccaneers need some help on the offensive line. With Tristan Wirfs a potential successor at left tackle, the Buccaneers grab a day-one starter on the right side in Jones. He’s a mountain of a man who will add intensity and power to the team’s offensive line."

Nick Baumgardner, The Athletic: Michael Mayer, TE/Notre Dame

Notre Dame’s massive tight end was an early favorite to be mocked to the Buccaneers a few months ago, but has since fallen off. Part of this is the Bucs seemingly pushing in a new direction, and part of it is Mayer’s stock dropping a bit as others rise.

He’s still an intriguing option for Tampa Bay, as he’d give whoever ends up being quarterback a top target to utilize. It’s supposedly one of the best tight end classes in recent memory, so if the Bucs can get their own Travis Kelce or George Kittle then that seems like a good thing to have.

Brad Weiss, Hendon Hooker, QB/Tennessee

Here we go, the Buccaneers finally get a quarterback. The team has been mocked as trading up, but that doesn’t make a lot of sense given how much it would mean mortgaging the future.

Hooker has been someone mentioned as a potential Bucs pick on Day 2, but his stock is skyrocketing. He’s now being mentioned as a 1A/1B option with Anthony Richardson and could end up being a first rounder.

Using the No. 19 pick is a steep price to use on Hooker, but if the Bucs want to get him on a rookie contract — and pass on drafting a quarterback next year — then trading back and getting him at the end of Round 1 seems like an interesting strategy.

Weiss writes:

"The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are moving on from Tom Brady after the greatest quarterback of all time decided to retire after the 2022 NFL season. While the organization has said they believe in Kyle Trask, the shock of the first round comes here at No. 19 overall, as they select Tennessee star, Hendon Hooker."

Ryan Smith, CBS Sports: O’Cyrus Torrence, OG/Florida

While there have been offensive lineman mocked to the Bucs, O’Cyrus Torrence isn’t a popular name in many expert drafts. He’s adjacent to Dawand Jones or Anton Harrison in that he presents another option outside of the more talked about names like Broderick Jones and Darnell Wright.

Smith writes:

"O’Cyrus Torrence, who transferred from Louisiana, didn’t miss a beat in the SEC. He was dominant for Florida last fall, he was dominant during Senior Bowl practices, he was dominant at his pro day, and if history is any guide, he’ll be dominant in the NFL, too."

Mike Renner, Will McDonald IV, DE/Iowa State

Not every pick for the Bucs has them going with an offensive upgrade. Todd Bowles defense doesn’t need to use this pick to replace Jamel Dean, but there are other areas that could use some help.

The Bucs lost Mike Edwards, Sean Murphy-Bunting, and Keanu Neal but added Ryan Neal and brought back Lavonte David. There’s some uncertainty about Logan Hall and Joe Tryon-Shoyinka and hardly any depth on the defensive line behind Vita Vea. Adding one of the top edge rushers could help boost that area of the roster.

Renner writes:

"The Bucs will likely have a “business as usual” draft after a couple of years of a Super Bowl window altering things. They need to invest in big swings at valuable positions to replenish this roster with youth, and McDonald is just that.”"

Adam Rank, Broderick Jones, OT/Georgia

There was a time when Jones was the most popular pick this side of Brian Branch for the Bucs, but he’s among those who have seen their draft stock drop a bit. He’s being projected in the early-teens to mid-20s, which is the perfect range for the Bucs to grab him if he’s on the board.

Rank writes:

"“Sure, you could take a QB. But from the outside looking in, I think you’re a year away from going down that road. And I just can’t recommend Anthony Richardson or Will Levis here, given the significant uncertainty that surrounds both raw — albeit intriguing — prospects. Donovan Smith’s release left a hole in the tackle department. And moving forward in a rebuild with a bookend duo of Jones and Tristan Wirfs sounds pretty enticing to me."

Lance Zierlein, Nolan Smith, EDGE/Georgia

Zierlein writes:

"“Veteran linebacker Lavonte David could be gone after this year, and the pass rush needs improvement. Why not add a dynamic athlete with elite football character who can play off the ball or rush off the edge?”"

Doug Farrar, USA Today: Anton Harrison, OT/Oklahoma

Harrison is another name that is starting to pop up in relation to the Bucs. He’s yet another offensive lineman that proves the Bucs will have options if they want to grab an offensive lineman in the first round. Harrison at No. 19 seems like a bit of a reach right now, as he’s more likely a Day 2 pick but feels like the type of player who can rise to Day 1 as draft boards settle.

Farrar writes:

"The Buccaneers don’t get the new franchise quarterback they probably need in the draft (unless you’re a big Baker Mayfield believer), but they also released left tackle Donovan Smith in a cap-saving move, so whoever’s playing quarterback after Tom Brady in this offense could use a little help in the blocking category. An underrated pass protector with pop in the run game, Harrison would immediately improve his new offense with a complete skill set."

Charlie Campbell, Walter FootballDarnell Wright, OT/Tennessee

Once it seemed Broderick Jones was the top offensive lineman choice for the Bucs, but it now appears that Darnell Wright has leapfrogged him. They’re very close prospects, one coming from a national championship roster and the other making his bones on a team where he stood out as a bright spot for a riser SEC.

Not for nothing, but Wright could still be blocking for Hendon Hooker in the NFL if the Bucs grab both of them with consecutive picks.

Campbell writes:

"“The Buccaneers have a huge hole at left tackle after cutting Donovan Smith. Their current left tackle is someone named Brandon Walton, so something must be done about this. Darnell Wright didn’t allow a single sack to Hendon Hooker last year.”"

Next. Are the Buccaneers trying to trade up to No. 3?. dark