Bucs Pick A Cornerback In “What I’m Hearing” Mock Draft

April 18th, 2023

There’s a glaring hole on the Buccaneers roster that is rarely talked about.

That’s the vacancy at nickel cornerback.

Sean Murphy-Bunting is gone to Tennessee. Mike Edwards is with the Chiefs. Logan Ryan has no team. Jamel Dean and Carlton Davis are strictly outside corners.

Zyon McCollum and Dee Delaney? C’mon now.

The Bucs need a nickel and NFL Network host/insider Peter Schrager thinks they pick one in the first round of next week’s draft. The fun part is that Schrager’s mock draft is not about who he thinks a team should pick, it’s about “what I’m hearing” after talking to shotcallers around the league.

Schrager patrols offseason league events and has relationships with many general managers. Also, working for NFL Network helps a lot when it comes to getting GMs to take your call.

Schrager has the Bucs drafting Maryland cornerback Deonte Banks at No. 19 overall.

Banks is an extraordinary athlete and an impressive prospect, but he’s widely considered an outside cornerback. And the Bucs have two of those making nearly a combined $30 million in 2023 (Dean and Davis).

So Joe is very skeptical of Schrager’s intel, but Joe certainly could see Todd Bowles being smitten with Banks’ ability, thinking he could be coached up to be an inside playmaker and eventually replace Dean or Davis.

61 Responses to “Bucs Pick A Cornerback In “What I’m Hearing” Mock Draft”

  1. @Hands2theFace Says:

    Deonte Banks is a stud and would be able to play both and Todd could do some scheming with those three on the field.

  2. Bucsfan26 Says:

    Doesn’t matter how good the secondary is if we can’t put pressure on the quarterback. Also, if we wanted to draft another DB, shouldn’t it be Brian branch? He can play nickel, and could be our future SS. Banks is great but seems like a waste putting him an nickel.

  3. lambchop Says:

    This is interesting.

    But, since we’re talking about the third guy in a position room, why not draft a WR? With the track record of not having a healthy core group multiple times in a year, does anyone expect Mike, Chris, and Russell to be healthy?

    Who is behind those 3? A whole lotta nobody. And how do you help a new QB out apart from drafting OL?

    Jordan Addison? Zay Flowers?

    They could potentially trade down and get one of them.

  4. Dooley Says:

    “Banks is an extraordinary athlete and an impressive prospect, but he’s widely considered an outside cornerback”

    I get this, but to people outside of 1Buc it matters, but inside 1Buc it probably doesn’t matter what Banks is being considered as in terms of positional value. Most likely we open NB up for a competition we’d have Delaney, McCollum, & Banks competing for that spot. Davis & Dean didn’t stop of us from spending a top-30 visit on Julius Brents who was off the table in my mind as soon as we re-signed Dean, but again it may not matter. I mean, we also are hosting both Quan Martin & Sydney Brown from Illinois for top-30 visits as well. We met with >100 players at the combine in some form or fashion, meaning our scouts have been working hard af

  5. SlyPirate Says:

    I haven’t given up on Zyon McCollum.

    I know he was completely lost his rookie season, but what a difference an off season can make, especially if he’s able to focus in on learning one position.

  6. Marine Buc Says:

    This makes more sense than the Bryan Bresee pick…

    If all the OTs are gone I would think edge rusher or DB is the next logical choice.

  7. lambchop Says:

    Mike is getting older. LaVonte is getting older. Devin is disgruntled. Pick one of their eventual replacements.

    I have a feeling the Bucs will roll with the OL they have if they move Wirfs to LT and plug in Goedeke at RT and draft a T and/or that blocking TE in a later round.

    I could see Ryan Neal being used inside to float as a Nickel/Safety hybrid.

  8. Rod Munch Says:

    “Zyon McCollum is a CB prospect in the 2022 draft class. He scored a 10 RAS out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 1 out of 2001 CB from 1987 to 2022.”

    He has unbelievable physical traits, but was a late round pick for a reason, he’s very green, and has to develop.

    While I wouldn’t want to count on him playing, he’s certainly someone who should stick around for a while in hopes that he develops. When you have an elite athletic like him, you should give him every chance in the world to succeed, but at the same time, that doesn’t mean actually putting him on the field.

