The NFL Draft is coming at us like a speeding freight train. It's still over a month away, but can't you just feel it bearing down on you? To get ready, SB Nation has been coming out with Mock Drafts every week for the past few months. In their latest 2011 NFL Mock Draft, they have the Bucs selecting Purdue DE Ryan Kerrigan. Here is their rationale.
The Bucs are so desperate for help at defensive end that any prospect with talent would be a consideration here. Kerrigan showed surprising athleticism at the Combine and has the type of motor that will make him a great schematic fit, and fan favorite, in Tampa.
We know that the Bucs need a defensive end ... badly. At this point, it would probably be more surprising if the Bucs didn't take one in the first round. Kerrigan likely improved his draft stock with a solid combine, and solidified his first round stock. Kerrigan would likely be the exact kind of player that the Bucs target - one who can provide sacks but also be productive against the run - with their pick.
The only question is if he has built his stock high enough that he won't be available when the Bucs select. As of right now, Cameron Heyward is the only DE going in the first round after Kerrigan, and he is really a better fit for the 3-4 than he would be for the Bucs. So hopefully, Kerrigan is still on the board.