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Here's who the Bucs—and everyone else—might take in the first round of the NFL Draft

After months of speculation, it's time to find out who the reigning Super Bowl champions will add to the squad.
Credit: AP Photo/Rusty Costanza

TAMPA, Fla. — Draft day has finally arrived. In what felt like a year of speculation, rumors, risers, and fallers − it all starts tonight when Trevor Lawrence is selected number one overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

David Harrison and I have thrown out as many names as possible to consider for the Bucs at pick 32 since they have nearly every position available to them. Usually, it’s the Baltimore Ravens who are “best player available, regardless of position” on draft night. This time around, it’s most definitely the Buccaneers.

As we always do the day of the draft, David and I partook in a joint mock draft of the first round. We don’t include trades, but this is how we see things shaking out in round one;

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars - QB, Trevor Lawrence - Clemson
  2. New York Jets - QB, Zach Wilson - BYU
  3. San Francisco 49ers - QB, Trey Lance - North Dakota
  4. Atlanta Falcons - TE, Kyle Pitts - Florida
  5. Cincinnati Bengals - WR, Ja’Marr Chase - LSU
  6. Miami Dolphins - WR, Jaylen Waddle - Alabama
  7. Detroit Lions - OT, Penei Sewell - Oregon
  8. Carolina Panthers - QB, Justin Fields - Ohio State
  9. Denver Broncos - QB, Mac Jones - Alabama
  10. Dallas Cowboys - CB, Patrick Surtain II - Alabama
  11. New York Giants - WR, DaVonte Smith - Alabama
  12. Philadelphia Eagles - CB, Caleb Farley - Virginia Tech
  13. Los Angeles Chargers - OT, Rashawn Slater - Northwestern
  14. Minnesota Vikings - OT, Christian Darrisaw - Virginia Tech
  15. New England Patriots - CB, Jaycee Horn - South Carolina
  16. Arizona Cardinals - CB, Greg Newsome II - Northwestern
  17. Las Vegas Raiders - LB, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah - Notre Dame
  18. Miami Dolphins - DE, Kwity Paye - Michigan
  19. Washington Football Team - LB, Micah Parsons - Penn State
  20. Chicago Bears - OT, Tevan Jenkins - Oklahoma State
  21. Indianapolis Colts - EDGE, Jaelan Phillips - Miami (FL)
  22. Tennessee Titans - WR, Elijah Moore - Ole Miss
  23. New York Jets - OT, Alijah Vera-Tucker - USC
  24. Pittsburgh Steelers - RB, Najee Harris - Alabama
  25. Jacksonville Jaguars - WR, Terrace Marshall Jr. - LSU
  26. Cleveland Browns - LB, Zaven Collins - Tulsa
  27. Baltimore Ravens - S, Trevon Moehrig - TCU
  28. New Orleans Saints - CB, Eric Stokes - Georgia
  29. Green Bay Packers - WR, Rashad Bateman - Minnesota
  30. Buffalo Bills - EDGE, Azeez Ojulari - Georgia
  31. Baltimore Ravens - EDGE, Jayson Oweh - Penn State

And that brings us to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at pick 32. There are solid options on either side of the ball that you could make the argument for. I won’t talk about Gregory Rousseau since Rousseau to the Bucs was covered in the Ultimate Mock Draft 2021, but here are a few names on the offensive side of the ball - offensive linemen Liam Eichenberg from Notre Dame and Quinn Meinerz from Wisconsin-Whitewater. Neither would be asked to start right away and can develop behind the current line. Eichenberg gives the Bucs an option at tackle if they opt to move on from Donovan Smith while Meinerz could take over in 2022 for Alex Cappa if he were to leave as a free agent.

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On the defensive side, there’s edge rusher Joe Tryon and interior defensive lineman Levi Onwuzurike, both out of Washington. Tryon is that developmental type edge guy that can grow and learn while getting some on-field experience rotating in with Jason Pierre-Paul and Shaquil Barrett. Onwuzurike is better suited to play right away but wouldn’t have a place to start barring injury. Given Vita Vea’s unfortunate injury history, it certainly isn’t out of the realm of possibility he misses time. Ideally, Onwuzurike would be lining up next to Vea for the long term.

At this stage in the draft, we will give the Buccaneers Onwuzurike to close out the first round. Even though Tryon has his name attached to the Bucs in recent mock drafts, Onwuzurike has too much talent - and it makes too much sense - to pass on.

Credit: AP
National Team defensive lineman Levi Onwuzurike of Washington (95) watches during the first half of the NCAA college football Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala, Saturday, Jan. 30, 2021. (AP Photo/Rusty Costanza)

For more on this story, and all things Tampa Bay Buccaneers, check out the Locked On Bucs Podcast.