2020 Senior Bowl: 10 Prospects Bucs Should Target
The Senior Bowl is the first big stop on the wild ride that is the NFL predraft process, as some of the top prospect in the college ranks face off against one another all week before an all-star game in Mobile, Alabama.
This week's practices have given every NFL team tons of valuable information about some of this year's top players, and these 10 should be on Tampa Bay's radar as they depart Mobile and look ahead to the NFL Scouting Combine.
South Carolina DL Javon Kinlaw
This is an easy choise, as Kinlaw came into the week as the consensus top overall prospect in Mobile. All he did was solidify that with back-to-back dominant performances in practice. Knee tendinitis will keep him from further participation this week as a cautionary measure, but Kinlaw's combination of size, athleticism and versatility would make him a perfect fit for Tampa Bay's defensive front. If he's available at No. 14 overall, he'd be a home-run pick for the Bucs.
Lenoir-Rhyne S Kyle Dugger
Injuries have plagued the Bucs at safety, and despite using plenty of recent draft picks on the position, there's still a need for a quality depth player who could develop into a starter. Dugger was one of the more highly touted small-school prospects coming into the week, and he backed up the hype with his performance in practice. He's big, athletic, and can make plays all over the field. Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles would be thrilled to land a promising talent like Dugger in the middle rounds.
Ohio State WR K.J. Hill
If Breshad Perriman doesn't return in 2020, the Bucs will have a huge need for a reliable No. 3 receiver behind Pro Bowlers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. Hill is the latest in a long line of polished pass-catchers to come out of Columbus, and his performance in this week's practices has his stock moving in the right direction. His smooth route-running ability, quickness and reliable hands would make him the perfect fit for what the Bucs need from their third receiver.
St. John's OL Ben Bartch
Bucs general manager Jason Licht is a sucker for a small-school offensive lineman (see Ali Marpet, Alex Cappa), and Bartch could easily be his next draft crush. A tackle at St. John's, Bartch has been playing guard this week, and has proven all week that he belongs among the nation's best. Bartch was one of the few blockers in Mobile to get the best of Kinlaw at any point. Don't be shocked if Licht sees another potential starter and pulls the trigger on Bartch earlier than some might project.
Utah State QB Jordan Love
Obviously, the biggest question facing the Bucs this offseason will be the quarterback position. If Jameis Winston doesn't return in 2020, the Bucs will likely need both a veteran starter, and a young passer to groom behind him. Love is still somewhat raw, but he's been as impressive as any quarterback in Mobile, and could even be off the board before the Bucs pick at No. 14 overall in the first round. If he's not, the Bucs could make him their QB of the future.
South Carolina State OT Alex Taylor
If Licht wants to keep going after small-school offensive linemen with tons of potential, Taylor could fit the bill at tackle. A massive, imposing blocker at 6-foot-8, Taylor's rare height and length make him an intriguing prospect. He could still use a few pounds of solid bulk, and needs to refine his technique, but Taylor could be the perfect developmental player to groom behind aging veteran Demar Dotson at right tackle.
Michigan EDGE Josh Uche
The Bucs have some tough decisions to make this offseason with their edge rushers, as Shaq Barrett, Jason Pierre-Paul and Carl Nassib all have expiring contracts. Regardless of which veterans are brought back, finding young depth to back them up would be a wise move. To that end, Uche is an explosive, athletic rusher who has been flashing all week long, no matter who he lines up against. He's been one of the biggest winners this week, and would be a perfect fit in Bowles' defense.
Appalachian State LB Akeem Davis-Gaither
The Bucs have one of the NFL's best pairs of starting linebackers, with respected veteran Lavonte David and rookie standout Devin White. That said, there's a need for young depth behind them, and the Bucs would be wise to target an athletic player to develop behind them. Davis-Gaither's combination of athleticism, instincts and intelligence would make him a fantastic fit, and if he's still on the board on Day 3, he'd be a wise addition.
Baylor RB JaMycal Hasty
Ronald Jones II will no doubt enter the 2020 season as the Bucs' starter in the backfield, but there's little set in stone behind him on the depth chart. The Bucs could use an explosive, big-play back to push Jones and give them more juice in the passing game, and Hasty fits the bill. A well-built, powerful runner who uses his shorter frame to his advantage, Hasty is one of the more underrated backs in a deep class. No back has been more impressive in Mobile this week.
Houston OT Josh Jones
If the Bucs are looking to draft a tackle prospect who will be ready to start sooner than Taylor, Jones would make a ton of sense as a Day 2 pick. Jones has been the most impressive tackle prospect we've seen all week, showing off his length and power on a regular basis. He still needs some polish before he's ready to start at the next level, but Jones has all the tools to quickly challenge either Dotson or even Donovan Smith for a starting job.