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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Kiper mock draft has Bucs taking WR Corey Davis at 19



Oh, if only the NFL draft would fall this way for the Bucs.

In his latest mock draft, ESPN’s Mel Kiper has Western Michigan receiver Corey Davis falling to Tampa Bay at No. 19 overall.

To say the Bucs would be delighted to see this actually happen is an understatement. Among the most glaring needs is to continue to surround quarterback Jameis Winston with more weapons. Vincent Jackson is a free agent, and at 34, is contemplating retirement although no decision has been reached.

At 6-2, 205 pounds, Davis is one of the more accomplished receivers in the draft, with a staggering 332 career receptions for 5,285 yards and 52 touchdowns for the Broncos. Sure, the Mid-American Conference is not the NFL, but he is a very smooth route runner and fast.

While Davis isn’t expected to run at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis next month due to an ankle injury, draft experts believe he will be in the 4.4 range in the 40-yard dash at his pro day.

It’s somewhat unimaginable that Davis would be available outside of the top 15 if he has good workouts. He was one of the standouts at the Senior Bowl workouts.

Consider what the Atlanta Falcons did for Matt Ryan last season by adding speed and playmakers. The Bucs need to take that course and coach Dirk Koetter knows it. The Bucs were 31st in the NFL with an average of 4.04 yards after the catch last season.

"Our run after the catch is not where it needs to be," Koetter said. "And (that’s) not an indictment on the guys we have. The guys you have are the guys you have and you have to coach the heck out of them.

"But we need more speed and more playmakers. And (by) playmakers, we’re talking about guys who can catch a 10-yard pass, break one tackle and turn it into a 30-yard gain."

Needless to say, Davis could provide that.

Here’s what Kiper had to say about this choice for the Bucs:

"Mike Evans is officially a star, but Vincent Jackson is an unrestricted free agent, and the Bucs don't want a situation where defenses can just assume they'll be doubling Evans. Davis won't be running at the combine because of a small injury, but he's safely in Round 1 and would be a good value in this range (my buddy Todd McShay had him at No. 5 in his mock draft last week). Feed Jameis."

Ironically, McShay has Davis going to the Titans and quarterback Marcus Mariota.

[Last modified: Wednesday, February 15, 2017 1:23pm]


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