Buccaneers land dream draft target in latest PFF mock draft

A top player could fall right into Tampa Bay's lap at No. 26.
Carolina Panthers v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Carolina Panthers v Tampa Bay Buccaneers / Julio Aguilar/GettyImages

The NFL Draft is just a week away and in true Jason Licht fashion, we have no idea which way he could end up going.

Like last year the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are expected to look at the offensive side of the ball, specifically on the line. It's a group that needs to be rebuilt and it seems the best -- and now only -- way to do that is through the draft. Free agency proved to be too expensive, and Licht has a way of finding gems at the right spots.

He zigged when he was expected to zag last year, though, taking Calijah Kancey with the No. 19 overall pick and not addressing the offensive line until Day 2. We could be in for a repeat, with one of the best defensive players in the draft falling right into his lap -- again.

PFF mocks Jared Verse to Buccaneers in latest NFL Mock Draft

PFF put together its latest NFL mock draft and has the Buccaneers taking a dream target in Florida State pass rusher Jared Verse.

"Last season, they had Barrett with his 56 pressures, and three players with a PFF grade around 60. They added Randy Gregory, who is coming off a down season, but even if Gregory rebounds, they could still use an upgrade across from him," PFF wrote.

That mention of Barrett is big because that's exactly why the Bucs are looking at adding some edge rush help in the draft. Losing him as a cap casualty this offseason was a blow, even if he had started to take some steps back, and it vacated a pretty important part of Todd Bowles' defense.

There are guys who could step up and fill his shoes, like Yaya Diaby and the aforementioned Randy Gregory, but adding Verse would give the Bucs the type of depth they need coming off the edge to create some real problems for offenses.

Tampa Bay is going to need that kind of heat, too. Atlanta underperformed with the talent it had last season and the Saints are always an annoying problem to deal with. Even Carolina invested in its offensive line which only gives the Bucs more reasons to find ways to punch through it.

Verse would do exactly that.

Not only is he arguably the best pass rusher in this year's draft, but he could come in and start leading the group right away alongside Diaby. Those two forming a duo for the next handful of years could be the stuff of dreams, and that's before accounting for how they'd come around Calijah Kancey off the edge.

It's such a perfect fit that the Bucs could even trade up to land Verse, but if he falls to them like in this latest PFF mock it's going to be hard to feel anything but overjoyed about Jason Licht landing another defensive stud.

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