Tampa Bay Buccaneers Land Carlton Davis Replacement in Pair of April Mock Drafts

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers recognized that they have a deficiency at cornerback and may fix it in the first round of the NFL draft.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers made a daring (but possibly necessary) move by trading cornerback Carlton Davis III to the Detroit Lions for a third-round pick in this year’s NFL Draft.

With that pick, the Buccaneers could certainly look to add to the cornerback room, which now features Jamel Dean and Zyon McCollum as the two starting outside pass defenders, but they could also use it to go elsewhere and bring in another cornerback later or earlier in the weekend’s draft process.

Earlier is what 33rd Team writer Ian Valentino is predicting in his first mock draft of April and has Tampa Bay bringing in a new starting cornerback in the first round.
“The Carlton Davis trade opened a clear need for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a team with talent on both sides of the ball,” Valentino says. “This is the right range for the next crop of corners to be selected, and Cooper DeJean is the best of the bunch. DeJean is a fantastic athlete and ballhawk. Plus, his versatility gives extraordinary value to a creative defensive mind such as Todd Bowles.”

Bucs News: There is 'intrigue' of a potential trade for Carlton Davis -  Bucs Nation
It would be hard to imagine the Bucs drafting DeJean here and not inserting him as a starter at the beginning of training camp and it would push McCollum back down the depth chart or into a different position altogether. It’s also a pick that is supported by more than just one draft analyst.

“After trading Carlton Davis, the Buccaneers have a huge hole at outside cornerback,” said Pro Football Focus’ Arjun Menon in his own mock. “Which DeJean would be able to fill from day one.”

Fans of the squad may be surprised by the move, given that UCLA edge rusher Laiatu Latu was still available in Valentino’s mock draft and was selected only two picks later by the Buffalo Bills.

Latu is a highly regarded player in his position group, but his injury history, which includes a lengthy hiatus from football, may concern those who believe they must secure their first-round pick in this year’s draft. In the PFF mock draft, the Denver Broncos choose Latu 12th overall.

Rolling with a cornerback over an edge defender to assist replace outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett, who has joined the Miami Dolphins, would be a dangerous move for the Buccaneers, considering that McCollum has showed more potential in his duties than outside linebacker Joe Tryon-Shoyinka up to this time.

But it’s not a simple decision either way, and how the organization feels about McCollum and Tryon-Shoyinka potentially playing key roles will determine which direction they take in the first round of this year’s NFL draft.

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