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Bucs 2024 All-Defense Mock Draft

The Bucs were active on the defensive side of the ball in free agency, trading away starting cornerback Carlton Davis III, adding cornerbacks Bryce Hall and Tavierre Thomas and signing strong safety Jordan Whitehead. Yet Tampa Bay still has needs on defense heading into the 2024 NFL Draft. Finding a starting-caliber outside linebacker to replace Shaq Barrett and adding more depth in the secondary, defensive line and at inside linebacker could be on the to-do list later this month.

In the first round of the All-Defense Mock Draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Nate Wiggins, cornerback from Clemson University. Wiggins brings exceptional coverage skills, speed, and physicality to bolster the Buccaneers’ secondary, providing immediate impact and versatility in defending against opposing passing attacks.

With the possibility of top edge rushers Jared Verse and Laiatu Latu being off the board by the time the Tampa Bay Buccaneers make their selection in the first round, they opt to address their defense by drafting Clemson cornerback Nate Wiggins with the No. 26 overall pick. Wiggins brings athleticism and potential to the cornerback position, offering depth in the short term while he develops physically. He is projected to eventually challenge Jamel Dean for a starting role in 2025, providing the Buccaneers with a promising long-term solution in their secondary.

Nate Wiggins possesses exceptional athleticism, boasting a blazing 4.28 speed and impressive coverage skills that would typically make him a top-tier cornerback prospect. However, his slender frame at 173 pounds has raised concerns, though his 6-foot-1 height provides decent length. During his tenure at Clemson, Wiggins showcased his ability to disrupt passing plays with 21 career pass breakups, demonstrating his knack for getting his hands on the ball.

 

While Wiggins recorded only three interceptions, two of them came in crucial moments against notable opponents like North Carolina’s Drake Maye, including a memorable 98-yard pick-six in the ACC Championship Game. He also displayed his competitive nature and determination with standout plays, such as tracking down North Carolina’s Omarion Hampton to force a fumble at the goal line after a long run.

 

Despite his slender build, Wiggins’s athleticism, competitiveness, and playmaking ability make him an intriguing prospect for the Buccaneers, who value taller, longer cornerbacks. His formal interview with Tampa Bay at the NFL Scouting

In the second round, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers address the outside linebacker position by selecting Marshawn Kneeland from Western Kentucky University. Standing at 6-foot-3 and 267 pounds, Kneeland is slightly undersized but makes up for it with impressive speed and physicality, reminiscent of Cameron Jordan. He possesses an aggressive mindset and would complement YaYa Diaby well in the Buccaneers’ defense.

 

Despite concerns about his sack production, with only 12 career sacks, including 4.5 sacks in both 2021 and 2023, Kneeland’s potential as a pass rusher shouldn’t be overlooked. Cameron Jordan, for instance, had a modest 16 career sacks during his college career at Cal, yet he went on to become an eight-time Pro Bowler with six seasons of double-digit sacks in his NFL career with the New Orleans Saints. This comparison suggests that Kneeland has the potential to develop into a highly productive pass rusher at the professional level.

Marshawn Kneeland has garnered attention with impressive showings at both the Senior Bowl and the NFL Scouting Combine, showcasing his athleticism and potential as an edge rusher. With a 40-yard dash time of 4.75 seconds and strong overall athletic testing, Kneeland fits the mold of the athletic edge rushers that the Buccaneers favor, such as YaYa Diaby and Joe Tryon-Shoyinka.

 

The Buccaneers’ interest in Kneeland is evident through their formal meeting with him at the Combine and their plans to host him for a Top 30 visit in April. This indicates that Tampa Bay views Kneeland as a potential fit for Todd Bowles’ defensive scheme and values his athleticism and potential contributions to their pass rush.

 

Bucs general manager Jason Licht nearly had an all-defensive draft in 2019, selecting five defensive players in a row before selecting kicker Matt Gay in the fifth round and wide receiver Scotty Miller in the sixth round and ending that draft with defensive tackle Terry Beckner Jr. After doing an All-Offense Mock Draft for the Bucs on Monday, let’s examine what an all-defensive mock draft would look like for head coach and defensive play-caller Todd Bowles in 2024.

 

Pewter Report takes a stab at it, doubling up at cornerback and outside linebacker to bolster the secondary and the pass rush, while also adding depth at defensive tackle, safety and inside linebacker.

 

The Bucs certainly have some glaring needs on offense, especially at left guard and needing an upgrade at center. Tampa Bay has secondary needs at wide receiver, running back and tight end where depth could be added and improved. Pewter Report is not condoning an entire draft of defensive players – merely just showcasing what it could – or would – look like.

