Buccaneers land two key pieces for Baker Mayfield in latest 7-round Mock Draft

Now that Baker Mayfield is back, the Buccaneers can use the NFL Draft to build around him.
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Round 6, Pick 220: Nathaniel Watson, DE/Mississippi State

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Although the selection of Robinson in the first round would improve the Buccaneers' defensive line drastically, adding another rookie to the front seven isn't a bad idea. In drafting Watson in the sixth round, Tampa Bay does just that, while securing one of the best value picks in the entire draft.

Originally listed as a linebacker on Sports Reference, Watson played a rush end/linebacker hybrid role at Mississippi State from 2021-2023, and was one of the top pass rushers in the SEC. Starting in all 12 games in 2021, his first full season as a starter, Watson totaled 83 tackles, 6.0 tackles for loss, five sacks, and one pass breakup.

To follow that up, Watson recorded a solid 113 tackles, 12.0 tackles for loss, 6.0 sacks, one pass breakup, and one interception in 13 starts. To no surprise, Watson made the All-SEC Conference Second Team selection, and was named to the 2023 Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List and the 2023 Preseason All-SEC Second Team ahead of 2023.

Even with raised standards and expectations for his senior season, Watson lived up to the hype in 2023. Starting in all 12 of Mississippi State's games, Watson notched 137 tackles, 13.0 tackles for loss, 10.0 sacks, two pass breakups, one interception, two forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries.

By recording 137 total tackles and 10.0 sacks, Watson became the Watson is the only SEC player in history to lead the conference in both tackles and sacks in the same season. It's worth noting that Watson was the first Bulldog to lead the SEC in sacks since Montez Sweat in 2017.

Based on his impressive senior season, Watson earned a mutitide of awards throughout the year, such as being named as the 2023 AP SEC Defensive Player of the Year and an All-American by ESPN, while making the 2023 All-SEC First Team and the College Football Network All-American Second Team.

Similar to many other top prospects, Watson earned invitations to the Reese's Senior Bowl and the East-West Shrine Bowl, along with the draft combine. At 6'2" and 245 pounds, Watson is a throwback linebacker with the size, length, and demeanor to handle the physical nature of life between the tackles, and would be a solid fit next to Vea on the interior part of the defensive line.