Final Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2024 NFL Mock Draft before Round 1

Here's one last look at how things might go on Thursday night.
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We've finally reached the finish line, the NFL Draft is here.

After months of speculation we officially get to see how right or wrong we all were during Mock Draft SZN. More importantly, teams like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could be putting key pieces of the future into place over the course of the weekend, something Jason Licht has shown the ability to do in the past and seems poised to pull off once again.

With seven picks in the draft, including four in the Top 100, the Bucs can go in any number of directions with their draft strategy. Licht is impossible to read, something that was evident last season, but there are a few paths he can take that would result in every Buccaneers fan throwing a mental boat parade in celebration.

Final Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2024 NFL Mock Draft before Round 1

Round 1, Pick 26: Jackson Powers-Johnson, C/Oregon

There are a few different ways the No. 26 pick could bounce, but the safest bet might be Tampa Bay taking Jackson Powers-Johnson and just locking him in as the team's center. Most experts have Chop Robinson penciled in here, and he makes a lot of sense, but there's a chance he's not even on the board thanks to the Green Bay Packers taking him a pick before.

Powers-Johnson has long been a target for the Bucs and he makes even more sense than using the top pick on an edge rusher. Tampa Bay needs to get aggresive in fixing the offensive line, something that has held the team back over the last two seasons. With Baker Mayfield back on a deal north of $100 million, it's imperative that the team finds a way to both protect him and put him in the best position to give everyone their money's worth.

He'll help the run game too, another area of the offense that has struggled due to poor offensive line play. Powers-Johnson doesn't fix everything, but he's another massive cog on the line and could be an important piece of the foundation moving forward.

Round 2, Pick 57: T.J. Tampa, CB/Iowa State

Cornerback is another area the Bucs need to address, especially after trading Carlton Davis III this offseason. Things already weren't that great even with Davis, who missed 16 games over the last three seasons with various injuries and played poorly in 2023.

Tampa is perfect for the Bucs in both name and performance.

He's not the most athletic of the cornerbacks in his class, but he's perhaps the most intelligent. Jamel Dean will move into the CB1 role unchallenged, but Tampa could change that in training camp or at the very least help make the room smarter as a true replacement for Davis. Tampa has been mocked in the first round at various points in the draft process, so he'd be incredible value at a position of need at No. 57.

Round 3, Pick 89: Mason McCormick, G/South Dakota State

It feels like the Bucs will double dip at a few positions, and offensive line is one of them. The same logic behind drafting Jackson Powers-Johnson is present for Mason McCormick, who is a big guard who can help fortify the interior of the line.

He's great in the run game, too, something that will be a major focus for the offense this season. New offensive coordinator Liam Coen is going to run the ball but he'll attempt to do what his predecessors couldn't and do it well.

McCormick could be a big piece of that puzzle, and would also go a long way in helping the Bucs rebuild the line with talented young players who will be a part of the future for years to come.

Round 3, Pick 92: Brenden Rice, WR/USC

Tampa Bay could go with another edge rusher with its second pick in the third round, but it also presents the opportunity for a luxury pick. Brenden Rice has gone on record as saying Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are two receivers he admires, so why not go a step further and turn them into mentors.

It's unclear what will happen with the Bucs' top two receivers over the next few years. Godwin is a free agent after next season and Evans is set to hit the market in 2026 and will be two years older when he does. Rice could step in and serve as a solid WR3 and part of a three-headed monster for Baker Mayfield, but also learn the ropes and one day take over as the top guy in the room.

He has Hall of Fame lineage thanks to his father Jerry Rice, and the Bucs could tap into that family tree and see what happens.

Round 4, Pick 125: Mohamed Kamra, EDGE/Colorado St.

There are two lesser known edge rushers in this draft class who could end up being absolute steals for whoever drafts them. Western Michigan's Marshawn Kneeland feels like a Jason Licht pick, but if they pass on him then Mohamed Kamara could be just as good.

The Bucs need to find a way to add edge rush depth, especially after losing Shaq Barrett in free agency. Who better to replace a former Colorado State Rams star than a Colorado State Rams star. Kamara is quick off the edge and wouldn't need to start right away, but could form a menacing rotation with Yaya Diaby and Randy Gregory this season.

It's a role that eventually sees him potentially replace Barrett or at the very least form a duo with Diaby that offenses wish they didn't have to gameplan against.

Round 6, Pick 220: Frank Gore Jr., RB/Southern Miss

Here's another potential luxury pick, as the Bucs don't have an inherent need for a running back but could dip into the pool. Rachaad White is the team's RB1 and could have another massive season if all goes well, but Tampa Bay needs another back in the room.

Todd Bowles said as much this offseason, noting that he'd like to see the team add at least one more running back before the season starts. That could be Gore, who also has legendary lineage from his father. Gore is a smaller back but that could serve as a perfect compliment to what White brings to the table, and might be worth a late-round pick.

Round 7, Pick 246: M.J. Devonshire, CB/Pittsburgh

Near the end of the draft it's hard to tell which guys will end up getting drafted and which will end up ad UDFAs. Pitt's M.J. Devonshire could fall into either category, especially after a rough final year in college sunk his stock.

His 2022 season was much better, and if he had turned in that sort of year again there's no question he'd be getting picked somewhere on Day 3. He'd mostly be cornerback depth for the Bucs, but Jason Licht mined some serious undrafted talent last season and Devonshire feels like he could be leading the next class of unassuming rookies who make an impact.

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