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Mike Mayock sees Minkah Fitzpatrick as match for Bucs at No. 7

NFL Network draft expert thinks Fitzpatrick could help Bucs pass defense, if top pass-rusher Bradley Chubb is gone.
Alabama's Minkah Fitzpatrick, talking to reporters before the national championship game in Tampa last year, could be a match for the Bucs at No. 7 in the upcoming draft. [MONICA HERNDON | Times]
Published Feb. 26, 2018

What will the Bucs do with the No. 7 pick in the draft in two months?

NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock did another of his marathon conference calls with NFL writers — he was 90 minutes in when we came up in the queue — and mentioned Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick as a possible match for the Bucs should they stay at No. 7.

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We framed the question by saying that it's likely three or four quarterbacks go in the top six picks, as well as top pass-rusher Bradley Chubb from N.C. State, so what did he think the Bucs might do at 7?

"They're an interesting conversation," Mayock said. "First and foremost, you'll get Noah Spence back, but you've got to get some pressure. You only had 22 sacks last year, so … from an edge perspective, if Bradley Chubb was there, I think you'd run to the podium, first of all.

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"Minkah Fitzpatrick from Alabama can fit any need on the back end. You guys spent a first-round pick on (Vernon) Hargreaves. He hasn't played where I expected him to play yet. Brent Grimes is getting older. T.J. Ward is a free agent. … You can plug and play (Fitzpatrick) in any of the four starting positions, plus nickel and dime linebacker. That's how good he is. So from my perspective, I think … depending on how many quarterbacks go, I'd look at Chubb, Fitzpatrick and (Notre Dame guard) Quenton Nelson, because I think (Penn State RB Saquon) Barkley will be gone."