Mock Draft Monday: Could Joey Bosa fall to the Bucs?
The NFL combine is over, so it's time to start taking mock drafts a little more seriously.
Unfortunately, that doesn't give us much clarity. The Bucs could be taking a Clemson product with the No. 9 overall pick...but pundits are split on who that might be (DB Mackensie Alexander, DE Shaq Lawson or DE Kevin Dodd). Florida/Wharton High CB Vernon Hargreaves remains a likely option, although the updated mock drafts have two new, interesting wrinkles.
One NFL analyst thinks Ohio State star DE Joey Bosa falls to the Bucs after his performance in the combine, and Pro Football Focus thinks the Bucs add a receiving target for QB Jameis Winston by picking Baylor's Corey Coleman.
In other state news, Florida State DB Jalen Ramsey's standout combine showing put him No. 1 on at least three notable mock drafts. Don't expect him to fall to the Bucs.
Here's our weekly summary of potential Bucs targets and local players among noted mock drafts:
Bucs, No. 9 overall pick
ESPN's Todd McShay: Florida/Wharton High CB Vernon Hargreaves. "It's not often the best pure cover corner in the draft falls to No. 9 overall, but here we are."
MMQB: Clemson DB Mackensie Alexander. Robert Mays writes: "A front-seven piece-either the edge rusher they've lacked for years or a player that could help the transition to a more multiple-front defense would make sense, but Tampa Bay desperately needs better play from its secondary. Alexander is a smart, brash corner who would instantly bring some energy to new defensive coordinator Mike Smith's group."
NFL.com: The site's four experts are split between Hargreaves, Clemson DE Kevin Dodd, Oregon DE DeForest Buckner and Ohio State DE Joey Bosa.
CBSSports consensus: Oregon DE DeForest Buckner. Rob Rang writes: "At 6-7, 290 pounds, Buckner has the bulk and strength to play both inside at defensive tackle and his customary defensive end role. While speed off the edge is important, in a division facing Cam Newton twice a year, size and strength up front is critical, as well."
SI's Chris Burke: Clemson DE Shaq Lawson. "He is put together at 270 pounds, yet he still ran a 4.7 40. Lawson is ready for the NFL."
USA Today's Nate Davis: Notre Dame OT Ronnie Stanley. "The Irish tackle with the sweet feet is too good to pass up here despite the Bucs' defensive shortcomings. And better in the long run to safeguard QB Jameis Winston, who was under fire too often as a rookie."
Rotoworld's Josh Norris: Clemson DE Shaq Lawson. "We know all about what Lawson and Clemson's defensive line did this year.... He has flashes speed, power and pass rushing awareness with a variety of moves.
Pro Football Focus: Baylor WR Corey Coleman: "QB Jameis Winston already has his big targets in Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson, but Coleman adds another dimension to the passing game with his ability to create quick separation and pick up yards after the catch."
ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. (unchanged): Hargreaves. "Tampa Bay needs a talent infusion at cornerback, and Hargreaves is going to grade out as a player who is ready to be on the field in Week 1."
Florida State DB Jalen Ramsey
NFL.com's Charles Davis: No. 1, to Tennessee. "The overwhelming philosophy is to protect QB Marcus Mariota at all costs, but Ramsey's so gifted that taking him -- and giving defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau another playmaker to help stop the talented WRs in Houston, Indy, and Jacksonville -- will be considered by new GM Jon Robinson."
NFL.com consensus: No. 3, to San Diego.
Pro Football Focus: No. 1, to Tennessee. "He has the size and length to become one of the league's best, and given his domination at the combine, the physical attributes are there as well."
ESPN's McShay: No. 5, to Jacksonville. "The Jaguars have needs at both corner and safety. The solution? Draft Ramsey and figure out which hole you want him to plug."
MMQB: No. 5, to Jacksonville: "Just as some predicted, Ramsey made the coaches in charge of the drills in Indianapolis wonder if their tape measures were faulty."
SI.com's Burke: No. 2, to Cleveland. "Cornerback? Safety? It doesn't matter. Draft him and find a way to play him as much as possible."
CBSSports consensus: Somewhere between third and fifth overall.
USA Today: No. 3, to San Diego. "He has an argument as the draft's best player."
Rotoworld: No. 1, to Tennessee.
ESPN's Kiper (unchanged): No. 5, to Jacksonville. "(With) Dante Fowler Jr. coming back, they go with Ramsey, a gifted, versatile player who can play corner or safety."
Florida/Wharton High CB Vernon Hargreaves III
MMQB: No. 8, to Miami.
NFL.com consensus: Somewhere between fifth (Jacksonville) and ninth to the Bucs. Lance Zierlein thinks he'll go eighth to Miami: "This might be a little early for Hargreaves, who is a little shorter than teams like as an outside cornerback, but his twitch and coverage talent is undeniable."
CBSSports consensus: No. 8, to Miami.
USA Today: No. 6, to Baltimore. "(The) secondary has been vulnerable in a division where the football flies, and Baltimore's six interceptions in 2015 were a league low."
Rotoworld: No. 8, to Miami. "Based on his NFL Combine, Hargreaves is just behind Jalen Ramsey in terms of athleticism."
SI.com's Burke: No. 8, to Miami. "No matter where the Dolphins see fit to use Hargreaves, he would provide an upgrade over what is currently on the roster aside from Brent Grimes."
Pro Football Focus: No. 8, to Miami. "Hargreaves' 2015 was a step back from his 2014 season that saw him post the top coverage grade in the nation, but his movement skills and scheme versatility make him a good fit for the Miami defense."
Florida DL Jonathan Bullard
Pro Football Focus: No. 24, to Cincinnati. "Just as we said in the last mock, a nose tackle would be a great fit for the Bengals here, but Bullard's early down production and position versatility is too much to pass up."