Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mock Draft: 7-Round Predictions, Post-Scouting Combine
The 2013 NFL combine is officially over, meaning it's time to rewrite those mock drafts and update them according to a new wave of 40 times, bench-press showings, and weigh-ins.
This slideshow will give you seven-round draft predictions for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
All official combine results come from NFL.com.
Round 1, Pick No. 13: Xavier Rhodes
The Bucs did not have a very good secondary in 2012. No team gave up more yards through the air, but then again, few teams had to deal with a man approaching the end of his career (Ronde Barber), two rookies (Mark Barron and Leonard Johnson) and the oft-missing Eric Wright as starters.
The one Tampa Bay defensive back who could actually be listed as above average was Aqib Talib, who was traded away around the season's halfway mark.
Any addition to the secondary could potentially be an improvement (strong safety being the one notable exception), with the cornerback spots being the top priorities.
Accordingly, the Bucs must look to grab a corner in the first round.
At No.13, the best option available will most likely be Xavier Rhodes, who dramatically boosted his stock with a good combine showing.
The Florida State product had incredible measurements.
Let's let Bleacher Report's own Wes Stueve break it down for us:
Among cornerbacks at the combine, Xavier Rhodes had the best best broad jump, the best vertical leap, the 12th-best bench and the 11th-best 40-yard dash time. This was all while weighing in at 6'1", 210 pounds.
As you can see, Rhodes has some impressive measureables. When we take into account his on-field play as well, it is clear that Rhodes has the markings of a first-rounder.
Round 2, Pick No. 12: Tyler Eifert
Dallas Clark's first year in Tampa Bay was mediocre, to say the least. He played in all 16 games, yet only recorded 435 receiving yards, and his run-blocking left much to be desired.
He's also getting old, at 33.
To provide quarterback Josh Freeman with a more effective vertical threat, the Bucs should look to Tyler Eifert, the former Notre Dame tight end.
At the combine, Eifert measured in at 6'5.5", 250 pounds, with a 35.5-inch vertical leap and 4.68 second 40-yard dash—all great numbers.
With what Eifert can provide as a receiver (sure hands, long range), picking him would be a slam dunk.
Round 3, Pick No. 11: Ryan Swope
Now that we have added a promising young tight end to the offensive arsenal, why stop there?
That's where Ryan Swope of Texas A&M comes in.
Don't be frightened by his 6'0'' height. For a slot receiver, that's plenty tall enough.
Only pay attention to his hands, his route running, and 4.34(!) 40-yard dash time.
Since Eifert was added to the roster, all the Bucs passing game lacks is a speed demon slot receiver.
If Swope is still available by pick No. 73, he can take the Bucs offense to the next level.
Round 4, Pick No. 15: Akeem Spence
Let's review the Buccaneers defensive line.
At defensive end, we have Michael Bennett (who does become a free agent in March, unless a contract is signed) and Adrian Clayborn, assuming he is healthy by the start of the 2013 season. Two decent players.
At defensive tackle, we have Pro Bowler Gerald McCoy and Roy Miller, who could also become a free agent. Gerald McCoy is fantastic, but Miller is not a real impact player.
A better option than Miller in 2013 could be Illinois's Akeem Spence.
NFL.com gives him a fairly positive review:
Spence has a good build and displays a strong set of hands. He's a physical tackler, and will make tackles all around the line of scrimmage. However, he needs to improve how he comes off the ball, and needs to make better use of the power in his upper and lower body. He should be a mid-round selection as a 4-3 nose tackle.
Then there's also his great showing in the combine's bench press to take into account; 47 reps of 225 pounds.
With his tackling prowess and great strength, Spence could be a decent rotation player for the Bucs, if not a starter.
Round 4, Pick No. 29: Bacarri Rambo
Want to hear a secret?
Ronde Barber is really, really old.
He's like, 37 years old, to be exact.
Since his remaining time left in the NFL grows smaller and smaller with each passing day, the Bucs should be exploring options to replace him at free safety.
Bacarri Rambo could very well be that replacement.
He is physical and athletic, the exact type of player mold Greg Schiano favors, assuming the Bucs head coach is willing to look past a drug suspension from his senior year.
Round 5, Pick No. 14: Knile Davis
In the fifth round, we're not looking solely for starters; we're looking for depth as well.
In the pursuit of a deeper roster, the Bucs may decide to draft another running back.
Seeing as No. 2 RB LeGarrette Blount did next to nothing in 2012, it's hard to imagine him being a Buccaneer in 2013.
If he goes, the Bucs can draft Arkansas alum Knile Davis to take over as a complement to Doug Martin.
Davis is big at 227 pounds and a strong athlete overall. His main problem is staying healthy, which limits his starting potential.
Round 6, Pick No. 13: Brad Sorenson
As the NFL has become a pass-first league, teams should always be looking to develop young quarterback prospects who can serve as backups or be traded down the line.
Brad Sorenson from Southern Utah would be an ideal prospect who the Bucs can draft and develop.
He has a cannon for an arm and good size at 6'4''.
Sorenson could be a very good backup QB down the line.
Round 7, Pick No. 12: Travis Bond
Once again, the later rounds are all about depth.
In Round 7, the Bucs can find depth in Travis Bond, the offensive tackle from North Carolina.
The mammoth Bond weighs 329 pound and stands tall at 6'6''; akin him a good pick to beef up the offensive line.