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January 3, 2013 @ 3:47 am
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PR Analysis: Draft Discussion 1-3

Written by Eric
Eric Dellaratta


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Who is going to the Senior Bowl? Who could be late-round draft steals? What wide receiver could the Bucs select on day two? Pewter Report’s resident draft analyst Eric Dellaratta breaks it all down in this Pewter Report feature.
Who is going to the Senior Bowl? Who could be late-round draft steals? What wide receiver could the Bucs select on day two? Pewter Report’s resident draft analyst Eric Dellaratta breaks it all down in this article.

The 2013 Senior Bowl will be held on Saturday, January 26 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama. The top senior draft prospects in the nation will be doing their best to impress NFL talent evaluators on and off the field during Senior Bowl week.

PewterReport.com will provide daily coverage and practice reports live from Mobile, so be sure to check out all of the coverage that will be available during Senior Bowl week.

The Senior Bowl has been releasing the names of some of the prospects slated to play in the all-star game in January. Here are the prospects that have already accepted invites to the Senior Bowl.

Tyler Wilson – Arkansas
E.J. Manuel – Florida State
Mike Glennon – N.C. State
Landry Jones - Oklahoma

Kenjon Barner – Oregon
Montee Ball – Wisconsin
Mike Gillislee – Florida
Johnathan Franklin – UCLA

Quinton Patton – Lousiana Tech
Aaron Mellette – Elon
Aaron Dobson – Marshall
Cobi Hamilton – Arkansas
Chris Harper – Kansas State
Denard Robinson – Michigan
Markus Wheaton – Oregon State
Tavarres King – Georgia

Vance McDonald – Rice
Ryan Otten – San Jose State
Phillip Lutzenkirchen – Auburn
Travis Kelce – Cincinnati

Oday Aboushi – Virginia
J.C. Tretter – Cornell
Ricky Wagner – Wisconsin
Larry Warford – Kentucky
Brian Winters – Kent State
Dallas Thomas – Tennessee
Hugh Thornton – Illinois
Brian Schwenke – California
Lane Johnson – Oklahoma
Reid Fragel – Ohio State

Ezekiel Ansah – BYU
Cory Grissom – South Florida
Jordan Hill – Penn State
Margus Hunt – SMU
Kawann Short – Purdue
Everett Dawkins – Florida State
Malliciah Goodman – Clemson
John Jenkins – Georgia
Datone Jones – UCLA
Alex Okafor – Texas
Brandon Williams – Missouri Southern

Kiko Alonso – Oregon
Jamie Collins – Southern Miss
Zavier Gooden – Missouri
Sean Porter – Texas A&M
Khaseem Greene – Rutgers

John Simon – Ohio State
Trevardo Williams – Connecticut
Kevin Reddick – North Carolina
Arthur Brown – Kansas State
Nico Johnson – Alabama

Leon McFadden – San Diego State
Jordan Poyer – Oregon State
Will Davis – Utah State
Johnthan Banks – Mississippi State
Robert Alford – Southeastern Louisiana
Phillip Thomas – Fresno State
Desmond Trufant – Washington
B.W. Webb – William and Mary
J.J. Wilcox – Georgia Southern
Robert Lester – Alabama
Dwayne Gratz – Connecticut
Bacarri Rambo – Georgia
Johnathan Cyprien – Florida International
Marc Anthony – California
Shawn Williams – Georgia
Blidi Wreh-Wilson - Connecticut

Ryan Allen – Louisiana Tech
Dustin Hopkins – Florida State
Jeff Locke – UCLA
Quinn Sharp – Oklahoma State
Carson Tinker – Alabama

Top cornerback prospect Johnthan Banks from Mississippi State will be watched closely throughout Senior Bowl week. In a relatively weak cornerback class, Banks is the 
No. 1 rated cornerback by most draft analysts.

