NFL Mock Draft 5.0: Could Saquon Barkley fall to the Redskins at No. 13?
By Ian Cummings
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Why would the Tampa Bay Buccaneers pass on Saquon Barkley at No. 7? The team just released their starter in Doug Martin, and Barkley would presumably be a great value pick here.
Part of this selection is me simply trying to find a way to get Barkley to drop to No. 13 in the NFL Draft. But another part of it is actually adressing another need for the Buccaneers. Dirk Koetter’s squad needs more talent on the defensive side of the ball. There’s no two ways around it. The unit is serviceable as it is, but the team struggled mightily in pass coverage and overall defense. Adding an all-around talented player like Roquan Smith would fix that.
Smith is a bit undersized, but right away, he would give the defense a fast player on the second level who can make an impact anywhere on the field. Smith is very technically sound, and he presents upside as a rusher, a run stopper, and a coverage man. In the latter area, the Buccaneers need help, especially from their linebackers.
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Perhaps the Buccaneers, who have a few decent options at running back in Charles Sims, Jacquizz Rodgers, and Peyton Barber, will opt to wait a round and instead shore up their defense with a player that, in terms of impact, is not considered to be far off from Barkley. The team can easily get a player like Sony Michel or Rashaad Penny on Day 2 of the NFL Draft, all the while giving their defense a much-needed boost with the No. 7 pick.