Mock Draft Monday: Two new names for Bucs at No. 9
Last week's blockbuster trade between the Rams and Titans shook up the NFL, and mock drafts are still sorting it out.
Almost every major mock draft I check has updated its predictions since the trade, and a few things stand out. Florida State DB Jalen Ramsey no longer seems like an option with the top pick, and he could fall out of the top three - but probably not all the way to the Bucs at No. 9. Instead, having two quarterbacks (probably) chosen at the top gives Tampa Bay another good defensive option with its first pick.
Florida/Wharton High CB Vernon Hargreaves remains the most likely Tampa Bay selection, according to the pundits I track. But I have seen two new names pop up: Michigan State OT Jack Conklin, and Houston CB William Jackson III.
Mock drafts also have a more local flavor now than they did a few months ago. A majority of NFL.com's analysts think Miami CB Artie Burns will go in the first-round, and Gators S Keanu Neal is popping up on some boards, too.
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: Michigan State OT Jack Conklin: McShay's three-round mock draft also has Tampa Bay picking Cincinnati WR (and Jefferson High alum) Chris Moore in the second round and Michigan State DE Shilique Calhoun in the third. Of Conklin, McShay writes: "For a team that wants to run the ball and needs a right tackle, Conklin is a better fit for Tampa Bay than Ronnie Stanley. The Michigan State product is a natural fit on the right side as a plug-and-play starter."
SI's Chris Burke: Clemson DE Shaq Lawson.
NFL.com consensus: Four of the six analysts think the Bucs will pick former Gators/Wharton High CB Vernon Hargreaves. Lawson is one possibility, and so is UCLA LB Myles Jack. Of Hargreaves, Lance Zierlein writes: Hargreaves is a little shorter than teams like as an outside cornerback, but his twitch and coverage talent makes him an upper-echelon cornerback in this year's draft. The Bucs need corner help, but are they willing to invest a pick this early on a sub-6-foot cornerback?
USA Today's Nate Davis: Hargreaves. "Playing in the air raid NFC South, it always makes sense to add another talented body to the secondary, and Hargreaves could apprentice next to Brent Grimes at the outset."
CBSSports consensus: Hargreaves, although Oregon DE DeForest Buckner and Ohio State DE Joey Bosa are also options.
Pro Football Focus: Houston CB William Jackson III. Sam Monson writes: Jackson may be the best pure corner in the draft when it is all said and done. He has the ideal size and speed profile NFL teams covet, and one of the best coverage grades in the nation this past season.
Rotoworld's Josh Norris (unchanged): Lawson.
ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. (unchanged): Notre Dame OT Ronnie Stanley. "The Bucs did target offensive line help in last year's draft, but ceiling is a pretty big question mark, and they shouldn't make the same mistake the Colts did with Andrew Luck when it comes to building a solid group in front of their franchise talent."
Florida State DB Jalen Ramsey
ESPN's McShay: No. 7, to San Francisco. "No, he doesn't have elite ball skills, but he has proved that he can play both corner and safety at a high level, and he's a truly rare athlete."
SI.com's Burke: No. 5, to Jacksonville.
NFL.com consensus: No. 3, to San Diego. Charles Davis writes: Ramsey is perhaps the best overall athlete in the draft. He could be used as a CB, S, and nickel defender. Many envision him as the "Eric Weddle" replacement as a playmaker.
USA Today: No. 2, to Cleveland. Davis writes: What will the analytics tell the Browns' brain trust to do now that they know they won't have their choice of the top quarterback prospects? We'll venture that Cleveland opts for pure talent - Ramsey is arguably the draft's best player and would fill a hole at safety and/or cornerback - and perhaps consider a quarterback with pick No. 32 or a trade up into the first round.
CBSSports consensus: If he's still on the board, he won't fall past Dallas at No. 4.
Pro Football Focus: No. 4, to Dallas. Steve Palazzolo writes: The Cowboys benefit most from the blockbuster Rams-Titans trade, as Ramsey falls to No. 4 and they add another versatile defender on the back end. He could develop into a great press man corner, but at the very least, he can move around, excel in zone, and play like a linebacker against the run.
Rotoworld (unchanged): No. 1, to Tennessee.
ESPN's Kiper (unchanged): No. 3, to San Diego. "I know there are concerns he'll face some developmental hurdles as a rookie, but all cornerbacks do, and Ramsey's ceiling is extremely high."
Florida/Wharton High CB Vernon Hargreaves III
ESPN's McShay: No. 20, to the Jets. "We downgraded Hargreaves a bit because of his less-than-ideal measurables (5-foot-10 frame and 30 5/8-inch arms), but he has the aggressiveness and confidence to develop into a quality starting CB on the outside."
SI's Burke: No. 8, to Philadelphia.
NFL.com consensus: The Bucs are the most likely pick, but he could also go eighth to the Eagles or 11th to the Bears.
CBSSports: If the Bucs don't pick him, the next most likely landing spot is No. 14, to Oakland.
Pro Football Focus: No. 8, to Philadelphia. Palazzolo writes: "The Eagles may look hard at Ezekiel Elliott here, but adding depth in the secondary with a scheme-diverse Hargreaves is the way to go."
Rotoworld (unchanged): No. 8, to Philadelphia. "Hargreaves does offer athleticism (he's more athletic than 97 percent of NFL CBs) and is an aggressive player."
ESPN's Kiper (unchanged): No. 14, to Oakland. "Hargreaves lacks some measurables, but the tape doesn't lie."
Florida DL Jonathan Bullard
ESPN's McShay: No. 49, to Buffalo.
Pro Football Focus: No. 30, to Carolina. Palazzolo writes: "The Panthers get a base defensive end who can play the run as well as any in the class (top grade in 2015) and he has potential to develop as an interior pass rusher."
Rotoworld (unchanged): No. 26, to Seattle. "The Florida defensive lineman surprised me with his athleticism (he's a great athlete) and can help the Seahawks generate interior disruption."
Miami CB Artie Burns
NFL.com: Five of the six analysts now project Burns in the first round; three have him going to the Steelers at No. 25, and two project him four slots later, to Arizona. Zierlein writes: Burns is still raw in terms of technique and feel for the position, but he has tremendous speed and ball skills. The Cardinals covet players who make plays. Burns' interceptions are jaw-dropping.
ESPN's McShay: No. 36, to Baltimore. "Burns is an enticing upside play in Round 2. He has the length and raw coverage ability to develop into a good outside starting cornerback."
Florida S Keanu Neal
CBS' Dane Brugler: No. 29, to Arizona. "Neal is a known as a physical thumper, but he also has the required athleticism to develop in pass coverage."
ESPN's McShay: No. 38 overall, to Jacksonville.