2020 NFL Mock Draft: Bucs Grab Defensive Stud in 1st Round

Luke Easterling

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers need a potential starter at offensive tackle out of the 2020 NFL draft class, especially if they don't address the right tackle spot with a veteran this offseason.

But what if the top four offensive tackle prospects in the 2020 NFL draft class are already off the board by the time they pick at No. 14 overall?

That's the scenario that plays out in the latest 2020 NFL mock draft from NFL.com's Bucky Brooks, leaving the Bucs looking to the other side of the ball with their first selection. To that end, Brooks has Tampa Bay making a smart pick for their backup plan, reloading their defensive line with South Carolina's Javon Kinlaw:

As a big, physical interior defender with extraordinary length and strength, Kinlaw is an ideal building block at the point of attack.

A monster of a defender at 6-5, 324 pounds, Kinlaw is equal parts powerful and athletic, with the versatility to be a perfect fit for Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles and his hybrid scheme.

If the Bucs aren't able to land one of this year's top tackles in the first round, landing an elite defensive prospect like Kinlaw at No. 14 wouldn't be any reason for disappointment. Considering five of Tampa Bay's top six defensive linemen all have contracts expiring this offseason, finding some young talent to give them insurance in the trenches would be a fantastic idea.

There are still other offensive needs the Bucs could consider with that pick, such as quarterback and running back, but nobody at those positions has the value or would make the immediate impact that Kinlaw would bring to the table.

To check out the full first-round projection at NFL.com, click here.