The ESPN Blog Network mock draft is coming next week and I’ve got some good ideas of what I plan to do for all four teams.
Without an NFC South team picking until nearly the middle of the first round, I’m going to be at the mercy of those picking above me.
I’m going to run through the four teams and share with you what scenarios I’m thinking about and invite you to share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Let’s start with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who have the No. 13 overall pick.
A lot depends on whether the Bucs pull off a trade for cornerback Darrelle Revis. Although I think that trade is likely, I have to prepare with the assumption it will not happen.
Without Revis, there’s a glaring need at cornerback. My leading scenario at the moment would be to have the Bucs trade up (probably into the top five) to get Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner. He’s the only sure-thing as a cornerback in the draft, and I think it makes sense to go get him.
If the Bucs stay put at No. 13, I’m not feeling great about the cornerback options. I would consider Florida State’s Xavier Rhodes and Washington’s Desmond Trufant. But my personnel thought is that No. 13 is too early to take either player. However, there are rumblings the Bucs are really high on Rhodes.
Although I’m not as high on Rhodes, I might take him if the rumblings continue to get stronger.
But I’m also considering a few other options beyond cornerback. Utah defensive tackle Star Lotulelei was considered as a possibility for the No. 1 overall pick before a medical concern was raised. Lotulelei reportedly has been medically cleared, but you see him all over the board in mock drafts.
If he’s available at No. 13, I’ll consider him. Once upon a time, the Bucs took a shot on a defensive tackle whose stock had fallen. That was Warren Sapp in 1995 and he’ll be going into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this summer. I might also consider Missouri defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson for the Bucs.
I also may consider West Virginia receiver Tavon Austin. Although I don’t think the Bucs really need him, there’s been some buzz that the team is enthralled with him. If I get more indications that’s true, I might go with Austin.
And I’ll end it with one scenario that’s received almost no attention. Under the right circumstances, I might even consider Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert. This might be a little early for a tight end, but Eifert has the potential to be a great one. At the moment, the Bucs have nothing but mediocrity on their roster at tight end.