In the third round, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Ruke Orhorhoro from Clemson University to bolster their defensive tackle position. With Vita Vea turning 29 in February and Logan Hall’s underwhelming performance since being drafted in 2022, the Buccaneers opt to add depth and talent to their interior defensive line. Despite drafting Calijah Kancey in the first round last year, adding another defensive tackle like Orhorhoro makes sense, particularly with Will Gholston likely nearing the end of his NFL career at 32 years old. This selection reinforces the Buccaneers’ commitment to maintaining a strong defensive front and addressing potential future needs on their defensive line.

Ruke Orhorhoro brings valuable experience and production to the Buccaneers’ defensive line as a three-year starter for the Clemson Tigers. In 2023, he showcased his pass-rushing ability by posting a career-high five sacks, following up on a solid performance with four sacks the previous season. Orhorhoro’s quickness and strong hands have enabled him to consistently disrupt plays in the backfield, evidenced by his impressive tally of eight tackles for loss in each of the last three seasons at Clemson. With his knack for living in the opponent’s backfield, Orhorhoro adds depth and playmaking potential to Tampa Bay’s defensive tackle rotation, providing versatility and impact in both run defense and pass rushing situations.

Ruke Orhorhoro’s impressive athleticism is evident in his 4.89 time in the 40-yard dash at 6-foot-4 and 294 pounds, positioning him as one of the top athletic defensive tackle prospects in the draft since 1987. This athleticism surpasses the Relative Athletic Scores (RAS) of both Logan Hall and Calijah Kancey. With his combination of size, speed, and agility, Orhorhoro is poised to make an immediate impact and challenge Hall for playing time on the Buccaneers’ defensive line.

 

Orhorhoro’s versatility allows him to be effective on all three downs, showcasing stoutness in run defense and proficiency in pass rushing situations. His formal interview with Tampa Bay during the NFL Scouting Combine further demonstrates the team’s interest in his potential contributions to their defensive scheme. With his athleticism and skill set, Orhorhoro adds depth, competition, and playmaking ability to the Buccaneers’ defensive tackle rotation.

In the third round, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers address the safety and nickel positions by selecting Tykee Smith from the University of Georgia. Smith, a defensive back with impressive 4.46 speed, brings a combination of instincts, physicality, and football intelligence to the Buccaneers’ defense. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Smith began his college career at West Virginia before transferring to Georgia, where he experienced tremendous success, winning back-to-back national championships and compiling an impressive record with just two losses in three seasons.

 

Smith’s playmaking ability is highlighted by his eight interceptions in college, including four during his senior season. Additionally, he recorded 212 tackles, 21.5 tackles for loss, five sacks, 12 pass breakups, two forced fumbles, and a defensive touchdown between his time at West Virginia and Georgia. With the Buccaneers in need of more takeaways and interceptions in the secondary, Smith’s ball-hawking skills make him a valuable addition to the defense.

 

Having met formally with Tampa Bay at the NFL Scouting Combine, Smith has the opportunity to contend for the starting nickelback job and provide immediate depth at strong safety as a rookie. With his instinctive play and physical style, Smith adds versatility and playmaking potential to Todd Bowles’ defensive unit.

In the fourth round, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers add another edge rusher to their defensive arsenal by selecting Mo Kamara from Colorado State University. Despite already drafting Marshawn Kneeland from Western Michigan in the second round, the Buccaneers see value in adding another pass-rushing threat in Kamara. Drawing comparisons to former Buccaneer Shaq Barrett, Kamara possesses a similar size profile at 6-foot-1 and 248 pounds and showcased his athleticism with a 40-yard dash time of 4.57 seconds at the Combine.

 

Kamara’s college production speaks for itself, as he terrorized opposing quarterbacks with 29.5 sacks and 45.5 tackles for loss over five seasons with the Rams. Notably, he recorded 21.5 sacks in the last two seasons, including a career-high 13 sacks in his most recent campaign. While Kneeland brings size and physicality to Todd Bowles’ defense, Kamara adds speed, quickness, and proven sack production, offering a dynamic pass-rushing threat off the edge for the Buccaneers.

The Buccaneers’ decision to double up on outside linebacker selections reflects the importance of the position in Todd Bowles’ defensive scheme, especially with Joe Tryon-Shoyinka and Anthony Nelson both entering the final year of their contracts. Additionally, the uncertainty surrounding Markees Watts and Jose Ramirez adds further incentive for the Buccaneers to bolster their depth at the position.

 

Mo Kamara’s addition not only provides competition for a roster spot as a rookie but also presents an opportunity for him to vie for playing time immediately. With his impressive college production and pass-rushing prowess, Kamara brings a dynamic skill set that could make an impact on the Buccaneers’ defense from day one.

 

Kamara’s informal interview with Tampa Bay in Indianapolis suggests mutual interest between the player and the team, further indicating the Buccaneers’ consideration of him as a potential contributor to their defense. As a result, Kamara has the chance to carve out a role for himself and compete for playing time alongside established veterans in the Buccaneers’ linebacker corps.

