Latest Mel Kiper Jr. NFL Mock Draft has Buccaneers selecting a Mike Evans replacement

Even if Mike Evans comes back, it's not a bad pick to make.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Indianapolis Colts
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Indianapolis Colts / Michael Hickey/GettyImages

We're just a few weeks away from free agency opening, but this week has been all about the NFL Draft. Teams are in Indianapolis scouting this year's class at the combine, which is the official start of Mock Draft SZN.

There have been mock drafts peppered in throughout the year, but this is truly when things start to pick up. Prospects are getting in front of the cameras, teams are sitting down with potential future draft picks, and experts like Mel Kiper Jr. are entering the chat.

Kiper released a mock draft earlier this year but sent in an updated look at how he thinks will go ahead of the NFL Combine wrapping up this weekend. For the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the No. 26 pick could go in a number of different directions, but Kiper has them taking a player who it'll be hard not to get excited about wearing pewter next season.

Buccaneers draft Mike Evans replacement in latest Mel Kiper Jr. mock draft

In his latest NFL Mock Draft, Mel Kiper Jr. has the Buccaneers taking Florida State wide receiver Keon Coleman to replace Mike Evans.

"In Coleman, they could get a successor, a 6-4 big body who excels in contested catch situations. He had 18 touchdowns over the past two seasons at Michigan State and Florida State. He's one of the most intriguing prospects at the combine, because I want to see how he tests in the on-field workouts," Kiper wrote.

This isn't the first time the idea of the Bucs drafting Coleman has been tossed out, but it's now looking like they won't need a high draft pick to land him. All of the previous reasoning makes sense, and this could be an option for Tampa Bay even if Evans returns.

Assuming Evans comes back, the Bucs would have a wide receiver trio of Evans, Coleman, and Chris Godwin, with Trey Palmer sprinkled in to boot. That's an insane supporting cast for Baker Mayfield to try and run back his incredible season with and seems like the right building blocks for the offense.

Of course, Coleman doesn't block which is going to be something Tampa Bay is likely looking for in the back-half of the first round. As attractive as fortifying a skill position is, it doesn't matter if Baker doesn't have enough time to throw the ball or the run game doesn't set up some deep passes.

If Coleman is on the board, though, it's going to be tempting to take him in an attempt to go for broke with weapons for Mayfield.

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