We are drawing closer and closer to the New York Giants' selection at No. 19 in the first round of our 2013 Big Blue View Community Mock Draft. We are now at No. 13, which belongs to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Our GM for the Bucs is none other than '56 4Life.' His choice for Tampa Bay is ...
Alex Okafor, DE, Texas
'56 4Life' explains:
I know this seems like a surprise pick, but I really don't see that being the case. Yes, the Bucs need some help in the secondary, but they drafted Alabama safety Mark Barron last year and picked up Dashon Goldson in free agency this year. With the wealth of talent that will be at the cornerback position in the 2nd/3rd rounds, I see Tampa going after a defensive end here. Not only did Daquan Bowers get arrested on gun charges, but they lost Michael Bennett in free agency. With the sudden lack of depth at defensive end I have the Bucs taking one of my favorite players in this year's draft.
Okafor is an excellent player and has a nose for finding the ball and making plays like you would not believe. He has a quick first step and a wide array of pass rushing moves. He can easily stunt inside and get pressure from up the middle or he can simply bull rush the tackle and churn his legs until he's on top of the quarterback. Not as great at run support, but that's something that's going to come with good coaching and having his hand constantly in the dirt, something he didn't always do at Texas.
Putting this guy next to Gerald McCoy and letting him loose after the passer will give offenses nightmares, and while there certainly isn't any pre-draft hype around him right now, I have a feeling come draft day we'll see how high he is on the GM's boards.
Valentine's View: Mike Mayock of NFL.com does not have Okafor among the top five defensive ends in his prospect rankings. SB Nation's Mocking The Draft has Okafor No. 50 on its Big Board. CBS Sports has Okafor at No. 31.
The draft is, of course, an inexact science. Judging from the thoughts of most analysts this pick would seem like a reach, especially with defensive ends Bjeorn Werner and Damontre Moore still on the board. Okafor is No. 37 on the Big Blue View Big Board from Jesse Bartolis.
For me, and the Giants in this mock, this pick is good news. Okafor is not a player I would have been considering at No. 19, so that leaves at least one more of my targeted players on the board.
BBV Mock Draft, Round 1
- Kansas City Chiefs -- , OT, Texas A&M [Explanation]
- Jacksonville Jaguars -- Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia [Explanation]
- Oakland Raiders -- Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah [Explanation]
- Philadelphia Eagles -- Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon [Explanation]
- Detroit Lions -- Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan [Explanation]
- Cleveland Browns -- Chance Warmack, G, Alabama [Explanation]
- Arizona Cardinals -- Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU [Explanation]
- Buffalo Bills -- Ziggy Ansah, DE, BYU [Explanation]
- New York Jets -- Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama [Explanation]
- Tennessee Titans -- Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida [Explanation]
- San Diego Chargers -- Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma [Explanation]
- Miami Dolphins -- Tank Carradine, DE, Florida State [Explanation]
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Alex Okafor, DE, Texas
[E-mail Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org]