In the sixth round, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers continue to prioritize their cornerback depth by selecting Jarius Monroe from Tulane University. Despite already drafting Nate Wiggins from Clemson in the first round, the Buccaneers recognize the importance of bolstering their secondary and adding competition at the cornerback position.

 

Monroe brings a combination of size, athleticism, and competitiveness to the Buccaneers’ defense. Standing at 6-foot-1 and weighing 204 pounds, he possesses the physical attributes desired in a cornerback. Additionally, Monroe showcased his playmaking ability and leadership qualities during the East-West Shrine Bowl, where he earned Defensive MVP honors after securing a crucial interception in the fourth quarter.

 

While Monroe may need to work on reducing penalties, his ball skills and competitive nature make him an intriguing Day 3 prospect for Tampa Bay. With a focus on adding depth and talent to their cornerback group, the Buccaneers believe Monroe can contribute to their defense and provide valuable competition in the secondary.

Jarius Monroe’s collegiate journey from Nicholls State to Tulane showcases his ability to make an impact at multiple levels of competition. At Nicholls State, he demonstrated his playmaking ability with several interceptions before transferring to Tulane, where he played a key role in elevating the Green Wave into a Top 20 program.

 

During his two seasons at Tulane, Monroe continued to showcase his ball-hawking skills, recording three interceptions each year and breaking up a total of 18 passes. His consistent production in generating turnovers highlights his potential as a valuable asset in the secondary.

 

In addition to his contributions on defense, Monroe’s versatility could see him making an impact on special teams while he continues to develop his skills. With his competitive nature and ability to excel in various facets of the game, Monroe has the potential to emerge as a reliable No. 3 cornerback for the Buccaneers’ defense in the future. As he continues to refine his game and adjust to the NFL level, Monroe has the opportunity to carve out a significant role within the Buccaneers’ defensive unit.

In the seventh round, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers bolster their inside linebacker position with the selection of Edefuan Ulofoshio from the University of Washington. Known for his impressive athleticism and speed, Ulofoshio’s performance at the NFL Scouting Combine showcased his physical capabilities, including a 40-yard dash time of 4.56 seconds, a 39.5-inch vertical leap, and a 10-foot, 8-inch broad jump.

 

Todd Bowles’ defensive scheme places a premium on speed and athleticism at the linebacker position, making Ulofoshio an ideal fit for the Buccaneers’ defense. With his combination of physical tools and on-field instincts, Ulofoshio has the potential to contribute immediately on special teams and provide depth at inside linebacker.

 

As a late-round selection, Ulofoshio represents value and upside for the Buccaneers, offering versatility and playmaking ability at the linebacker position. With his athleticism and work ethic, Ulofoshio has the opportunity to compete for a roster spot and carve out a role within Tampa Bay’s defensive rotation.

Scott Reynolds of Pewter Report presents an all-defense mock draft for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2024, focusing on bolstering key positions to maintain defensive strength. Here’s the breakdown:

 

1. **Nate Wiggins, CB (Clemson)**: With the 26th overall pick, the Bucs select Wiggins, a highly athletic cornerback with impressive speed and coverage skills, despite his slender frame. He adds depth initially and could develop into a starter in the future.

 

2. **Marshawn Kneeland, OLB (Western Kentucky)**: In the second round, Tampa Bay addresses the outside linebacker position with Kneeland, a slightly undersized but aggressive pass rusher who complements the team’s defensive scheme.

 

3. **Ruke Orhorhoro, DT (Clemson)**: Returning to Clemson in the third round, the Bucs draft Orhorhoro to bolster the defensive tackle position, providing depth and versatility with his athleticism and disruptive play in the backfield.

 

4. **Tykee Smith, SS (Georgia)**: With their second pick in the third round, Tampa Bay adds Smith, a safety with impressive instincts and ball skills, who could compete for a starting role and contribute to the secondary’s takeaway efforts.

 

5. **Mo Kamara, OLB (Colorado State)**: Despite already drafting an outside linebacker, the Bucs select Kamara in the fourth round for his pass-rushing ability and potential impact on special teams, aiming to add depth and competition at the position.

 

6. **Jarius Monroe, CB (Tulane)**: Monroe is selected in the sixth round to further strengthen the cornerback position, offering depth, competitiveness, and potential contributions on special teams as he develops.

 

7. **Edefuan Ulofoshio, ILB (Washington)**: The draft concludes with the selection of Ulofoshio, an athletic inside linebacker from Washington, adding competition to the linebacker group and providing depth while enhancing special teams.

 

Overall, the mock draft aims to address key defensive needs for the Buccaneers, focusing on adding depth, competition, and playmaking ability across various positions to maintain defensive prowess.

Written by schooleiwa

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