2022 NFL Draft: Tampa Bay Buccaneers retool in 7-round mock draft

Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers ahead of the 2022 NFL Draft (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers ahead of the 2022 NFL Draft (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /
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2022 NFL Draft, Darian Kinnard
2022 NFL Draft prospect Tackle Darian Kinnard #70 of the University of Kentucky Wildcats (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images) /

Round 2, Pick 60: Darian Kinnard, OL, Kentucky

Pick Analysis. OL. Kentucky. Darian Kinnard. 2. Scouting Report. 833. player

The offensive line for Tampa Bay will be a key piece to explore during the 2022 NFL Draft, regardless of whether or not Tom Brady returns for the upcoming season. There’s a chance that the Buccaneers could lose both Ryan Jensen and Alex Cappa, leaving two starting holes on the line.

Tampa Bay took Robert Hainsey in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft, so he could be the option of the future at center, but the Bucs could very easily add a piece to play right guard on the line should Alex Cappa not resign.

That’s where Darian Kinnard steps in. A 6-foot-5 offensive lineman from Kentucky weighing in at 345 pounds, Kinnard is one of the more intriguing offensive line options in this class that could fall outside the first round.

The knock on Kinnard is where he fits at the NFL level. He played tackle at Kentucky, so guard experience isn’t plentiful even though that’s his ideal NFL fit. However, the accolades should be enough to instill confidence in any team that could take him.

During the 2021 season, Kinnard graded out as the top run-blocking tackle in college football by PFF. As a junior in 2020 he was named First Team All-SEC according to AP, Phil Steele and PFF. He was also Second Team All-American according to Sporting News and CBS/247Sports.

The talent is clearly there for Kinnard, it’ll just be finding his fit. Placing him next to Tristan Wirfs is a great start for any young offensive lineman.