The Tampa Bay Buccaneers get their 7-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft while they’re still playing football. That, my friends, means one thing. Tampa’s going to the Super Bowl. Tom Brady, and Tom Brady alone, led them to a Super Bowl appearance, which is impressive in his first year with Tampa. Without further ado, let’s dive into how the Buccaneers will attack the 2021 NFL Draft with this 7-round NFL Mock Draft.
Buccaneers Pre-Senior Bowl 7-Round 2021 NFL Mock Draft
- Round 1, Pick 31: Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami
- Round 2, Pick 63: Javonte Williams, RB, North Carolina
- Round 3, Pick 94: Marvin Wilson, DT, Florida State
- Round 4, Pick 129: Cameron McGrone, LB, Michigan
- Round 5, Pick 161: Jack Anderson, OG, Texas Tech
- Round 7, Pick 217: Tony Poljan, TE, Virginia
- Round 7, Pick 223: Khyiris Tonga, DT, Brigham Young
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Buccaneers 2021 NFL Mock Draft pick-by-pick analysis
Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami
Jaelan Phillips may very well be the best pass rusher in the draft class. So, why does he fall here at pick 31 of this Buccaneers 7-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft? Well, for a plethora of reasons, but none so significant that the Buccaneers cannot afford to take a home run swing. Wrist and ankle injuries plagued him while at UCLA. After being the top pass rusher in his recruiting class, the three concussions eventually ended his stint in Los Angeles.
The UCLA training staff recommended a medical retirement, and Phillips contemplated it before transferring to Miami. Also, off-field questions surround Phillips. By that, I mean he likes making music. This may seem inconsequential, but the crusty NFL hates them some players that have interests outside of their precious football. Some teams will hold this against him.
His production exploded in his one season at Miami. Although he didn’t top the 15.5 sacks of his number-sharing teammate Gregory Rousseau, the tape was more impressive. Phillips is a legitimate technician on the edge. He possesses excellent length and strong hands. His pass-rush repertoire is vast, and he has more than enough juice to threaten the outside shoulder of offensive tackles.
He also has little issue holding the edge versus the run, although he needs to be more assignment sound at times defending the run. He’s already an outstanding playmaker, and he’s just now coming into his own as a player.
Javonte Williams, RB, North Carolina
I’m not sure many players are a better talent, team, and need fit than Javonte Williams to the Buccaneers. This Buccaneers 7-round NFL Mock Draft is rounding into form. After speaking with Pewter Report’s Jon Ledyard, the type of back that Bruce Arians prefers was apparent. If Tampa Bay remains a duo and split zone-heavy team, there is no better fit than Williams if Najee Harris and Travis Etienne are gone.
Williams is the ideal build for an NFL back at 5-foot-10 and 220 pounds. He’s compact and thick but impressively explosive and able to stride out in the open field. He does not lack juice, and his receiving prowess provides even more upside to his game overall.
The Buccaneers’ top three running backs had a combined total of 108 targets in 2020. Williams, on the other hand, tallied 25 catches of his own for 305 yards in 2020. His hands could be more consistent, but he’s displayed legitimate route-running prowess. However, as a pass protector, he’s utterly disrespectful to defenders with his physicality. He needs to stop playing linebacker and tackling defenders, but his attitude for the job is ideal.
Getting an immediate RB2 to complement Ronald Jones, who is entering the final year of his contract, in this Buccaneers 7-round NFL Mock Draft is a huge get at pick 63.
Marvin Wilson, DT, Florida State
Marvin Wilson is a top-10 prospect — if we look back to the summer of 2020. Since then, however, he’s unfortunately played football for the Seminoles. It went disastrously bad. His tape against Notre Dame was so bad it’ll drive the average person to the brink.
There is a saving grace, however. He played through a knee injury in 2020, which makes sense given the nature of his lousy tape. His issues properly dropping anchor versus double teams could very well stem from playing through a knee injury. Yet, what’s so good about him?
Well, Wilson is one powerful specimen. He possesses excellent length and strong hands that display some advanced disengagement skills against both the run and pass. He wasn’t as explosive in 2020, but he still has more juice than many 315-pound defensive tackles, even playing through injury.
This young man is built like an outhouse. He’s rectangular, and even though he has a bit of a basketball belly, it doesn’t hinder his ability to move. If he can get healthy and back to his old physical peak, he could end up being the steal of the entire draft.
Cameron McGrone, LB, Michigan
Cameron McGrone broke out at Michigan as a redshirt freshman stepping in for an injured starter. He didn’t produce in 2020 the way he did in 2019, and his draft stock is in a bit of limbo at the moment.
He possesses the physical tools to be a starting linebacker at either the MIKE or WILL spots, but he has a ways to go before becoming consistent. Yet, not unlike Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons, McGrone is a question in coverage. It is not as if he cannot do it, but simply that he wasn’t often asked to do so.
However, McGrone is a well-built athlete who can move, plays with a physical presence, and has an added upside as a blitzer. His status as a redshirt sophomore also helps him because there is so much unknown with his game and ability to progress that should entice NFL front offices.
The great thing about the Buccaneers taking him in this 7-round NFL Mock Draft is he doesn’t have to start right away. Lavonte David and Devin White are the best tandem in the NFL, which means McGrone can be used situationally and have two stud players to teach him the ropes.
Jack Anderson, OG, Texas Tech
Jack Anderson is a great pass protector who has plenty of practice in a high-volume offense with the Red Raiders. One can never have enough offensive line depth. Anderson provides versatility as a run blocker. He’s athletic enough to play in a wide zone scheme and powerful enough for the inside running scheme the Buccaneers currently run.
When he’s able to bench press and keep his feet grinding, he generates good movement. When belly-to-belly, he holds his anchor well and maintains good positional leverage.
Tony Poljan, TE, Virginia
The Buccaneers have two good tight ends under contract in 2021, with Rob Gronkowski also most likely returning to the team. However, they’ll be losing out on O.J. Howard after next season, and having a good blocking tight end is never a bad thing. Grabbing a tight end such as Tony Poljan in this Buccaneers 7-round NFL Mock Draft gives him a year to progress on the practice squad.
This is good because Poljan is new to the position. He already shows good tape in that aspect of the position. He still has a lot to learn about the position’s finer points, but he projects as a reliable TE2, particularly as he becomes more technically proficient as a blocker. As a receiver, Poljan possesses unreal length for the position.
Khyiris Tonga, DT, Brigham Young
Khyiris Tonga has a bit of juice as a big nose tackle. His burst and power allowed him to affect the backfield at an incredibly consistent rate throughout his BYU career. He’s a weird player for his size, though. Tonga is a lot more finesse than you’d expect a human his size to be. He struggles to anchor at times, especially when he’s on the move against stretch concepts.
Tonga must learn to better position himself to anchor against and get his head across reach blocks. Also, too often, he is washed out by double teams. Yet, as a rotational depth piece, Tonga should be able to use his athleticism and fresh legs to his advantage to make splash plays.
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