Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2013 Mock Draft: Full 7-Round Predictions
With the 2013 NFL draft just a week away, it's time once again to predict which prospects the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be selecting.
Last year's draft was a great success, as the team added three stars in Mark Barron, Lavonte David and, of course, Doug Martin.
Can the Bucs pull a repeat draft sweep?
Only time will tell. But for now, please be content with a mock draft.
Round 1: Pick No. 13
The Bucs could go with a defensive tackle like Star Lotulelei or Sheldon Richardson.
The Bucs could go with a versatile receiving weapon like Tavon Austin.
In this mock draft, the Bucs go with a cornerback. A cornerback named Xavier Rhodes.
This if because the only likely scenario in which Tampa will still have this pick is if the Darrelle Revis trade doesn't happen, leaving the team without a No. 1 corner.
Rhodes can be that No. 1 corner for the Bucs.
Rhodes stands tall at 6'1'' and runs fast with a 4.43-second 40 time. His range for swatting down passes is incredible. He excels in press-man coverage, and he is a physical player, much in the Greg Schiano mold. He is not great against the run, but the potential to be great is there.
Round 2: Pick No. 11
Zach Ertz is a clown. No, that's not right.
Zach Ertz is a Joker. Much better.
Today's "Joker" tight end must be a good receiver who can line up in a variety of spots, from in-line to the slot, to out wide, and even in the backfield as an H-back. This is all to create matchup problems for the defense.
Zach Ertz is a Joker tight end. He has good vertical range, good height (6'5''), decent speed (4.76 second 40 time) and is a very fluid athlete. He also can create separation running routes. Don't count out his blocking, either.
The Stanford product would be a great third option for Josh Freeman to look to on passing downs, giving the Bucs the threat in the middle of the field that they lacked in 2012.
Round 3: Pick No. 11
It would take a draft-day fall for Purdue defensive tackle Kawann Short to end up on the Bucs.
But this is a mock draft, so we can get away with some hopeful predictions.
Short can play a 1-technique or a 3-technique, but he would stick to the former should Tampa grab him. His strength allows him to move the line of scrimmage backwards, which is what the Bucs should want their replacement for free-agency departure Roy Miller to be able to do.
Opposite 3-technique Gerald McCoy, Short could help his fellow defensive tackle wreak all sorts of havoc in the offensive backfield.
Round 4: Pick No. 15
At this point in the draft, the Bucs have strengthened their top three positions of need (CB, TE, DT). Now, they can go for the best player available.
This is Day 3 of the draft, however, so the best player available isn't necessarily a Week 1 starter. But that doesn't mean Tampa can't find significant contributors.
One significant contributor could be (drumroll, please) UConn's Blidi Wreh-Wilson.
Not content with just having a name that drives computer-operated spellcheckers crazy, Wreh-Wilson also has quite a bit of upside at the nickel corner position.
Bleacher Report's own Michael Schottey has some high praise for Wreh-Wilson:
UConn's Blidi Wreh-Wilson was considered a potential first-rounder at one point and could probably play nickel corner right away. Because of the depth of the class, he could end up going in the late third or early fourth round.
With Blidi, the Bucs would have yet another young cornerback who can be a major contributor in the future.
Round 4: Pick No. 29
Hopefully the Bucs won't have to deal with season-ending injuries to multiple Pro Bowl offensive linemen in 2013.
But if it happened in 2012 to guards Carl Nicks and Davin Joseph, it could always happen again.
To prepare for bad luck to strike twice, Tampa should try to add some more depth to its offensive line.
That means drafting USC's Khaled Holmes.
Holmes played both center and guard for the Trojans, so his versatility can't be questioned. If he can stay healthy (he did miss time in 2012 due to injuries), he can be a very good backup interior offensive lineman.
Round 5: Pick No. 14
The Bucs don't seem to have any electrifying athletes at the offensive skill positions. Sure, Doug Martin's a stud, but a lot of his success coms from his vision and running technique. Vincent Jackson's a great receiver, but he's not the fastest guy in the world.
In Denard Robinson, Tampa can find that electrifying athlete to add to the depth chart.
Robinson started the 2012 season as a quarterback for Michigan, but he was eventually relegated to receiver/running back/all-purpose weapon as the year progressed.
With the ball in his hands, Robinson is unstoppable. He's definitely raw for a wide receiver, but with a skill set like his, the Bucs will surely be able to find a use for him in the offense.
Round 6: Pick No. 13
With their first of two picks in the sixth round, the Bucs decide to go with quarterback Jordan Rodgers.
Yup, that's Jordan Rodgers, as in brother of Aaron (Rodgers).
While little bro might not be the first-round talent his older bro was, he can still be a serviceable backup quarterback in the NFL.
He led Vanderbilt to nine wins in 2012, which is impressive considering that the Commodores aren't exactly a football powerhouse and play in CFB's toughest conference, the SEC.
Seeing as quarterbacks are judged by wins, it makes sense to draft a winning quarterback.
Round 6: Pick No. 28
In this mock draft, the Bucs use their last pick to add depth to their linebacker corps by selecting Boston College's Nick Clancy.
Clancy replaced the NFL's reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year, Luke Kuechly, at middle linebacker for the Eagles after serving as a backup OLB for the bulk of his college career.
He might not be at Kuechly's level, but he can be a good reserve defender.