It is truly hard to believe but we are just six days away from the NFL Draft when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (and the rest of the NFL) try to locate the next team superstar out of a particularly deep field of prospects. At this point in the draft cycle bloggers are pumping out mock drafts at unprecedented frequencies, so I thought this would be a perfect time to wrap up what some of the experts are thinking the Bucs will do with their coveted #7 pick.
For Florida State fans, there will be a familiar face going to the Bucs in a handful of mock drafts — the safety Derwin James (former Seminole) is one of the names being linked to the Bucs, including in Chad Reuter of NFL.com’s mock draft. James made headlines by refusing to meet with teams for private workouts, though he is certainly not the first prospect in recent years to do that as Christian McCaffery made the same decision just a year ago. However, the skinny on James is that he boasts NFL-ready coverage skills as well as the toughness and motor to get after the opposing team’s runningback.
However, Pete Prisco of CBS Sports has another idea of who may be wearing the Bucs uniform on draft night: Saquon Barkley. For fans of college football, Barkley is a household name. He was an absolute workhorse for Penn State University and is widely regarded as perhaps the most NFL-ready prospect in the entire draft. The Bucs will benefit from the team’s in front of them not having a real need at runningback, giving them the potential to select one of the most exciting prospects in the class. Saquon Barkley is the undisputed best player at his position and it is a position that the Bucs could use a boost in and teaming a player of Barkley’s caliber with quarterback Jameis Winston may elevate the Bucs to playoff contender nearly instantaneously.
As cliche as it sounds, we just do not know how the first round of the NFL draft is going to shake out. However, I hold firm to my position that if Barkley somehow drops to #7 the Tampa Bay front office will have an impossible time passing up on him. He would bring an aura of excitement and optimism to a Bucs team that so desperately needs it.