The Tampa Bay Buccaneers struggled to meet expectations in 2017. Despite that the talent is there for a successful 2018, and it starts with the NFL draft.
After watching the team on HBO’s Hard Knocks, many people pegged the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a playoff team in 2017. An injury to Jameis Winston and an absolutely atrocious defense derailed the season. Now they will turn to the NFL draft and the seventh pick to turn things around.
This mock draft was done using Fanspeak’s On the Clock a fun and informative tool for all NFL draft fans, prior to the completion of the NFL combine.
Round 1 – Pick 7
Quinton Nelson, G, Notre Dame
The Buccaneers are in a rough spot in this draft. Their top needs are pass rusher, corner back and running back. Unfortunately the seventh pick may wipe out the top options at every one of those positions. Bradley Chubb is the draft’s top rusher and should be the pick at three for the Colts. The draft’s top running back is Saquon Barkley. He may be the first overall pick. At corner, the top options, Denzel Ward and Josh Jackson, may fit but both have questions.
The safest pick, and a player that fits a secondary need for the team would be Quinton Nelson. The guard from Notre Dame may be the best player in the entire draft. His position pushes him down draft boards. The NFL just does not value guards anywhere near the level of a premier position.
Nelson is a mauler in the run game. That does not take away from his excellent ability in pass protection. He is always looking for work, a key trait of an offensive lineman. His ability go get to the second level off a chip or double is out of this world.
This may not be the flashy pick that some in Tampa would be hoping for. However, Nelson gives Jameis Winston better protection. He also solidifies a line for whoever will be running the ball next year.