Buccaneers Mock Draft 3.0

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are getting ready to host up to 30 players at their facility at One Buc Place in preparation for the 2008 NFL Draft. Will that make a difference in Bucsblitz.com publisher Matthew Postins' third mock draft of 2008? Find out who he took inside this exclusive feature.

We're getting down to the final weeks of preparation for the 2008 NFL Draft. I'll publish one more mock draft before the actual draft. But I'll keep doing my research and my preparation until then.

Let's get to it and see if anything's changed.

First round — No. 20 overall

CB Mike Jenkins, South Florida

Mock Draft 1.0 selection: WR DeSean Jackson, Oregon

Mock Draft 2.0 selection: Jenkins

South Florida cornerback Mike Jenkins remains my pick for Tampa Bay at No. 20. (Michael Conroy/AP Photo)
Why?: I don't see any reason to change this pick at the moment. There's plenty of WR talent in this draft, as I've said before, and when I talked to Jon Gruden on Wednesday he led me to believe that he feels pretty good about what he has at wide receiver. I don't, so I see the Bucs taking a receiver in the second or third round. So, if Jenkins drops, I think they'll take him. He's the perfect fit for the scheme, and it appears that both Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Leodis McKelvin have passed him by in the evaluation process. I don't agree with that, but that could turn out to be good news for Tampa Bay.

Alternate theory: Gruden alluded to the fact that he has some questions about Cal's DeSean Jackson and his ability to withstand the rigors of the NFL game at his current weight (I'll have that story for you later. Gruden evaluated several players in this draft for us this week). So, if it's a wide receiver they're going to take here, I would lean toward Michigan State's Devin Thomas, a player the Bucs are believed to like a lot.

As for other possibilities, the Bucs will host two more potential first-round picks — Vanderbilt OT Chris Williams and Virginia Tech CB Brandon Flowers — next week. Also, they're believed to be highly interested in Arizona CB Antoine Cason, though he likely won't visit.

Second round — No. 52 overall

WR DeSean Jackson, California

Mock Draft 1.0 selection: CB Patrick Lee, Auburn

Mock Draft 2.0 selection: WR Donnie Avery, Houston

Why?: How is this for a scenario? The Bucs get the cornerback I think they want and then get the playmaker they need on offense. Jackson's value appears to have dropped to the second round as some experts are concerned about his durability and size. His playmaking ability and speed isn't in dispute, and if the Bucs can add that kind of ability for this kind of value, they can't pass that up.

Alternate theory: There are a whole bunch of alternatives here. The Bucs have held private workouts with QBs Brian Brohm and Chad Henne, and like a lot of teams are enamored with Joe Flacco. I don't believe the Bucs can go with a QB here, though. RB Jamaal Charles (who will meet with the Bucs next week) out of Texas is a viable option if they feel they need another young back, along with Arkansas' Felix Jones. Other wide receivers that could be available include LSU's Early Doucet, Florida's Andre Caldwell and Texas' Limas Sweed.

Defensively, the Bucs could decide to take Notre Dame DT Trevor Laws, Virginia Tech LB Xavier Adibi or Tennessee LB Jerod Mayo. All three would be solid fits for the Cover 2 and fill secondary needs on defense.

Third round — No. 83 overall

DeMario Pressley, DT, North Carolina State

Mock Draft 1.0 selection: RB Kevin Smith, UCF

Mock Draft 2.0 selection: WR Eddie Royal, Virginia Tech

Why?: I can't bring myself to take wide receivers back-to-back as I did in my last mock draft. Pressley is a player that I continue to like and believe would be a good fit in the Bucs' defense. But he's now a third-round value in most mocks, so if I want him, I have to move up his selection. He, I think, becomes an immediate contributor at under tackle or the nose. He's versatile enough to play both.

Alternate theory: Offensively, the Bucs could surprise me by taking Tech WR Eddie Royal, Michigan WR Mario Manningham or Appalachian State WR Dexter Jackson (Gruden said Wednesday the team wants to upgrade its return game, and Jackson would be a great choice). Also, Kansas State WR Jordy Nelson is a good value here. The Bucs could elect to select a pair of underrated backs — Georgia Tech's Tashard Choice or Tulane's Matt Forte. Defensively, Adibi could be available in round three, along with Maryland DT Dre Moore and Auburn CB Patrick Lee. Plus, keep any eye on Virginia Tech offensive lineman Duane Brown, who will meet with the Bucs next week. He could be a solid selection here and the Bucs are definitely interested.

Fourth round — No. 116 overall

WR Paul Hubbard, Wisconsin

Mock Draft 1.0 selection: DT DeMario Pressley, N.C. State

Mock Draft 2.0 selection: Pressley

Why?: The Bucs will look to add a taller receiver that's a good fit for the West Coast offense and satisfies Gruden's desire for taller receivers. Hubbard could be a diamond in the rough here, as he's 6-foot-3 and has 4.4 speed. He does need to shed the "track guy" label, as one scouting service says, and he'll need to show he's over the MCL injury that forced him out of seven games last year. But he's an interesting value and choice here who needs to establish consistency.

Alternate theory: I think Louisville WR Harry Douglas would be a great pick here, but his size (only 5-foot-11) is already embodied by Paris Warren, a player the Bucs want to give every chance to earn a job this offseason. Also, watch the Bucs potentially take a flier on Colt Brennan here, who will have surgery before the draft and will likely see his value drop as a result. Defensively, Florida State's Andre Fluellen could be a nice choice here, as he can play both tackle positions.

Fifth round — No. 147 overall

TE Jacob Tamme, Kentucky

Mock Draft 1.0 selection: FB Owen Schmitt, West Virginia

Mock Draft 2.0 selection: RB Justin Forsett, California

Why?: The Bucs, to me, still need to fill out their tight end position with a young player that can come in if Alex Smith departs next season in free agency. Tamme is a tall, smart target who caught a career-high 56 passes last year from Andre Woodson and would represent a tremendous value at this position.

Alternate theory: This would be Tampa Bay's last pick, so watch for them to take a player that could be selected in the sixth or seventh round, if it's a player they feel has no chance of emerging from the draft as a potential free agent.

Did you miss our first Buccaneers mock draft? No worries. Click here for my analysis.

Did you miss our first Buccaneers mock draft? No worries. Click here for my analysis.

Matthew Postins covers the Buccaneers for BucsBlitz.com and the Charlotte Sun-Herald in Port Charlotte, Fla. An award-winning member of the Pro Football Writers Association, he appears frequently on Scot Brantley Show from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WHBO 1470-AM in Tampa-Clearwater.

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