7-round Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mock Draft ahead of free agency

Tampa Bay adds a game-changing talent on defense with three of first four picks, add running back, wide receiver, and tight end for next quarterback

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Round 6, Pick 203: Javon Solomon, DE/Troy

Last season, Troy finished on the top of the Sun Belt Conference once again. Despite a 1-2 start to the year, the Trojans won ten straight games to win the Sun Belt Championship for the second straight season, defeating App State 49-23 in the title game for their eighth conference championship in school history.

The conference championship win caps off a successful five-year career for Solomon as a Trojan, who etched his name in Troy school history. In 52 career games at The Vet, Solomon recorded 183 tackles, 49.5 tackles for loss, 33.0 sacks, four forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries.

After redshirting his freshman year and the Covid-19 inflicted 2020 season, Solomon dominated his first full season as a Trojan, with 50 tackles, 17.0 tackles for loss, 11 sacks and two fumble recoveries in 12 games.

While Solomon endured a down year in 2022 with just 44 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, and 4.5 sacks in 14 games, the 6'2", 246-pound defensive end rebounded nicely in 2023. Starting in all 14 games, Solomon totaled 56 tackles, 18.0 tackles for loss, a nation-leading 16.0 sacks, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

Based on that, Solomon earned an invite to the combine, and impressed scouts, analysts, and coaches. In Indianapolis, Solomon posted a 4.72-second 40-yard dash, 37-inch vertical jump, 9-foot, 11-inch broad jump and 23 bench-press reps, an all-around performance by the defensive end.

Coupled with his immense speed, Solomon's impressive athleticism allowed him to set up his pass-rush moves well by getting square or using Eurostep moves. Solomon's use of hands as a pass rusher is especially encouraging, as he showed time and time again the ability to win with a cross chop and hand swipe while also playing the offensive tackle's hands well after contact.

Although Solomon has a smaller frame and build than most prototypical NFL defensive ends, Solomon's athleticism and intangibles make up for that in twofold. With one of their sixth-round picks, Solomon would be an intriguing addition to the Buccaneers' young front seven.