Buccaneers land successor to Baker Mayfield in latest 7-round NFL Mock Draft

The Bucs can not only reload but lay the foundation for a solid future with this draft class.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v New Orleans Saints
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v New Orleans Saints / Chris Graythen/GettyImages
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Round 2, Pick 57: Edgerrin Cooper, LB/Texas A&M

A lot of attention is going to be spent on how the Buccaneers can use the draft to upgrade the offensive line, and rightfully so. It’s an absolutely critical area of the roster where the team lacks talent and depth, and we’ve seen what happens when those two things catch up with Tampa Bay during the season.

The same goes for another important position: Linebacker.

Tampa Bay is already pretty deep, but it has a chance to improve its top line talent by taking Edgerrin Cooper out of Texas A&M. He’s a bruising linebacker who has top-tier change of direction, burst and pursuit speed that helps him be a menace at the line of scrimmage and is why PFF graded him out as a 90.8 player last season.

Losing Devin White was something almost everyone expected, but regardless of how fans feel about him the absence created by him leaving weakens the linebacking corps. Lavonte David is still the leader of the group with guys like Yaya Diaby and SirVocea Dennis representing the future, but Cooper can step in and replace the guy we were all hoping White would become.

Diaby and Dennis are going to be great pieces of the defense, but Cooper has a chance to learn the ropes from David before eventually taking the torch from him. He has the tools to be that guy, and putting him with David in Todd Bowles’ defense might be exactly the right pairing.