  9. Jeebs the Honey Bear Says:

    I know Joe is not a big fan of PFF and the analytics…. But in this passing league, who wins the WR vs CB matchup is king. Davis and Dean haven’t been healthy together for an entire season before, we are razor thin after them, and we don’t have a starting NCB. I would be very pleased with this pick! Stocking up on good cornerbacks is always a good thing!

  10. sasquatch Says:

    A CB would be an idiotic pick unless he’s far and away the best player on the board when they come around. I mean, have they even had any visits with top CBs?

  11. gotbbucs Says:

    Can never have enough

  12. Goatfarmer Says:

    Trenches. But not the Clemson guy.

  13. Letsbucinggo Says:

    Bowles is in love with Jammie Robinson FSU probably get him in the third round hes not real fast.5

  14. Rod Munch Says:

    Speaking of RAS scores, if you want some insight on where Licht might be leaning… over the last few years, he takes guys with extremely high RAS scores. For example…

    “Logan Hall is a DT prospect in the 2022 draft class. He scored an unofficial 9.83 RAS at the Combine out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 24 out of 1325 DT from 1987 to 2022.”

    “Rachaad White is a RB prospect in the 2022 draft class. He scored a 9.87 RAS out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 21 out of 1586 RB from 1987 to 2022.”

    Just another point of info to look at, in particular if you have two guys who seem very eveningly matched otherwise.

  15. Bucs Guy Says:

    I will be extremely upset if Licht pulls the trigger on a CB in the first round when the Bucs have much greater needs in other areas. OT or Edge should be their first pick — period.

  16. Jack Clark Says:

    Doesn’t matter how good our defensive backs are when they’re running around like a headless chicken because Todd Bowels can’t coach them well enough to know who to cover

    Adding another good defensive back to our roster would be like spraying perfume on a turd to cover the smell (pun not intended)

  17. Voice of Truth Says:

    Only if there is no better option at Tackle or Edge – this makes ZERO sense otherwise

    If we can’t pressure the QB we could have Primetime and Revis at corner and still lose 10 games

    CB at 19 would be the stupidest possible selection so expect Todd to want it

  18. sasquatch Says:

    Speaking of RAS, how about Zyon McCollum, who scored the highest RAS score for a CB ever. Athletically speaking, he’s a prototype… just has to learn the NFL game.

  19. JeffreyLane77 Says:

    I wouldn’t hate this pick. Considering the frequency our defensive backs get injured.

  20. Brandon Says:

    Brian Branch is overrated… you guys need to keep his name out your mouth. He’s small, he’s slow, he’s a safety that played with studs all around him. He shouldn’t even be on our draft board. He has very few qualities that Bowles and Licht look for in CBs/DBs… unless they miss Vernon Hargreaves.

  21. Dooley Says:


    I kind of agree, Branch doesn’t have the hips, quickness, or fluidity tp thrive as a nickel corner. When you stop and think about it is harder ask for your CBs to play because they are essentially surrounded by more space for the WR/TE/RB to play in which means you can get the entire route tree thrown at you w/o having the aid of the boundary is an unofficial “extra defender”.

  22. Pewter Power Says:

    A nickel corner with the first pick like a VH3 situation? If Licht picked a nickel corner he should turn in his key card immediately before day 2 of the draft. Besides who are all these teams with starter quality back up corners

  23. Redeemer Says:

    Good teams will always exploit that nickel DB. Haven’t studied the class that much. It’s supposedly deep. Quickness, and the ability to move in tight spaces are key. Seems to me they can train one, or at least make it negligible . Bowles wants to pressure the QB on every down. Chicken or egg kinda thing. I’m more in favor of coverage than pressure. I guess it depends on philosophy..

  24. Mike Johnson Says:

    My question is..Where is our Pressure on the QB coming from? If you got no pressure..You got nothing.

  25. Mike Says:

    I have a feeling they will try to sign someone in FA to be a nickel corner. If the big Tennessee OT is there, I can’t see them not picking him. To have two beastly tackles would be too awesome to pass up!

  26. Nicky666 Says:

    1st pick has to be o-line or pass rush – even with how tempting it would be to take Bijan at 19 if he’s there I still feel like the responsible play would be to improve the trenches

  27. HC Grover Says:

    So far. QB, DL, Safety, RB,OL,DB, what about a kicker?