Florida State’s Xavier Rhodes and Alabama’s Demarcus Milliner (if they declare) are the next two in line to claim the top cornerback slot if Banks were to fall. Banks could be a first-round option for the Buccaneers come April. He has great size and possesses tremendous ball skills. The Buccaneers will be looking for a corner that can play press-man coverage. The Senior Bowl is the best place to see man coverage skills because of the one-on-one sessions during practice. It will be very interesting to see how he stacks up against the top receivers in the country during Senior Bowl week.

Every NFL team looks for speed when evaluating wide receivers, and one wideout that should stand out to talent evaluators is Oregon State wide receiver Markus Wheaton. The Oregon State senior was outstanding for the Beavers in 2012, where he totaled 91 grabs for 1244 yards and 11 scores.

Wheaton has sensational speed, sure hands, and good route-running skills. He is a versatile, do-it-all receiver that can work the slot, take handoffs and run, and block on the perimeter. If you were to mix Mike Wallace with Kendall Wright, you would be left with Markus Wheaton. That might sound a little crazy, but his skill set resembles the two that were mentioned. He was one of the most consistent playmakers in all of college football, despite having multiple quarterback changes throughout his senior season.

Tiquan Underwood was solid as a slot receiver for the Buccaneers in 2012, but the team could look to upgrade the number three wide receiver position in the draft. With Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams working on the outside, the middle of opposing defenses can be exploited with a good tight end or slot receiver. Great tight ends are hard to come by, and 2013’s draft doesn’t appear to have very much top-shelf talent. Drafting Wheaton would give the Bucs an explosive receiver that isn’t afraid to work the middle of the field.

The Buccaneers could use some depth behind the obvious starters. Arrelious Benn who has struggled to stay healthy in Tampa, and as stated earlier, Tiquan Underwood could be jumped by a more talented player. Behind them, there are only developmental prospects Chris Owusu and David Douglas. The Bucs could really use another receiver to push for a No. 3 role or at the very least provide additional depth.

Wheaton is quietly flying under the radar right now, but in a few months we could be talking about him as a second-round prospect. Wheaton will be attending the Senior Bowl later this month, and will certainly be a player that PewterReport.com will watch closely. If the Buccaneers are serious about picking up a speedy slot receiver and kick returner, Wheaton could be selected by the team in the second or third round.

Every year there are players that are selected on day three, rounds four through seven, of the NFL draft that surprise and contribute early on in their careers. Some players that fit in this category from 2012’s draft are Washington running back Alfred Morris, New England cornerback Alfonzo Dennard, Indianapolis running back Vick Ballard, Minnesota kicker Blair Walsh, and Philadelphia running back Bryce Brown. This section will cover three players that I believe could be late-round picks that contributes early on in their NFL careers.

Johnson took over for the injured Knile Davis as junior in 2011, but the Razorback senior earned more carries than Davis near the end of the 2012 season. Johnson finished his senior season with 137 carries for 757 yards and 8 touchdowns.

The Razorback senior is a very shifty runner that relies on his great vision to make plays. He consistently makes defenders miss at the second level and is a major threat in the open field. In addition, he often breaks tackles near the line of scrimmage and is rarely tackled for loss. Johnson can get skinny between the tackles and has shown that he can use power to get past defenders.

Johnson has very good hands and is also a willing blocker in pass protection. This is something that coaches will love and it could put him in position for playing time early in his career.

Johnson needs to improve his pad level when he hits the hole. He runs a little bit upright and that could leave him vulnerable to big hits. Luckily, this is something that can be fixed through coaching.

The Arkansas rusher stands 5-foot-9 and weighs 210 pounds, and has the frame to handle a substantial workload at the next level. If Johnson lands in a good situation, he could make immediate impact in the NFL.

King has been a tremendous deep threat for the Georgia Bulldogs. The senior receiver totaled 39 catches for 846 yards and 8 touchdowns in 2012. He averaged 21.6 yards per catch as a senior. King got an increase in targets after star wide receiver A.J. Green left for the NFL in 2011, and ever since he has been one of Georgia’s biggest threats on offense.

