By Andrew Schuster @ShootsMcGavin on May 6, 2014
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have made quite a splash this offseason and seem to be in a good spot heading into the 2014 NFL Draft. Let's go ahead and take a look at this final mock for the Bucs as the big weekend approaches.
No. 7 may be a little high, but Bridgewater's stock is rising and Lovie Smith and the Buccaneers are showing a great deal of interest in the young gunslinger from Louisville. Placing Teddy into a unit with WR Vincent Jackson and RB Doug Martin would be an ideal fit. Tampa Bay is looking to shop QB Mike Glennon and even after signing Josh McCown in the offseason, Bridgewater would fit perfectly into the Bucs' system.
If the Bucs do decide to pass on Texas A&M's WR Mike Evans in the first round to grab Bridgewater, Vanderbilt's Jordan Matthews would be a superb choice in the second round to complement Vincent Jackson and replace Mike Williams. He is a big red-zone target, a great route runner and has never missed time in his 52-game career. Matthews enters the draft as one of the nation's top receivers and would be a great fit for Tampa Bay's offense.
Snagging Gabe Jackson here is a no-brainer. Offensive guard Carl Nicks has not played up to his standards since moving to Tampa Bay via the New Orleans Saints, so the Bucs will be looking to the draft for another option. Gabe Jackson brings excellent size and strength to the table and has the potential to be a top-tier guard in the NFL.
The New England Patriots are looking for a backup to Tom Brady and a possible long-term option for the future. A trade for Bucs QB Mike Glennon makes perfect sense for a third-round pick. Tampa Bay is asking for a second-rounder, but that is not likely going to happen. OLB Chris Smith could be a steal at the end of the third round. His aggressive play and explosiveness could form into an outstanding edge pass rusher in the NFL.
Coleman may be a stretch with the 143rd overall pick, but he is projected to go at the bottom of the fourth or top of the fifth. Tampa Bay is looking to seek some extra depth on the defensive line, so drafting a big body like Coleman would be crucial for plugging up the middle. He is not an ideal pass rusher, but his run-stopping ability ranks among the draft's best.
The Bucs did bring on Michael Johnson during the offseason, but adding depth to the defensive end position with a late-round pick makes sense, especially with Da'Quan Bowers being the bust that he is so far. Aaron Lynch brings excellent size and strength with flashes of playmaking ability. The Notre Dame transfer racked up 29 tackles (11.5 for loss) and five sacks during his only eligible season at South Florida in 2013.
After signing Alterraun Verner and Mike Jenkins to replace Darrelle Revis, the Bucs are pretty much set at the cornerback position. However, using their seventh-round pick to draft another one for competition purposes would be a smart move. Richardson's quickness and agility give him the ability to jump routes when the opportunity is presented to him. With time, he could turn into a nice defensive back in the NFL.
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