The Tampa Bay Buccaneers staved off a rebuild with Tom Brady’s unretirement, but things will certainly be noticeably different without head coach Bruce Arians heading the team anymore.
That being said, the Bucs still have a pretty clear route to the playoffs. The NFC South is a bit of a mess right now. The Saints have a new head coach and their quarterback situation is murky at best. The Falcons are still early in their rebuild, and after they blew things with Matt Ryan, they shouldn’t be expecting to compete for a division title any time soon. The Carolina Panthers... well, they’ve struck out on just about every quarterback available, which means they could be starting Sam Darnold again this year, depending on what they do in the draft.
In other words, it’d be hard for the Bucs to screw up their current path for a third-straight NFC South title.
To make sure things don’t go sideways in Tampa, Pride of Detroit commenter Onlythelions is acting as the Bucs general manager in the 2022 Community Mock Draft. Tampa’s got the 27th pick in the draft. Here’s a look at the 26 players taken before their pick.
POD Community Mock Draft picks so far:
- Jacksonville Jaguars: Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan
- Detroit Lions: Travon Walker, EDGE, Georgia
- Houston Texans: Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon
- New York Jets: Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame
- New York Giants: Evan Neal, OT, Alabama
- Carolina Panthers: Ikem Ekwonu, OT, NC State
- New York Giants: Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati
- Atlanta Falcons: Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh
- Seattle Seahawks: Malik Willis, QB, Liberty
- New York Jets: Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State
- Washington Commanders: Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU
- Minnesota Vikings: Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington
- Houston Texans: Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State
- Baltimore Ravens: Jermaine Johnson, EDGE, Florida State
- Philadelphia Eagles: Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia
- Philadelphia Eagles: Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah
- Los Angeles Chargers: Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa
- New Orleans Saints: Drake London, WR, USC
- Philadelphia Eagles: Daxton Hill, S, Michigan
- Pittsburgh Steelers: Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
- New England Patriots: Zion Johnson, iOL, Boston College
- Green Bay Packers: George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue
- Arizona Cardinals: Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama
- Dallas Cowboys: Kenyon Green, iOL, Texas A&M
- Buffalo Bills: Andrew Booth, CB, Clemson
- Tennessee Titans: Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas
With the 27th pick in the POD Community Mock, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have selected Roger McCreary, cornerback from Auburn
Here’s Onlythelions with the explanation:
I really wanted to go guard here, but with Zion Johnson and Kenyon Green off the board, I didn’t see another interior lineman that was even close to being able to replace Ali Marpet Day 1. Outside of protecting Tom Brady, the most important thing for this team to do is improve that defense. Cooper Kupp torched this team in the playoffs. The Bucs just don’t have a topflight corner on the roster.
Roger McCreary will have the chance to become that in the Bucs' defense. He’s very sticky in man coverage, which will bode well during his rookie season in specific scenarios. He’ll have to improve on working in space at the NFL level, but with some good coaching, this shouldn’t be an issue for him. I am most impressed with his playmaking ability and always has an eye on the ball. Creating turnovers is always something you want out of your corners, and McCreary should develop into a top corner in this league.
The one downfall I’d have to say about McCreary is that he’s not a burner and will have to rely on his physicality at the line to slow some of the speedier WR in the NFL. Although he was able to pick off Joe Burrow to Jamar Chase in his first game in college, I’d say he’ll have to get a little more lean if he wants to stay in receivers' hip pocket at the next level.
McCreary’s measurables didn’t do him any favors this offseason, with average agility scores, poor explosion scores, and 28.8-inch arm length, which combined with a bit of a learning curve, will likely drop him to Day 2 in my opinion. The talent is there for him to be successful in the NFL but he may have to prove to teams that he can live on the outside in the NFL because some teams will want to push him inside to nickel.
I actually think Onlythelions’ initial instincts were correct in this situation and they need to look hard at a potential starting left guard, but even with the top pure guards off the board, I believe Central Michigan’s Bernhard Raimann is fully capable of pushing inside and could be the final piece to their offensive line. Another option could include Georgia defensive tackle Devonte Wyatt, who could start at one of their defensive end spots on their three-man front.
You can follow along with every pick + grades in our Community Mock Draft tracker.
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