NFC South: Blake Bortles

Kiper's Mock 3.0: Buccaneers

March, 13, 2014
Mar 13
10:30
AM ET
After a 4-12 season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hold the seventh overall pick in the draft.

It's hard to predict what the new regime of general manager Jason Licht and coach Lovie Smith will do with that pick. But the Bucs definitely have options as they start a new era.

Even after signing veteran quarterback Josh McCown, Smith said it remains possible the Bucs could use their first-round pick on the position. That could come into play if Blake Bortles, Johnny Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater and Derek Carr remain on the board when the Bucs pick.

If the Bucs don't go with a quarterback, there are other options on offense. Tampa Bay is overhauling its offensive line and tackles Jake Matthews and Greg Robinson could be options. If the Bucs really want to spice up their offense, wide receiver Sammy Watkins could be a possibility.

But Smith is a defensive coach and he might go with what he knows best. Outside linebackers Khalil Mack and Anthony Barr have been tied to the Bucs in some mock drafts.

Check out ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper's latest mock draft to see which players he thinks Buccaneers should target with their first pick.
TAMPA, Fla. -- Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay have their latest mock drafts out, and they’re in agreement on who the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will take at No. 7.

Kiper and McShay have the Bucs choosing Buffalo outside linebacker Khalil Mack. But unless the Bucs are planning to convert Mack into a defensive end, I don’t think this would be a good move. The Bucs already have one star at outside linebacker in Lavonte David, and it wouldn’t make a lot of sense to invest a lot more in this area.

Personally, I think the Bucs should go with Missouri defensive end Kony Ealy. He’d be a natural fit opposite Adrian Clayborn. The addition of a pass-rushing defensive end might be all that separates the Bucs from having an elite defense.

If Ealy isn’t there or the Bucs want to go in another direction, I easily can see them taking Auburn offensive tackle Greg Robinson. The offensive line wasn’t very good last season and needs some new talent.

Of course, there’s another scenario that’s at least a possibility. The new regime has been saying nice things so far about quarterback Mike Glennon. But it remains to be seen if the Bucs are content to go with Glennon. If they have a shot at Teddy Bridgewater, Blake Bortles, Johnny Manziel or Derek Carr, they might not be able to pass on a quarterback.

Derek Carr a fit for Buccaneers?

January, 20, 2014
Jan 20
8:55
AM ET
TAMPA, Fla. -- It’s Senior Bowl week and that means it’s time for the guessing game about the 2014 draft to start.

You’ll start hearing rumblings about which players teams are watching and interviewing. You’ll start to get a better idea about which positions teams may be addressing in the draft and you’ll hear that stock is rising and falling on certain players.

For the Buccaneers, the biggest question is what, if anything, they’ll do at quarterback. The new regime has had some nice things to say about Mike Glennon so far, but coach Lovie Smith and offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford have stopped short of firmly saying he’s their starter.

If the Bucs decide Glennon’s not their quarterback, they could look to free agency where the prospects aren’t overly attractive. It’s more likely they would look to the draft, where they hold the No. 7 overall pick.

Scott Reynolds throws out an intriguing scenario in his mock draft. He has the Bucs using their first-round pick on Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr. Reynolds is going on the assumption that Teddy Bridgewater, Johnny Manziel and Blake Bortles already will be gone.

Carr makes sense for a number of reasons, starting with talent and athleticism that may give him a higher upside than Glennon. But there’s more than that. There’s history and familiarity here.

Tedford coached Carr’s brother, David, at Fresno State. David Carr flopped in the NFL, mostly because he was stuck behind one of the worst offensive lines in history with the Houston Texans. But Derek Carr has more mobility than his brother.

He could be a logical fit for the Buccaneers. Carr will be taking part in the Senior Bowl and it’s a safe bet to say the Bucs will be watching him closely.

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