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Thursday, April 3, 2014
Analyzing Kiper Grade A draft: Bucs

By Pat Yasinskas

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have the seventh overall pick in this year’s draft after going 4-12 last season.

A wide receiver, an offensive guard and anything that would bring much-needed depth to just about any position would make a lot of sense for the Bucs.

Mel Kiper’s fourth 2014 NFL mock draft is out on ESPN Insider today, and his choice isn’t a big surprise for the Bucs. In this mock draft, Kiper chooses what he thinks each team should do, not what it will do.

Kiper has the Bucs taking Texas A&M receiver Mike Evans in the first round. Evans might not be the receiver most Tampa Bay fans are hoping for; that’s Clemson’s Sammy Watkins. But Kiper has Watkins going No. 2 overall to St. Louis. Although I think the Bucs would prefer Watkins, I don’t see them hesitating in taking Evans in the first round.

This is a team that really needs to get better at wide receiver, even though Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams remain on the roster. Williams’ status is a little shaky because he has run into some off-field problems. He could end up being released. But even if Williams stays, this team needs to add a third receiver.

The Bucs have two other picks in the top 70. Kiper has them taking Stanford guard David Yankey in the second round and North Carolina defensive end Kareem Martin in the third. That makes some sense because the Bucs don’t have a clear-cut starter at right guard and could use some added depth on the defensive line.

Then again, coach Lovie Smith has a defensive background. So I wouldn't rule out the possibility of him taking a defensive player with either of his first two picks.