table of contents
- Bucs Needs To Take Reins Off Freeman
- Bucs Were A Few Plays Away From The Playoffs
- Point-Counterpoint: Which Buc Was The Surprise Player In 2012?
- PR’s 2012 Bucs Grades: Defense And Special Teams
- Pewter Prospect: Cincinnati TE Travis Kelce
- Pewter Prospect: Georgia CB Sanders Commings
- Stokes’ Conviction About Ex-Buc Price Helped Him Get Hired
- Pewter Report’s 2013 Bucs 7-Round Mock Draft 1.0
- Pewter Report’s 2012 Buccaneers Season Awards
- PR’s 2012 Bucs Grades: Offense
ROUND 1 – Missouri DT Sheldon Richardson
Although the Buccaneers need desperate help at cornerback, there isn’t one worthy of drafting with the 13th overall pick, as Alabama’s Dee Milliner will likely be off the board by then. A glance at the defensive tackle position shows a glaring need for talent next to Pro Bowler Gerald McCoy. The Bucs thought McCoy’s partner would be Brian Price, a second-rounder in 2010, who was released on the first day of training camp last year.
Richardson, a talented, 6-foot-4, 295-pound junior has the ability to penetrate and pressure the passer, which is something no other defensive tackle outside of McCoy can do. More ideally suited to be a three-technique tackle, Richardson could rush at the nose tackle position in nickel defense and on passing downs, while a player like Roy Miller or Gary Gibson handles the nose tackle duties on first and second downs.
Richardson has elite quickness and athleticism and was the SEC’s leading tackler among defensive linemen in 2012 when he notched 75 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, four sacks, three forced fumbles, a blocked kick and a fumble recovery that was returned 60 yards against Kentucky to earn All-SEC honors.
ROUND 2 – Rutgers CB Logan Ryan
Ryan is a physical cornerback who is a perfect fit in Greg Schiano’s defense because he played in it for two seasons at Rutgers. The 6-foot, 190-pound junior has enough size to match up against bigger receivers and the playmaking ability the Bucs need, evidenced by his seven interceptions over the past two seasons, including four last year.
Ryan has 170 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, 32 pass breakups, seven picks, two forced fumbles, and half a sack in his three-year career for the Scarlet Knights. His ability and playing experience under Schiano means he could likely step in as a starter during his rookie season.
ROUND 2 (TRADE) – Washington CB Desmond Trufant
The Buccaneers use the fourth-round pick they acquired from New England for Aqib Talib and package that with their third-round pick to trade up into the second round to select Trufant. Tampa Bay wants to field a bigger team on defense and at 6-foot, 190 pounds; Trufant has good length and fits the bill.
Trufant played in director of college scouting Eric Stokes’ backyard in Seattle for four years where he got plenty of experience in 50 games at Washington. Trufant, who is the younger brother of NFL cornerbacks Marcus and Isiah, has recorded 32 pass breakups and six interceptions, in addition to two sacks and a fumble recovery that he returned for a touchdown. Trufant is battle-tested, having fared well against the likes of USC wide receiver Marquise Lee, who had just two catches for 32 yards against him in 2012. Trufant could team with Logan Ryan to become two shutdown cornerbacks in Tampa Bay for years to come.
ROUND 4 – Wisconsin OT Ricky Wagner
The Buccaneers could use a right tackle candidate to challenge current starter Demar Dotson, and one that has the ability to play on both the left and right side. Wagner, who played for Bucs offensive line coach Bob Bostad, has started at both right and left tackle where he protected the blind side of former Badgers quarterback Russell Wilson.
The 6-foot-6, 318-pound Wagner was an All-Big 10 first-team performer as a senior in 2012 and has plenty of starting experience. Because he does not have elite athleticism, he is best suited to play right tackle at the next level. Wagner used to play basketball, so he does have good short-area quickness, but needs to do more knee bending than waist bending, especially in the NFL. Wagner is an above average pass protector, but he excels as a run blocker due to his aggressiveness and solid upper body. He could challenge Demar Dotson for the starting right tackle job immediately.
ROUND 5 – Florida State QB E.J. Manuel
Tampa Bay wants a quarterback that can challenge Josh Freeman and will use a fifth-round pick on Manuel, Florida State’s senior quarterback. The 6-foot-4, 240-pound Manuel has great mobility and a big, strong arm that can really push the ball down the field. That’s an important trait in Mike Sullivan’s offense, and Manuel could possibly challenge Josh Freeman for the starting job in time.
Manuel, who had the 14th-best quarterback efficiency in 2012, started several games as a freshman and sophomore for injured starter Christian Ponder, and is the only Florida State quarterback that has won all four of his bowl games. He completed 600-of-897 passes for 7,741 yards with 47 touchdowns and 28 interceptions in his four years in Tallahassee. The mobile Manuel also rushed 298 times for 827 yards and 11 touchdowns in his Seminoles career.
ROUND 6 – Vanderbilt RB Zac Stacy
Stacy is a bowling ball-type running back at 5-foot-8, 215 pounds and is built like Tampa Bay’s leading rusher Doug Martin. He is a physical runner with good quickness and acceleration that invites contact. Stacy rushed for 1,141 yards and 10 touchdowns on 207 carries (5.5 avg.) in 2012 and became the first Commodores running back to post back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. He’s also the school’s all-time leading rusher with 3,143 yards and 30 touchdowns.
Stacy has good hands in the passing game, catching 10 passes for 205 yards as a senior and has 46 catches for 415 yards in his career. The Vanderbilt rusher would make a nice backup to Martin in Tampa Bay and could challenge D.J. Ware and Michael Smith for a roster spot. Despite being a physical runner, Stacy has speed, evidenced by eight offensive plays over 50 yards in his career, including a 90-yard run against Wake Forrest and an 86-yard jaunt against Presbyterian last year.
ROUND 7 – Rutgers TE D.C. Jefferson
The Bucs add some depth, athleticism and size to the tight end position in the seventh round with the acquisition of Jefferson, who played for head coach Greg Schiano at Rutgers from 2009-11. The 6-foot-6, 255-pound Jefferson is a converted quarterback that stood out during the East-West Shrine practices due to his long frame that allowed him to create mismatches in the passing game.
Jefferson was underused at Rutgers as the offense wasn’t designed to feature the tight end. He caught a career-high 20 passes for 168 yards and a touchdown as a senior and finished his Scarlet Knights career with 47 catches for 560 yards and two scores. Jefferson has decent speed and has catches of 46 and 53 yards on his career stats sheet. He could compete with Luke Stocker, Nate Byham, Danny Noble and Drake Dunsmore for a roster spot in Tampa Bay in training camp.