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March 4, 2013 @ 8:10 am
Current rating: 4.50 Stars/2 Votes

Seven Scarlet Knight Draft Options For Tampa Bay

Written by Eric
Dellaratta
Eric Dellaratta

Eric
Dellaratta

Beat Writer E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
The Buccaneers head into April's draft with numerous needs and head coach Greg Schiano's former team at Rutgers is loaded with NFL talent. Could one or more of his former players become Buccaneers next month? Eric Dellaratta takes a look at seven Scarlet Knights who could find themselves hearing their name called.
It’s easy to outline Rutgers players as potential targets in the draft because of head coach Greg Schiano’s connection to the school. It’s even easier to talk about Rutgers prospects when nearly all of them have legitimate NFL talent. Rutgers has been one of PewterReport.com’s favorite teams to watch on tape because the team is stockpiled with talent both on offense and defense. PewterReport.com believes that seven Rutgers players will hear their names called at some point in April.

There likely won’t be any first round selections from Rutgers, but the team could have up to three players selected in rounds two or three.

Linebacker Khaseem Greene was a huge part of Rutgers defensive success over the last few years. Greene is very athletic and has killer instincts. He’s great when asked to drop in coverage and is never afraid to lay a huge hit. PewterReport.com has put a high second-round grade on the former Scarlet Knight.

Cornerback Logan Ryan is another prospect that should end up a second or third-selection in April. Ryan is a physical cornerback that would fit very well into a press-man coverage defensive system. Rutgers’ defensive system called for lots of blitzing, leaving Ryan by himself in man coverage. He answered the call very nicely throughout his collegiate career and his performance has likely earned him an early draft grade. PewterReport.com expects Ryan to be selected in Round 2.

The final prospect that could be selected on Day 2 of the draft is running back Jawan Jamison. The junior is a shifty, quick running back that chipped away at defenses until they let up the big run. Jamison is good at reading is blockers and has solid vision. His quick feet allowed him to hit holes and explode through them. PewterReport.com thinks that Jamison warrants a fourth or fifth-round grade, but other draft analysts believe that he could go as high as the third round.

Day 3 of the draft looks to be a big day for Rutgers draft prospects. PewterReport.com believes has graded four Scarlet Knight prospects between rounds four through seven.

Wide receiver Mark Harrison is one of PewterReport.com’s favorite Day 3 receivers. The big target is deceptively fast and is a consistent playmaker downfield. Harrison (6-3, 231) performed extremely well at the NFL Scouting Combine in February. He posted a 40-yard dash time of 4.47, a vertical jump of 38.5 inches, and bench pressed 225 pounds 17 times.


Some draft analysts around the community have compared Harrison to Chicago wide receiver Brandon Marshall. He’s a big target that runs good routes and consistently creates separation. Some of that comparison has to do with the fact that Harrison does drop passes. Marshall is notorious for dropping some relatively easy passes. The Rutgers receiver does have the same tendency. PewterReport.com has put a fifth-round grade on the Rutgers receiver.

One Rutgers prospect that isn’t getting a lot of attention is defensive tackle Scott Vallone. The senior defensive lineman is undersized (6-2, 276), but what he lacks in size he makes up for in effort and technique. Vallone really stood out on tape. He’s constantly disrupting plays behind the line of scrimmage on both passing and running plays. He uses his hands very well and is quick off of the ball.

What makes Vallone intriguing is the position he played in the Rutgers defense. The senior was a four-year starter at the nose tackle position, which is tilted in the Scarlet Knights’ scheme. This is the exact same assignment that Buccaneers nose tackles Roy Miller and Gary Gibson were asked to perform in 2012. Vallone’s experience at this position makes him an outstanding fit in Tampa Bay. PewterReport.com grades Vallone as a seventh-round prospect, while other analysts don’t believe he should be drafted because his lack of great measurements. If he does go undrafted, look for the Buccaneers to snatch him up during the priority free agent period.

The last two draft prospects out of Rutgers include linebacker Steve Beauharnais and tight end D.C. Jefferson. Beauharnais is not flashy, and isn’t the most physically gifted player, but he is extremely smart and has very good instincts. He performed very well at the Senior Bowl in Mobile and impressed PewterReport.com with his knowledge and love for the game of football. Beauharnais should hear his name called on Day 3.

Tight end D.C. Jefferson is a gifted athlete that has the ideal frame of an NFL tight end. He has lots of experience as an inline tight end, which will intrigue NFL talent evaluators. Jefferson was impressive at the East-West Shrine Game practices in January. Unfortunately, the tight end suffered a pectoral injury that held him out of the NFL Combine, an event that would have likely helped Jefferson’s draft stock. Missing out on the event was disappointing for the big tight end, but his size and speed combination will still catch the eyes of scouts across the league. Jefferson will likely be drafted between rounds five and seven.


