LIVE: Sports analysts predict Tampa Bay’s first-round pick ahead of 2024 NFL Draft

*Scroll to bottom to see a compiled list of Buccaneers mock draft picks from sports analysts*

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — By the end of this month, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have several new faces on their roster following the conclusion of the 2024 NFL Draft.

After locking up much of their offensive core in free agency, the Buccaneers could take a sign of relief as their main issues were settled. They brought back star receiver Mike Evans, found their franchise quarterback in Baker Mayfield after the Tom Brady era, and franchise-tagged Antoine Winfield Jr., who put on a defensive masterclass for Tampa last season.

Tracking Bucs’ free agents: Tampa retains offensive core amid free agency frenzy

While Tampa was able to keep its key players, the Bucs parted ways with some of its veterans. The team lost cornerback Carlton Davis III, outside linebacker Shaq Barrett, guard Nick Leverett, guard Aaron Stinnie, and linebacker Devin White during the free agency frenzy.

Even though several familiar faces are no longer on the team, Tampa Bay did acquire several efficient players, including a former Buc. During free agency, signed cornerback Tavierre Thomas, cornerback Bryce Hall, offensive lineman Ben Bredeson, guard Sua Opeta, offensive lineman Lorenz Metz, and safety Jordan Whitehead, who previously played for the Buccaneers.

Having retained their offensive core and locked down a franchise quarterback in Baker Mayfield, the Buccaneers are facing a different draft situation than last season, when they were focused on mainly selecting offensive and few defensive players.

Now, this season, sports analysts are predicting that the Bucs will add to their offensive line to strengthen protection around the former Heisman winner.

What picks do the Buccaneers have in the 2024 draft?

The Buccaneers will have seven picks in the upcoming draft, owning the No. 26 pick in the first round. Tampa Bay will also have the Detroit Lion’s third-round pick after trading veteran cornerback Carlton Davis III to Detroit, along with the Bucs’ 2024 sixth-round pick (No. 92 overall) and a 2025 sixth-round pick (No. 201 overall).

During the 2024 NFL Draft, which takes place on April 25-27 in Detroit, Michigan, Tampa Bay will have the following overall picks:

  • Round 1, pick 26

  • Round 2, pick 25, 57th overall

  • Round 3, pick, 26, 89th overall

  • Round 3, pick 29, 92nd overall (from Detroit)

  • Round 4, pick 25, 125th overall

  • Round 6, pick 44, 220th overall (Compensatory pick)

  • Round 7, pick 26, 246th overall

Sports analysts predict Bucs’ first-round pick

Breakdown of first-round picks by position:


Offensive Tackle: 3

Cornerback: 2

Center/Guard: 2

Wide Receiver: 2

Connor Rogers of NBC Sports: EDGE Laiatu Latu, UCLA

The EDGE position has been a popular pick among sports analysts for the Buccaneers, as NBC Sports’ Connor Rodger stated that UCLA’s EDGE Laiatu Latu would become an “instant impact player” in Tampa.

“Latu has the talent of a top-20 player, but his medical retirement at Washington before restarting his career at UCLA could lead to a minor slide. There aren’t a lot of college pass-rushers with the variety of moves and counters that he possesses, giving the Bucs an instant impact player,” he wrote.

Eric Froton of NBC Sports: EDGE Bralen Trice, Washington

NBC Sports’ Eric Froton is predicting that the Bucs will bolster their defense by adding Trice to the roster, allowing him to play alongside Joe Tryon-Shoyinka.

Froton wrote, “Truly one of the most feared and productive college pass rushers over the last two seasons, Trice led the nation with 150 total pressures while being awarded 91st percentile PFF rush grades in each campaign. A full-sized EDGE who is billed at 6-4, 274 pounds, Trice doesn’t move with the fluidity of the elite edge rushers, but he is plenty strong enough to set the edge, has vice grips for hands and a diverse array of moves to draw from on the rush. This pick would pair Trice with another Washington EDGE player, Joe Tryon-Shoyinka, and give the Bucs’ pass rush a shot in the arm.”

Kyle Dvorchak of NBC Sports: G Jackson Powers-Johnson, Oregon

Kyle Dvorchak said as of the beginning of April, Pro Football Focus has all of the Bucs’ options for guard and center ranked in the boom third of their respective positions. So, with his first-round draft pick prediction, the NBC sports writer said the Bucs have the “perfect opportunity” to take Oregon’s Powers-Johnson and have him help protect Mayfield.

“The draft gives Tampa Bay the perfect opportunity to correct that by taking Powers-Johnson. The Oregon alum can play anywhere along the interior and will help the Bucs protect their now-franchise quarterback Baker Mayfield,” he said.

Adam Rank of EDGE Chop Robinson, Penn State

Adam Rank settled on Penn State’s Chop Robinson over wide receiver Xavier Worthy after reflecting on Bucs’ WR Trey Palmer’s rookie season. Rank said Palmer showed enough during last season to continue playing the burner role, and with Shaq Barrett gone, the Bucs need someone who can rush the quarterback, in this case, Chop Robinson.

Keith Sanchez of The Draft Network: WR Xavier Worthy, Texas

With the Buccaneers locking up quarterback Baker Mayfield for three years, Sanchez said Tampa Bay needs to focus on their speed, and that’s where Worthy comes in.