  28. Buc king Says:

    The draft is not bout getting the biggest need its about getting the best available player and the best teams build in the trenches

  29. Lord Cornelius Says:

    I will always believe pass rush / ferocious front 7 can make any secondary look decent.

    Brian Branch is probably the only player I’d be ok with R1 since he can play both S and nickle and be a full time player.

    Other than that I want OT / Edge / or f it and take Bijan Robinson

  30. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    You can never have enough CBs……..we are one injury away from disaster….

    I too, have not given up on Zyon at all…..he should make a huge step in his second year.

    Don’t be a bit surprised to see us select either a TE, OT, RB in the first 2 rounds.

  31. Tye Says:

    Blaine Gabbert to the Chiefs!

  32. catcard202 Says:

    Banks would make a ton of sense if not for the resigning Dean & a gapping hole at LT.

  33. Rod Munch Says:

    Why in the world would the Chiefs want Gabbert? Wow, odd.

  34. Rod Munch Says:

    As for drafting a corner in the first, I have no issues with it if there’s a run on other positions and someone slips. BUT, if you draft a corner in the first they need to be ELITE at something – and they had better be fast. VH3 was small, not fast, and not elite at anything – it was a puzzling pick, taking someone that high who didn’t jump off the page in any category. First round picks should always have something elite about them.

  35. Infomeplease Says:

    The Bucs do need a nickel corner. I don’t believe DD is the guy. I don’t know if ZM will be ready either. The Bucs also need an edge rusher, a left tackle?, an inside linebacker?, a guard?, a tight end?, and another running back. So many needs, so few high picks. Pick the “best available” that can improve the team the most.

  36. sasquatch Says:

    Rod Munch Says:
    April 18th, 2023 at 3:08 pm

    Why in the world would the Chiefs want Gabbert?

    It could be that he’s not as horrible as all the haters like to imagine. Maybe he’s not a starter, but he’s a smart veteran, still has a good arm and moves well. On a talented team, he can still get wins when your starter goes down. There’s a place for guys like that in the NFL, despite the enjoyment certain kinds of fans get from blasting out hate.

  37. DG060 Says:

    I’ll be watching Joe Tryon, Logan Hall and Zyon McCollum very closely this year.
    3 MAJOR disappointment’s in 22. All 3 had better make some major strides this season. If not this draft ain’t gonna save the 2023 season.

  38. Marine Buc Says:

    “Why in the world would the Chiefs want Gabbert?”

    I’m sure the same would be said of Chad Henne who performed pretty well during the limited action he saw as the backup to Mahomes.

  39. Geno711 Says:

    1st, 2nd and 3rd corner just as important as a 1st and 2nd edge rusher.

    Probably can be on the field more too. Not sure why the years that I have been on this Bucs blog that guys make simple statements that an edge rusher is more important than a corner.

    The league has tons of examples where that is not true.

  40. Redeemer Says:

    Geno, interesting point. IMO, if you can cover, the pass rush will get there. Bowles feels that rushing the QB is the only way to play defense. He’s said many times how he doesn’t believe four can get home. More than one way to skin a cat. The league has made it nearly impossible to play old bump and run. I guess it’s zone up and rush the passer.

  41. Redeemer Says:

    Wjy in the hell are we talking about gabbert? He had his shot, and sucked. I’m sure you’re all Davis mills, and Blake bortles fans . Thats the company. Next ill hear the bucs signed baker. Oh wait, they did.

  42. BigMacAttack Says:

    Jason Licht is going to do what he always does in the first round. He’s going to trade back to pick up a couple more picks. He may even trade down twice to end up with 4 second round picks, his favorite, but not always his best, round in the draft 😂

  43. Fansince76 Says:

    We need pass rush!

  44. All_da_way Says:

    He is a good player but if the Bucs go CB in round 1 they have to make some tough choices beteween OT, edge rusher, DL and WR/S/RB/TE in the following rounds. In other words the Bucs are going to be unable to land a high potential prospect in a big area of need.

  45. David Says:

    There’s very limited really good OL… So it would not surprise me if they go DL or DB in round one. They might have to pick up an OL in round 2 otherwise it’d be a big reach.

  46. JN Says:

    2 points I would like to make-

    1) If you believe what you are “hearing” this close to the draft then I have some beach front property in Arizona I’d like to sell you. It’s all BS and smoke screens from now until the 27th.

