The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in year two of their rebuilding process and sitting pretty at the top of the first round for the 2010 NFL Draft, but if they do not choose wisely they will get burnt and take a step back in the process.
In 2009, the Bucs found their franchise quarterback in Josh Freeman, but there are still plenty of roster holes that still need to be filled and the draft will help with that.
For the following first four rounds, there are the Bucs' best, worst, and most likely scenarios for each draft pick.
First Round, No. 3
Best Case: Ndamukong Suh, DL, Nebraska
If Suh is sitting on the draft board when the Bucs pick at No. 3, there is no reason to pass on him because he is the top ranking player in the entire draft class.
Worst Case: Eric Berry, S, Tennessee
Yes, Berry is a tremendous athlete and he would indeed help improve the Bucs' secondary immediately, but taking a safety this high is not a good move, especially with the amount of guaranteed money that will be involved.
Most Likely: Gerald McCoy, DL, Oklahoma
McCoy would fill a large hole in the middle of the Bucs' defensive line and will get double-teamed a lot, but that will enable other defenders to get free to rush the opposing quarterback.
Second Round, No. 35
Best Case: Devin McCourty, CB, Rutgers
Ronde Barber is not getting any younger; McCourty will be able to learn from him before eventually becoming his replacement.
Worst Case: Terrance Cody, DL, Alabama
Cody is one of the biggest mysteries in this draft class, and his weight has been a constant problem throughout the years.
Most Likely: Jerry Hughes, DE/LB, TCU
With only 28 sacks in 2009, the Bucs need help rushing the passer. Hughes will bring talent in that area.
Second Round, No. 42
Best Case: Jared Odrick, DL, Penn State
In the scenario in which the Bucs do not take a defensive lineman with the No. 3 overall pick, Odrick would be logical since the Bucs need a big man in the middle of their defensive line.
Worst Case: Arrelious Benn, WR, Illinois
Some said that Benn looked really good at the combine, but while reporting on it, this reporter saw a receiver that was not focused, ran sloppy routes, and who had arms that were so big he could hardly catch a ball. He looks very Braylon Edwards-like.
Most Likely: Nate Allen, S, South Florida
In the highly unlikely reason that the Bucs pick Berry, Allen is the logical pick to help improve a secondary that struggled in 2009.
Third Round, No. 67
Best Case: Dexter McCluster, RB, Ole Miss
If there is any team that does not need another running back it is the Bucs, but if McCluster falls out of the second round, then it will be very hard to pass on such a dangerous and explosive player who can help in the return game too.
Worst Case: Chad Jones, S, LSU
Jones is in the middle of a draft free-fall ever since he managed a lackluster showing at the NFL Combine.
Most Likely: Brandon LaFell, WR, LSU
LaFell is a big body and ideal size to become a possible No. 1 receiver in the NFL, and since the Bucs let Antonio Bryant walk, LaFell will have to fill those shoes because newly acquired Reggie Brown has yet to prove if he's a No. 1 or No. 2 receiver in his career yet.
Fourth Round, No. 98
Best Case: Kyle Calloway, OT, Iowa
The Bucs need to upgrade the protection of Freeman so he doesn't get beaten up, since he is the team's future.
Worst Case: Any Running Back or Tight End
The Bucs are set at both tight end and running back (despite the McCluster pick earlier, but he's more of an offensive threat more than anything) and picking either here would not be smart, especially since so many backs and tight ends are trending into the bottom of the third and top of the fourth rounds.
Most Likely: Kyle Calloway, OT, Iowa
Got to protect the quarterback.
Fifth Round and Beyond
The Bucs do not have a pick in the fifth until toward the middle of the round, since they traded their No. 136 pick to Cleveland last year.
Making any prediction or speculation from the fifth round and on is just a shot in the dark, and, unfortunately because of this grey area, this Bucs mock stops here.
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