So what if the Bucs had taken neither O.J. Howard nor Dalvin Cook with the 19th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft?
It could easily have happened. No one expected Howard to be available at No. 19. Let's say someone else took him first. And let's say someone else took Cook, such as Jacksonville, which took LSU back Leonard Fournette at No. 3, or Carolina, which took Stanford back Christian McCaffrey at No. 8.
What would the Bucs have done then?
If Fournette or McCaffrey had been around instead, they would have taken one of them.
And if Howard and Cook had been taken, two of the ultimate top 18 picks would have still have been available. That could have included Ohio State safety Malik Hooker and Alabama defensive tackle Jonathan Allen. Both could have plugged holes the Bucs had.
Other fits might have included Utah tackle Garett Bolles, Gators linebacker Jarrad Davis and two other tight ends — Miami's David Njoku and Ole Miss' Evan Engram.
And based on his start with the Steelers, Wisconsin's T.J. Watt would look good in any uniform.
Who knows what the Bucs would have done? If things didn't turn out the way they did, there could have been trade offers and other unexpected circumstances.
But how's this for a wild guess: Michigan safety Jabrill Peppers.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING ABOUT DALVIN COOK
"He's a really good player. He can run with power. He can run with speed. He can catch the ball out of the backfield and he has demonstrated all of that in the first two weeks of the season. (He's a) really good football player."
— Bucs coach Dirk Koetter
"I TV scouted him. He is a heck of a football player. He likes to have the ball in his hand. You can tell that. As the year goes on, he is going to be a guy that they are probably going to feature more.''
— Bucs defensive coordinator Mike Smith
"I think he has got a chance to be special.''
— Vikings coach Mike Zimmer
"I think the sky's the limit for him."
— Saints and former Vikings running back Adrian Peterson
"Very impressive first look. Dynamic player who can hurt defenses in many ways.''
— Former Vikings great back Chuck Foreman
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