    2) Would love a quality CB but Bucs need pass rushers! Vea led the way in ’22 and White could be in another uni next year. Don’t see Shaq coming back with the same bounce and explosiveness coming off that injury. JTS stinks and we could all be saying the same about LH in about 10 months. Bottom line is we need pass rushers. How they finished 9th in sacks in 2022 is astounding to me.

  47. Larrd Says:

    Will McDonald IV round one, ZacchPickens round two, Jammie Robinson round three.

  48. Rod Munch Says:

    sasquatch Says:
    It could be that he’s not as horrible as all the haters like to imagine.



  49. Who Says Says Can't Say Says:

    Why would any GM tip their hand? I would like to see some data on how many of these he actually gets right when it’s done.

  50. JN Says:

    Should have added a 3rd pt. I was excited to Bucs drafted McCollum last year. But I was very disappointed when he did see field. Granted, small school guy in rookie year, so ill give him a pass. He certainly has the physical tools but so did Rod “Toast” Jones back in the day. You Bucs old timers will remember him. I certainly hope this kid isn’t dubbed Toast McCollum after this season.

  51. Rod Munch Says:

    JN – McCollum saw the field extensively in that Ravens game, and he sucked beyond belief. But he also shouldn’t have played at all last year, he’s greener than grass, and a late round pick, to ever even play in an NFL game is a big deal for someone in that situation. But he has all the physical tools you could ever need, so he’s got a chance, if he can stick around for long enough to learn the position.

  52. sasquatch Says:

    Rod Munch Says:
    April 18th, 2023 at 4:35 pm

    sasquatch Says:
    It could be that he’s not as horrible as all the haters like to imagine.



    Well that’s open-minded.

  53. Voice of Truth Says:

    The league is completely dominated by the limitations of pass defenders – ie CB

    Just two seasons ago we all watched TB12 sit in a pocket for eons before throwing a dime downfield – no matter who we played

    Last year with no protection and leaks everywhere TB12 has one of his worst career seasons – teams like Carolina and Pittsburg just shut him down with pressure – not their mediocre secondary

    You build winning teams from the the trenches back – CB are luxury first round picks when your O and D lines are set – ours are very far from being set on either side of the ball

    Spending a 1st rounder on the 3rd corner is wasting draft capital that we can’t afford

  54. The Beer Whisperer Says:

    It’s the silly-season.

    Time to talk about draft picks and free agents, that never happen.

  55. The Beer Whisperer Says:

    Years ago, I would salivate over draft picks, that would never make it past the practice squad.

    Now, I don’t even bother.

    But most couch potatoes are experts.

  56. The Beer Whisperer Says:

    What about all the great free agents, that are worn out, over paid, and hardly make it onto the field?

    Those are my favorite.

  57. Rod Munch Says:

    sasquatch – Just calling it as I see it.

    I mean I appreciate the fact that Gabbert sent that POS Kaepernick to the bench, and only after he was benched did he start his SJW garbage, but that’s the peak of Gabbert’s career. He seems like a good guy, but on the field, he was a poor man’s Rob Johnson, which is an insult on top of an insult, in case that isn’t clear.

  58. garro Says:

    Can he Tackle?

  59. garro Says:

    Secondary and pass rush are symbiotic.
    If you have good coverage and can make the QB hold the ball for a split second then your pass rush has a better chance of getting home.

    If your pass rush can get there with four it gives your secondary an extra man to perhaps get that INT that Bowles craves. And it also can cause some errant unwise passes. Not to mention sacks.

    If you have neither? You do what Bowles does. You scheme a linebacker, corner or Safety on blitzes on key down and distances and hope your back end can handle being exposed if the blitz doesn’t get home.

  60. garro Says:

    We are just now starting to recover from drafting “starting” CBs! We netted two as of right now. Hergreaves set us back more than most realize. We do need a NCB but not in the first this year.

  61. Michael Says:

    Build your team from the inside out . .
    That said it would be really hard to pass on Robinson. He looks like a once in a decade back . Like A. Peterson.
    This draft is loaded with good O-linemen . I think they could move D. White and get both a great o-lineman and Robinson . I would not be surprised because Bowles needs to win now and Robinson gives them the best chance to do that .