With Ryan Tannehill continuing his rise up most draft boards, as I projected he would, there is a player that hasn’t generated much buzz in the Tampa Bay area for the Bucs to target with the 5th pick of the draft. While the two names most associated with the Bucs are Trent Richardson and Morris Claiborne, Matt Kalil is the prized offensive tackle in the draft that could potentially slide to the Bucs.
Most fans have anticipated the Vikings would draft Kalil with the 3rd overall pick. But with Tannehill performing so well at his Pro Day, many teams are viewing him as a franchise caliber quarterback. With the new CBA, there is far less risk involved in drafting a QB in the top 5 picks, because a team doesn’t have to tie up an extraordinary amount of money in him. It is now appearing more and more likely that a team will trade up into the top 5 picks to grab Tannehill. If the Vikings trade out of the 3rd pick, it would leave only the Browns between Kalil and the Bucs.
The question for the Bucs is whether or not Kalil is a need, or if they should continue to focus on Claiborne or Richardson. If Kalil is the highest rated player on the Bucs draft board, he will be tough to pass up. By drafting him, the Bucs would have all five spots along the offensive line locked up to long term deals, and it could become the best in the NFL. A great offensive line makes mediocre running backs look good, and solid running backs look great.
With the draft only a few weeks away, I’m leaning towards Morris Claiborne as my choice for the Bucs. But if Kalil is available, he will be tough to pass up.