King had a monster bowl game in 2011 as a junior where he set the Outback Bowl record for receiving yards. He totaled six catches for 205 yards and a touchdown. King came up big for quarterback Aaron Murray on three huge passing plays that went for big gains.

The Bulldog senior has great speed. His long strides allow him to quickly and efficiently get past opposing corners on deep routes. King has also developed some solid route running skills over the course of his career. He sets up defenders well on double moves and creates consistent separation.

King needs to improve his technique catching the football. He lets the ball get into his body far too often. The Bulldog receiver needs to catch more balls with hands instead of his body.

NFL teams are always searching for receivers that can take the top off of defenses. While King doesn’t have tremendous size (6-1, 200), he possesses great speed which could allow him to make an impact early on in his NFL career.

Stacy has been rock solid for the Vanderbilt Commodores over the last two seasons. The Commodore senior carried the ball for 1034 yards and 9 touchdowns in 2012. This was one year after running for more than 1100 yards and 14 scores as a junior.

Stacy has tremendous vision and excels at reading blocks on outside running plays. His first cut on stretch running plays is explosive, which allows him to get up field quickly and efficiently. Stacy is an ideal fit for an NFL team that runs a zone-blocking scheme. The Commodore rusher is strong in between the tackles. He picks up lots of yard after contact when asked to run north and south.

The reason the senior will likely be taken in the later rounds is because of his lack of breakaway speed. He isn’t slow by any means, but he doesn’t appear to have that second gear that is found in great running back prospects. 

If Stacy finds a home on a team with a zone-blocking scheme, he could be in line for solid production from day one.

Follow @EricDellaratta on Twitter for more draft analysis and discussion.

Last modified on Thursday, 03 January 2013 13:15

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  • avatar

    I see their are a lot of players going to the senior bowl-.I've checkoff how many of these players are in top players for draft CB-3 players,safety-2 players,0 Ilb,3-OLB,2-DT,3-DE,2-OG,3-OT,0-TE,3-WR,2-RB,AND 4-QB'S. iF i WAS tAMPA bAY i WOULSD SOMEHOW MAKE A TRADE UP-TRADE DOWN SENIARO LIKE GO UP AND GET cb-J BANKS FROM MISS ST, PLUS THERE ARE SOME RUTGERS PLAYERS AVAILABLE. GO BUCS
  • avatar

    Tyler Wilson would be a GREAT addition to push Josh Freeman. Even with the disaster that was the Arkansas season (see Bobby Petrino), he was a true stud QB!
  • avatar

    What is all this talk about Offense? the Bucs need a major upgrade on Defense IMO. How about some info on the FA side? That comes before the draft.
  • avatar

    Always draft best available player early. Yes we need new corners, that is our #1 need, but I don't think RT or a DT to play next to McCoy is that far behind. And I do questio whether M. Williams is a true #2. Sometimes he plays great, but other times he seems to lack any separation against 1-1 coverage and/or he seems to be running the wrong route. And a TE would be nice too. Not to mention backup QB and SLB. We do need CB's, but I would rather draft a good DT in round 1 than a bad CB. And I say this liking Banks, but if Dom and Schiano don't love him, take the best player. Please.
  • avatar

    Good thoughts Alstott, you're right having that kid in the middle would improve the play of the D.B.'s and the whole D over all. This team could use best available everywhere but guard. No corner in this draft or any other can shut down the likes of J Jones, R White as a rookie. The rules of the game are tilted towards the receivers. Everyone wants to replace our D.B.'s after one season, but will gladly give Freeman 5 years to turn the corner. Let's not forget we were without Claybourne, Bowers, David being a rookie, next year having them back will make our corners look better.We didn't go threw OTA's, and camp giving these kids starter reps, they were thrown to the wolfs when Talib, and Wright imploded. Scheme also hurt them, we should've played a lot more cover 2. We will be fine next year, without using our first pick on a corner.
  • avatar

