Tue. Nov 29th, 2022
NFL: Combine
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

How clear is the path for Tampa Bay?

Lost in a lot of the noise and confusion happening in NFL free agent movement and trades is the successful offseason the Tampa Bay Bucs have been having thus far.

No, it isn’t the homerun 2021’s offseason was when the defending Super Bowl Champions brought back every starter and the majority of their role players.

But outside of losing Ali Marpet, Alex Cappa, and Jordan Whitehead, a large portion of the 2022 Super Bowl contending Bucs will be back in 2022.

With the futures of defensive linemen Ndamukong Suh and William Gholston, and pass rusher Jason Pierre-Paul up in the air still, just how clear has Tampa Bay’s draft path gotten with the returns of quarterback Tom Brady, wide receiver Chris Godwin, center Ryan Jensen, running back Leonard Fournette, and cornerback Carlton Davis III?

Not very, it turns out. Evidenced by the mixed opinions of NFL Mock Drafts we’ve collected this week.

Syndication: The Des Moines Register
Bryon Houlgrave/The Register / USA TODAY NETWORK

Sports Illustrated (Zack Patraw)

RB, Breece Hall, Iowa State

Our first mock comes from Sports Illustrated and author Zack Patraw who sends Iowa State running back Breece Hall to the Bucs.

This mock was published before news of Fournette’s return broke, so we’ll check back with Zack again next week as well.

In his mock, Patraw writes that Hall is, “Excellent in pass protection that makes him a three-down candidate at the next level. He remains very patient, but not too patient, as a runner.”

The Draft Network (Damian Parson)

OL, Zion Johnson, Boston College

While the Bucs did a good job of reacting to the losses of Marpet and Cappa with Aaron Stinnie re-signed and trading for Shaq Mason from the New England Patriots, Parson still believes the offensive line is the way to go on Day 1.

“Tom Brady unretires and the Bucs begin their journey to re-tool this offensive line,” writes Parson. “Johnson would fit in as a day-one starter to protect the winningest quarterback of all time. His short-area quickness, strong hands, and willingness to clean up for his teammates will ingratiate him with Brady.”

Pro Football Network (Joe Broback)

DL, Devonte Wyatt, Georgia

With the offense basically set to be a problem for the NFC in 2022, Joe Broback of Pro Football Network is the one who turns his attention to the defense.

“Tom Brady solved the Bucs’ need for a quarterback for now, so they can take care of other needs with this pick,” Broback writes. “Devonte Wyatt falling to 27 is going to be tough to pass. Given that they can draft their quarterback of the future and running back (another big need) later in the draft, adding Wyatt immediately bolsters their defense.”

NCAA Football: Georgia at Florida
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

We know who these three mock drafts have the Tampa Bay Bucs taking on Day 1 of the 2022 NFL Draft. But what do you think?

Let us know in the poll and the comments, below!

For more on this story and all things Tampa Bay Bucs, follow us here at Bucs Nation and listen to James Yarcho and David Harrison on the Locked On Bucs Podcast!

By admin