2014 DBN Mock Draft: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Select DT Aaron Donald at No. 7

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

With the seventh pick in the 2014 Dawgs By Nature Community Mock Draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers select...

Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh

This selection and write-up was made by Henry Dawg:

The Bucs had a pretty good run in Free Agency and have very few holes on paper. There are still question marks at QB but Lovie Smith has already named McCown the starter, so it looks like they’ll use him as a bridge to someone else or see if Mike Glennon can improve on a decent but sometimes rocky rookie season.

I initially looked at Donald, Kony Ealy, Timmy Jernigan, Ra’shede Hageman and Louis Nix among others, but when they traded Mike Williams last week, Watkins and Evans had to be considered. Bucs fans will skewer me for passing on either of them since they don’t really have any receivers after Vincent Jackson, but this draft is just too rich on WRs to pass up a premium defensive lineman like Donald.

I feel reasonably confident that someone like Benjamin, Matthews, Adams, or Robinson will be there at 38 or later for them to plug in next to V-Jax, giving them the twin towers look McCown seemed to like in Chicago. Also, I just can’t convince myself that Evans or Watkins is that much better than the second and third tier of receivers. The NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah and Charles Davis have Matthews and Robinson in their fourth tier of receivers!

Even if there’s a late first round run on receivers, there will still be plenty of good ones to choose from. It may not be their first choice, but they already have a consistent 1000 yard receiver and a solid TE so they’re somewhat in the same position as the Browns and if we don’t want to take receiver at 4, I don’t think the Bucs should take one at 7. Sorry for spending so much time talking about who I’m not drafting but I expect it will be an issue for some.  After deciding to pass on the Watkins or Evans, the hardest decision was picking from a great line-up of D Linemen.

Donald is a bit undersized at 6'1" 285 but he is great at attacking the LOS and getting through gaps. He shows impressive closing speed as well as a fantastic 4.68/40 time at the combine. He has great strength (35 reps) and uses leverage and technique to defeat blockers. He projects as a 3 tech in Lovey Smiths defense where he’ll look great lined up with Gerald McCoy. Lovie’s defense loves DTs with pass rush ability, even at the expense of run defense so Donald will fit right in. Some people will accuse me of over-drafting him, but when Dan Kadar compares him to Geno Atkins,  John Randle or Warren Sapp he’s worth the #7 pick.

At No. 7 overall, we finally have our first player who isn't a lock to be a top-10 player in DT Aaron Donald. For those who know what I did in the SB Nation writers mock draft, this will probably make me sound like a hypocrite, but if I'm the Buccaneers here, I would take a Blake Bortles or a Sammy Watkins. The Buccaneers are set up so that a guy like Bortles can learn for a year or two while McCown has the starting reigns. Alternatively, I liked the comparison of how well McCown did in Chicago last year with Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffrey. Getting Watkins would immediately put him in a similar comfort zone offensively.

The Minnesota Vikings are up next, led by PaduaDSP.

2014 DBN Community Mock Draft Results (so far)

Pick Team Player Position School Username
1 Houston Texans Teddy Bridgewater QB Louisville Weeden2Gordon
2 St. Louis Rams Jadeveon Clowney DE South Carolina Matt Wood
3 Jacksonville Jaguars Khalil Mack OLB Buffalo Bumblyjack
4 Cleveland Browns Johnny Manziel QB Texas A&M Ryan216
5 Oakland Raiders Greg Robinson OT Auburn TuckJob
6 Atlanta Falcons Jake Matthews OT Texas A&M Haden Dawg
7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Aaron Donald DT Pittsburgh Henry Dawg
8 Minnesota Vikings PaduaDSP
9 Buffalo Bills Stigosaurus
10 Detroit Lions tmptplayer
11 Tennessee Titans Brownie's Year
12 New York Giants MJRisme
13 St. Louis Rams Matt Wood
14 Chicago Bears The Beast Mode
15 Pittsburgh Steelers Siberian Husky
16 Dallas Cowboys Royce Groff
17 Baltimore Ravens OhioCityBrownsBeliever
18 New York Jets OldSaltyDawg
19 Miami Dolphins Brocolis154033
20 Arizona Cardinals a2342432a
21 Green Bay Packers Manly and Loving It
22 Philadelphia Eagles KyriesHaden
23 Kansas City Chiefs Legoman0721
24 Cincinnati Bengals troy145
25 San Diego Chargers Crawford_T
26 Cleveland Browns StuckInPa
27 New Orleans Saints Adam Rice
28 Carolina Panthers Jon Stinchcomb
29 New England Patriots roar888
30 San Francisco 49ers corey.freuen
31 Denver Broncos Bizono
32 Seattle Seahawks KillerNut
33 Houston Texans Weeden2Gordon
34 Washington Redskins rufio
35 Cleveland Browns Mpasadyn740
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