Mock Draft Monday: Final look before the NFL combine
The NFL draft season (if there is such a thing) will start to heat up this week when prospects head to Indianapolis for the NFL combine. The measurables, in-person evaluations and interviews will start to affect how teams -- and pundits -- view them.
So consider this week's version of Mock Draft Monday a preamble of sorts. Expect plenty of movement in the next week or two. Two things to watch: Could Florida State DB Jalen Ramsey have a shot at joining the Titans as the No. 1 overall pick? And what are the odds that Florida CB (and Wharton High alum) Vernon Hargreaves III ends up returning to Tampa to play for the Bucs?
In the meantime, here's our weekly summary of potential Bucs targets and local players among noted mock drafts:
Bucs, No. 9 overall pick
ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr.: Florida/Wharton High CB Vernon Hargreaves III. "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."
NFL.com consensus: Hargreaves gets the nod among two of the four experts. Clemson DE Shaq Lawson and DB Mackensie Alexander are the other two names listed. Daniel Jeremiah writes: "The Bucs need to add a playmaker to the back end, and Hargreaves has very good ball skills."
ESPN's Todd McShay (unchanged): Oregon DE DeForest Buckner. "Buckner, who posted 12.0 tackles for loss in conference play this season, would give the Bucs a much-needed playmaker at DE."
CBSSports' Rob Rang: Buckner.
CBSSports' Dane Brugler: Hargreaves.
SI's Chris Burke (unchanged): Notre Dame OT Ronnie Stanley. "There is more depth at the pass-rushing spots and even at DB than at tackle. If Tampa Bay wants help along its O-line, this is the spot to pounce." Burke also has the Bucs adding Clemson DE Kevin Dodd in the second round.
USA Today's Nate Davis (unchanged): Stanley. "(Does) it really make sense to take any risks with Jameis Winston's well-being?"
Rotoworld's Josh Norris (unchanged): Clemson DE Shaq Lawson. "He has flashes speed, power and pass rushing awareness with a variety of moves."
Pro Football Focus' Steve Palazzolo (unchanged): Eastern Kentucky (and former Ohio State) DE Noah Spence: "During his time in Mobile, Spence established himself as the most explosive pass rusher, giving offensive tackles headaches all week."
Florida State DB Jalen Ramsey
ESPN's Kiper: No. 5, to Jacksonville. "(With) Dante Fowler Jr. coming back, they go with Ramsey, a gifted, versatile player who can play corner or safety."
NFL.com consensus: No. 5, to Jacksonville. Chad Reuter writes: "Play him at corner, play him at safety ... he will make an impact in either spot."
Rotoworld (unchanged): No. 1, to Tennessee: "The Titans likely want to trade this pick, but a versatile, aggressive defensive back with size and athleticism is not a bad consolation."
USA Today (unchanged): No. 3, to San Diego. "It's apparent what kind of impact a player like Tyrann Mathieu can have in the pass-centric NFL. Ramsey will draw those kind of comparisons given his ability to cover receivers outside, in the slot or even play safety."
ESPN's McShay (unchanged): No. 5, to Jacksonville. "For a team looking to improve on defense, this would be an ideal scenario."
SI (unchanged): No. 3, to San Diego. "The choice at No. 3 is Ramsey because of how desperate San Diego should be for a boost in the secondary, especially with Eric Weddle exiting."
CBSSports' Rang: No. 3, to San Diego
CBSSports' Brugler: No. 5, to Jacksonville. "Ramsey has experience at safety and corner, but is better categorized as a versatile ballhawk."
Pro Football Focus (unchanged): No. 4, to Dallas
Florida/Wharton High CB Vernon Hargreaves III
NFL.com consensus: If he doesn't go to the Bucs, he could go No. 6 to Baltimore or No. 15 to the Rams.
CBSSports' Rang: No. 8, to Miami. "The Dolphins won't have to look far for a playmaker with Hargreaves, a three-time All-SEC pick, recording 10 interceptions for the Gators over his career."
ESPN's McShay (unchanged): No. 8, to Miami
SI (unchanged): No. 8, to Miami. "Hargreaves or Mackensie Alexander would be fine selections by Miami, which must find some help in the secondary."
Rotoworld (unchanged): No. 8, to Miami. "Hargreaves' 2015 season did not match 2014, but it was far from bad or even average."
Pro Football Focus (unchanged): No. 8, to Miami. "Hargreaves was outstanding in 2014, our best cornerback in the nation, but he took a step back in 2015. Still, he's sound fundamentally and can play a variety of coverages while staying with even the shiftiest of receivers."
USA Today (unchanged): No. 10, to the Giants.
Florida DL Jonathan Bullard
Pro Football Focus (unchanged): No. 24, to Cincinnati
SI (unchanged): No. 35 (second round), to San Diego