2021 NFL Draft: Tampa Bay Buccaneers seven-round mock draft

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers celebrate their Super Bowl victory (Photo by Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers celebrate their Super Bowl victory (Photo by Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2021 NFL Draft
Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Antoine Winfield Jr. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

After a Super Bowl performance in which the nation witnessed the mauling of Patrick Mahomes behind a hampered offensive line, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers made their identity clear. Offensively, led by an efficient Tom Brady and a young defense complemented by integral veteran pieces made their presence felt by caging-in a renowned Chiefs’ offense to three field goals throughout the course of the contest.

With a number of these essential contributors set to hit the open market, the projected $27.7 million in cap space (according to Spotrac) will likely only allow the organization to return one of the numerous Super Bowl winners excluding a hometown deal.

Including names such as Shaquill Barret, Lavonte David, Ndamukong Suh, and Chris Godwin, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will look to replace much of this lost talent with a relatively average pool of draft assets in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Round One

player. College Stats. 32. 48. Scouting Report. EDGE. Miami. Jaelan Phillips

Filling the pass-rush void left by athletic-phenom Gregory Rousseau for the Miami Hurricanes this past season, the 6-foot-5 Jaelan Phillips made his presence felt with eight sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss. Highlighted by active hands at the point of attack and one of the highest motors of the 2021 NFL Draft class, Phillips has ascended through draft boards with his scout-friendly tape.

If Phillips is to successfully inherit the role of primary pass-rusher, he will need to further refine how he attacks equally athletic offensive tackles and become more focused on how he uses his hands at the point of attack. Although he has active hands, they will become ineffective at the next level without developing a plan of attack pre-snap.

Projected within this mock draft to directly replace pass-rusher Shaquill Barret, Phillips will have big shoes to fill upon entry to the NFL. Having already proven his capability to play under pressure at Miami with the loss of Rousseau, Phillips is more than capable of becoming a contributor for the Buccaneers’ defense as long as he can pair his athletic gifts with further technical polish.