Through two days, offense has been the theme of the Buccaneers’ 2014 draft. After Tampa Bay drafted Texas A&M wide receiver Mike Evans in the first round, the team added Washington’s 6-foot-5, 262-pound tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins in the second round. In the third round, the Buccaneers surprised everyone and selected West Virginia running back Charles Sims, who was a PewterReport.com Bucs’ Best Bet, despite having a plethora of productive running backs on the team, including Doug Martin, Bobby Rainey, Jeff Demps and Mike James. Evans, Seferian-Jenkins and Sims are all great receivers with excellent hands.
With three more draft picks in store for Saturday, Tampa Bay will continue to add more talent to their roster, and perhaps a defensive player for defensive-minded head coach Lovie Smith. Here is a look at the positions and players the Bucs could target in rounds 4-7 on the third day of the 2014 NFL Draft.
OFFENSIVE LINEMuch has been made of the fact that the Buccaneers have not addressed their need at guard thus far in the draft, but there are still some players left that could be impact players along the offensive line. Two names that have fallen farther than expected are Baylor’s Cyril Richardson, whose stock was decimated after a poor showing at the Senior Bowl, and Stanford’s David Yankey, who was thought of as a Day 2 prospect by many in the draft community. A few names to keep an eye on as the draft gets into rounds six and seven are Boise State’s Charles Leno and Purdue’s Kevin Pamphile, who played left tackle for the Boilermakers.
WIDE RECEIVERSIf the Buccaneers want to continue the trend of drafting players that can catch the football, there are lots of other options at wide receiver heading into day three. Wyoming’s Robert Herron offers great quickness and speed to compensate for his lack of height (5-9, 193). He’d be an ideal slot receiver in the Buccaneers offense. Some bigger receivers that are available include Rutgers’ Brandon Coleman, who stands 6-foot-6, and weighs 225 pounds. Alabama’s Kevin Norwood, who has great hands and route-running skills, is also available along with Pittsburgh’s Devin Street. Florida’s Solomon Patton and Oklahoma’s Jalen Saunders could be late-round picks and both bring the ability to factor into the return game.
LINEBACKERSAdding another linebacker into the fold would not be a bad idea for the Buccaneers, and there are a few talented ones left on the board. Florida State’s Telvin Smith is undersized but plays with great intensity and speed. Smith’s Seminoles teammate Christian Jones is versatile and athletic. The Buccaneers have shown pre-draft interest in LSU’s Lamin Barrow, a linebacker who has good measurables and tackles well. In the later rounds, a target for the Buccaneers could be Iowa State linebacker Jeremiah George a feisty, productive linebacker with a great motor.
CORNERBACKSWith Alterraun Verner and Johnthan Banks leading the way as the Buccaneers’ top two cornerbacks, Tampa Bay could look to Day 3 of the draft to find a player to compete for the nickel or dime cornerback spot. South Carolina’s Victor Hampton is an aggressive cornerback with great tackling skills. He’d be an intriguing fit in Lovie Smith’s defense. A potential Third Day steal could be Oregon State’s Rashaad Reynolds, who is a cornerback with great aggressiveness and instincts that would fit great with the Buccaneers. Missouri’s E.J. Gaines, Liberty’s Walt Aikens, and Duke’s Ross Cockrell are all cornerbacks to keep an eye on near the end of the draft.
DEFENSIVE LINEPrinceton defensive tackle Cauron Reid is versatile, athletic and strong player that can play either nose tackle or three-technique. Bloomsburg defensive end Larry Webster is a bit of a project, but he is long and athletic and has met privately with the Buccaneers.
QUARTERBACKSThrough three rounds, the Buccaneers have not selected a quarterback and it appears that Lovie Smith was not delivering a smokescreen when he declared Mike Glennon as the “quarterback of the future.” Yet some big names are still available, including Georgia’s Aaron Murray, Alabama’s A.J. McCarron, LSU’s Zach Mettenberger, and San Jose State’s David Fales. Some late-round names to look out for include SMU’s Garrett Gilbert, Wyoming’s Brett Smith, Ball State’s Keith Wenning and Clemson’s Tajh Boyd.
– Scott Reynolds contributed to this report
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