Last modified on Monday, 04 March 2013 11:02
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  • avatar


    I see a few things are slowly but surely. Like a fan like myself,Tampa is trying to start off fast. I think it would be great if Tampa selects several of the Scarlet Knights along with some veteran Free agents. And I think it is time for Freeman to pay up and shut up. Lets find out this year before Tampa spends all this money for his services. If Tampa will get a DL,CB,LB,RB, and another TE within the 30million and then choosed the Draft 2013 class that will be the new cornerstone of the Bucs Iam all for it. I just don't have too many more years.Iam 68 this sept and I believe I would be around another 20 plus years but you never know when its time up on me.So lets live one year at a time.GO BUCS
  • avatar


    I say this Tampa has a chance to get some players if St Louis wants to deal.ST Louis has NO#16 & #22 in Rd-1 and No#2 they have No#16. Tampa gets #16 & #22 & #16 in Rd-2. Tampa gives up #13 in Rd-1, #12 in Rd-2 and both Rd-4 picks. I believe Tampa could gets the picks from that school. Tampa would select a quality player at #16 & #22,in Rd-2 they select at #16 and tthir own Rd-3 picks. I think with a good Vet Fa's Tampa will be ready for Year two of the new coach schemes-GO BUCS
  • avatar


    Get out the butter Benn is toast this year.
  • avatar


    Not a bad summary of the 2012 Scarlet Knights Eric. I saw almost all of Rutgers games last season and their defense was deserving of their top 10 ranking. Khaseem Greene is a tough kid who should develop into a very solid NFL player. Unfortunately for the Bucs, he is strictly a weakside LB and was a safety his first two seasons at RU. Logan Ryan could be our man in the second round, are you listening Jon Gruden? He's a very talented corner who would start for the Bucs on opening day and of course he's a Schiano guy who knows the system frontwards and backwards. He's the anti-Talib, meaning he's drama free, a great kid. Jawan Jamison is making a mistake by coming our early. Jefferson will never play a down in the NFL.
  • avatar


    I don't think the Bucs will pick all of these players in the draft, but one or two will make it to camp. Thanks Eric for scouting Rutgers for us. For those of you who are opposed to Rutgers players, would you not draft Ray Rice if you needed a running back?
  • avatar


    Eric, will Jefferson be able to go for his school's pro day?
  • avatar


    Glad to see other people feeling the same way I do. I posted very similar remarks under the SR's Fab 5 3-1 when it was noted that Schiano has EIGHT former Rutgers coaches on his coaching staff now in Tampa, that we have five Rutgers players on the team, and only 5 players from colleges in Florida (2 of the 5 from lesser talented programs like Florida International and USF), plus all the extra attention Rutgers players receive around Draft time. I feel like we are paying too much attention to a C+ caliber program and ignoring the talent hot bed that is Florida college football players and other SEC programs. I'd rather have those players and coaches from A caliber programs than a C or fringe B caliber. None of this is a knock against Schiano or Rutgers University. But if I had to choose between a kid coming out of Alabama, Auburn, FSU or Florida...or Rutgers... I'd take the guy from the better, more talented, more proven, and tougher programs. I got several replies saying "who cares?", "what's the big deal?", etc. The big deal to me is exactly what buc1932, buctebow, and EastEndBoy stated. I couldn't agree more with them.
  • avatar


    I'm glad you guys are posting general hesitancy about getting more Rutgers (Rutgers?!) players on our team. WTH. Couldn't agree more we have enough already. I'm tired of passing on guys in our own back yard - SEC heck even ACC. There's a reason SEC is the most dominant conference by far and it has little to do with coaching
  • avatar


    I hope that this is not their actual draft availability slot because if it is then we have just drafted a lot of underachievers? What the heck did Rutgers do that was so great and how many of these players are All Americans? I'm just saying that if we actually pick these players at our existing spots then we need to have our heads examined.
  • avatar


    How many college programs are there and Rutger's is the only one that can be evaluated fully? I'm not saying there is anything necessarily wrong with these guys, but there are a lot of other options. I think we have our Rutgers allotment already.
  • avatar


    Let's pull in some Alabama (or any SEC) players....just for a change of pace.
  • avatar


    Thanks Eric - I have to say that i find it interesting how much attention Rutgers gets as a program, and I wonder if we Bucs fans don't overplay the value of Rutgers guys because of Schiano....I'm sure Ryan and Greene are good but I wonder how many other NFL teams rate them as 2nd rounders. I remember this with Sando last year. I hope we don't reach for a guy just because he's from Rutgers - we have an over allotment of Rutgers guys already, and we need to make sure the talent matches with our needs.
  • avatar

    I think if Harrison is available late or as a UDFA, they'll pull the trigger. Fast, HUGE hands (biggest of all the receivers at the combine I think) and very well put together... May have some schematic, football intellect issues and concentration lapses which keep him from being drafted higher. An excellent practice squad candidate.
  • avatar


    I don't profess to know what's in Schiano's head, but I think there are only 3 of that group that he would spend a draft pick on. Unfortunately, both Ryan and Greene are rated as 2nd round picks. Because of the prevalence of CBs in the draft, I think he would take Greene. This would depend on whether he took a CB in round 1. Mark Harrison is an interesting possibility. It all depends on where they see Rejus Benn and how much they are interested in Chris Harper. Personally, I like Harrison. Because of his injury, I think D.C. Jefferson will be a UDFA. Even before his injury, I cannot find him in any 7 round mock draft like DraftSite, Drafttek, or any of several Bleacher Report mocks.
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