    Trade up to nab Manti T'eo, he's a future All Pro, a game changer like Troy Palamau ! I don't believe you should pass up GREAT players to draft to your needs, because then you will always end up with ok players vice having difference makers! Manti Teo had more interceptions last year than most defensive backs. A strong ILB with Pass coverage skills will help out the pass and the run! Move Foster to the outside and BAM!!! You have a dominant linebacking corps that secures the middle of the field and will add support to the front and back of the defense. Draft up again to a high 2nd round and grab Xavier Rhodes if he declares! Address an additional slot receiver in the 3rd round.
  • avatar

    Also, I just want to put it out there early that I've seen J. Banks play in two games this year and I'm not a fan. We'll see if that changes in the Senior Bowl.
  • avatar

    Those sure are some bad QB's. The only QB's that are coming out this year that I think could be an improvement on an NFL team as a starter is Geno Smith from WV and Boyd from Clemson. If we're looking for a solid backup to Freeman, or competition for him (which I'm not...there's a difference) Boyd is the way to go. We have greater needs than a backup QB and Boyd won't last past the 2nd round.
  • avatar

    My draft philosophy for the first two rounds is and will always be, "take the best player" (except QB). hopefully at a position of greatest need. If CB is the overwhelming need and one isn't graded as high as our # 13 pick then you trade it back to a point where the grade matches the choice. You don't force a pick to choose a specific position. That's what weakens a roster. Of course, trading down too much or too far can also mean drafting more, but theoretically, less talented players. Like my buddy JonnyG, I'm hoping that two of our top three choices are DB's because that's clearly our biggest need, but if a stud Sam LB, slot WR, TE or RT is clearly the best player, take him. Funny macabere. Tiquan Underwood is no Ike Hilliard. hopefully Benn can spend the off-season learning the playbook and getting healthy.
  • avatar

    steveg012- 3rd or 4th round? No way , we don't have a true #1 corner hell we don't have a good #3 corner on this team to match all the top caliber receivers in our own divison. I do agree we need to address the pass rush but I'm tired of seeing the Biggers of the world at corner, we need a true # 1 corner with an adequate #2 enough of these practice squad caliber corners on Roddy White and Julio Jones. Yes, its nice to hear about other players in the draft but lets get real the Bucs won't address a wr in this draft untill 4th round or later with all the defensive needs this team has so lets hear about how we can address the problem with realistic players that will be drafted by the Buccaneers.
  • avatar

    JG, You're right. We don't have a true #1 corner, and maybe not even a #2 or #3. What I'm suggesting is that if we amp up the pass rush as I've suggested, and play more cover two as we did last weekend, then we don't need early round pick shut down corners. We can get by with just pretty good corners instead. The problem is that we need a talent upgrade to even get to that level. Biggers is a late round pick and most of our other current CBs are undrafted. If we bring in a couple of early to middle round picks at CB, that should be upgrade enough to get the job done. I think we can probably find adequate #3 and #4 corners already on our roster. Maybe Biggers -- I know you hate him but he was actually playing much better at the end of this year -- and the Johnson kid.
  • avatar

    I be4lieve that we will see when it closer to the draftr.GO Bucs
  • avatar

    Any insight into why Benn isn't the slot receiver?
  • avatar

    JG, problem is you are not the only reader, and we ARE interested.
  • avatar

    If Tiquan Underwood was solid as a slot receiver, then EJ Biggers is a shutdown corner!
  • avatar

    I know we have to write articles but I don't care about any player unless its a corner for this team unless your talking later than the 5th round
  • avatar

    JG, personally I'm primarily interested in reading about what's available in the draft at DT. While I agree we need to upgrade our talent at CB -- I would attend to that in the 3rd or 4th round -- I think our highest priority should be to improve our pass rush. I think Miller has shown enough to justify his roster spot as the #2 nose tackle, but he's not a #1 at that position IMO. That's where I would spend our #1 pick if there's a value player available. In round #2, it depends on if we're able to resign Bennett. If so, then I think we need to find a quality backup for McCoy. He's a stud, but he can't play every snap. If we lose Bennett, we need to go for a replacement DE.
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