“I think they continue to add offensive pieces around him. Xavier Worthy put his speed on display at the NFL Combine but it’s also all over his film. Worthy should give the Buccaneers another dynamic receiving option and make this offense dangerous,” Sanchez wrote.

Brad Spielberger of PFF: CB Nate Wiggins, Clemson

After trading veteran cornerback Carlton Davis III to the Detroit Lions in the offseason, Spielberger said the Bucs should draft Clemon’s Nate Wiggins to fill the void opposite of Jamel Dean.

“Wiggins would immediately step in as a long, smooth athlete at cornerback. We’ll hear about Wiggins’ slender frame in the pre-draft process — he weighed in at 173 pounds at the NFL scouting combine — but he battled well with Florida State wide receivers Keon Coleman and Johnny Wilson, who are both big, physical players,” he said.

Luke Easterling of Sports Illustrated: (Trade with Chiefs, pick 32) OT Graham Barton, Duke

In an interesting turn of events, Luke Easterling with Sports Illustrated predicted that the Buccaneers will trade with the Kansas City Chiefs and fall back six spots to No. 32 and land Duke’s offensive lineman Graham Barton.

“After moving back six spots and adding another third-round pick, the Bucs are still able to land a player they likely would have taken at their original spot. Barton can play all five positions up front, and with Tampa Bay needing upgrades at both center and left guard, he’d be an ideal pick who could try his hand at either spot and start from Day 1,” he wrote.

Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz of USA Today: EDGE Chop Robinson, Penn State

Middlehurst-Schwartz is hopping on the defensive train as he predicts the Bucs will add Penn State’s Chop Robinson to their roster come Thursday.

“Pairing YaYa Diaby with Robinson could provide massive dividends if the two electric athletes can fine-tune their techniques,” he said.

Sam Farmer of Los Angeles Times: WR Keon Coleman, Florida State

Despite the Buccaneers retaining veteran and star wide receiver Mike Evans, Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times said Florida State’s Keon Coleman “could be the next Mike Evans.”

Farmer wrote, “Coleman could be the next Mike Evans for the Buccaneers, and they would happily grab someone like that.”

Greg Auman of Fox Sports: C Jackson Powers-Johnson, Oregon

Fox Sports’ Greg Auman predicted that the Bucs’ first-round pick will most likely be a player who will fill the gap that veteran Ryan Jensen left open. Robert Hainsey filled in as a two-year starter, but he was the league’s No. 32 center last year, so it’s a position that will need an “important upgrade.”

“Powers-Johnson is an intriguing prospect, winning the Rimington Trophy as the nation’s top center in his first year as a full-time starter. He’s only 21 and has bounced around on the line, but he’d be taken as a center,” Auman said.

He added that another option for the Bucs would be Duke’s Grahan Barton, but he “hasn’t played center since his freshman year of college.”

Ryan Wilson of CBS Sports: OT Graham Barton, Duke

Like Luke Easterling of Sports Illustrated, CBS Sports’ Ryan Wilson agreed that the Bucs should look to Graham Barton for their first-round pick.

“The team has moved on from Matt Feiler and Aaron Stinnie, and while they’ve signed Ben Bredeson and Sua Opeta, Graham Barton has Day 1-starter potential. He played left tackle at Duke, but his NFL future will be inside,” he said.

Chris Trapasso of CBS Sports: EDGE Laiatu Latu, UCLA

Despite Laiatu Latu having injury history, a lot of sports analysts have the Buccaneers selecting the UCLA EDGE in the first round of the draft. Trapasso stated that if drafted, Latu would “instantly boost Tampa Bay’s pass rush.”

Trapasso said, “Laiatu Latu is older and has some injury history, but on the field, he’s a nasty pass-rush move specialist who’d instantly boost Tampa Bay’s pass rush.”

Josh Edwards of CBS Sports: EDGE Chop Robinson, Penn State

Adding another EDGE to the list, Edwards said that Robinson would make a great asset to the Buccaneers since the team parted ways key defenders in the offseason, including Shaq Barrett, Carlton Davis III and Devin White.

Edwards said the Bucs can add to the unit with the selection of Robinson.

Kyle Stackpole of CBS Sports: EDGE Chop Robinson, Penn State

Starting to see a common denominator with the CBS Sports analysts, as Stackpole also chose Penn State’s Chop Robinson to fill the gap that Shaq Barrett left following his departure in the offseason.

“The explosive Chop Robinson replaces Shaq Barrett in Tampa Bay,” Stackpole said.

Tom Fornelli of CBS Sports: CB Cooper DeJean, Iowa

CBS Sports’ Fornelli is mixing things up with his mock draft prediction. The sports analyst predicted the Bucs would select the Iowa Hawkeyes cornerback Cooper DeJean.

The move also makes sense given that the team is without veteran CB Carlton Davis III, who was traded to the Detroit Lions in exchange for a third-round draft pick.

Pete Prisco of CBS Sports: OT Graham Barton, Duke

Ending the mock draft round-up with another familiar face on this list — Duke’s Graham Barton. CBS Sports’ Peter Prisco said the center position was a problem for the Bucs, so Barton “would work.”

“He played tackle in college, but he would move inside. He could also compete at left guard, where they have issues,” Prisco wrote.

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