The PR Bucs Monday Mailbag is where PewterReport.com’s Mark Cook answers your questions from our Twitter account. You can submit your question each week via Twitter using the hashtag #PRMailbag.
Below are the questions we chose for this week’s edition of the PR Bucs Monday Mailbag. Read them over and offer up your thoughts in the comment section.
Question: I’d also like to know what your thoughts on Florida State’s Jacob Pugh calling out the void in leadership after FSU’s 2-5 start and Derwin James now being hailed as a great leader, it doesn’t add up?
Answer: The Seminoles 2017 season derailed off the tracks in the season opener against the Crimson Tide when they lost their quarterback for the season to a knee injury. And it just kept rolling downhill from that point. I don’t know if legendary WWII General Patton could have given that Seminoles squad the leadership needed to turn things around after that. There were also things going on behind the scenes, between head coach Jimbo Fisher and the administration that certainly didn’t help morale either. With that said, the Seminoles were somewhat void of the locker room leadership that players like Demarcus Walker and Dalvin Cook provided the year before.
I have heard a couple different takes on James’ leadership. One writer who covers the Noles told me at the pro day at FSU that James isn’t a “get-in-your-face” type of leader that a guy like Jalen Ramsey or Jameis Winston were. But he also told me James was well respected and did his leading in practice and throughout the week more so my example. James told me directly he can be both types. And Ramsey, who was also at the pro day to observe, said the same thing.
And we have also heard, regardless, the Bucs like what James would bring to the team in terms of leadership. The love the “alpha-male” personality that James possesses and thinks he would fit in nicely inside the Bucs locker room and also on the field. Is it enough to take him at No. 7? We will know in a couple weeks. But much depends on how the first six picks go ahead of them.
Question: When and what CB do you draft, if you were Jason Licht, as it stands with the picks we have? I like CB Mike Hughes 2nd round.
Answer: There is no definitive answer for me if I were Licht, or even for Licht at this point. The unpredictability of the draft can change your best intentions. Most would have expected the Bucs to address the pass rush early last year and also running back and cornerback. But the way things fell, they took a tight end, linebacker, safety and receiver early on. I do believe they will end up drafting at least one, if not two cornerbacks, but at what point is still up in the air and a question even the Bucs don’t have an answer for.
Scott Reynolds addressed that question in last Friday’s SR’s Fab 5, and thinks it could happen in the second round. In his article he also offered up who and also some potential later round possibilities. I will say I am not as high on Denzel Ward as some, and don’t expect the Bucs to draft him, at least not at No. 7. Perhaps if they end up trading back, and if Ward slips a little, then you could see him as a Buccaneer.
Hughes is an interesting prospect but is still raw having only played two years and starting just one. He doesn’t have ideal size but is as physical of a cornerback as there is in the draft. He also could help a team out as a return man as he develops his skills to compete in the NFL. He is projected as .a second rounder but could sneak into the late first round with the Vikings reported to be high on him.
Question: How much dead money/equity do they have in Will Gholston contract as well as Chris Conte, Jacquizz Rodger, Demar Dotson? I love Dotson but we have to pass that torch eventually to Caleb Benenoch.
Answer: Other than Gholston, very little. Gholston’s 2018 $6.5 million is fully guaranteed it appears and the only other money on that would be on the books for the players you named is $125,000 of Conte’s $3 million. With that said, I think all four are a virtual lock to make the Bucs roster in 2018. There is no way the Bucs dump Gholston, and other than an injury to the others, they all most likely start the season as Buccaneers. Dotson’s $4.6 million in 2o18 is a bargain for a starting tackle and Rodgers is a dependable backup that also isn’t breaking the bank. 2019 could be a different story, but for now I like the chances they all make the team.
Question: Why do so many mocks pair us with Minkah Fitzpatrick? Is he even a fit here?
Answer: Oh he is a fit here without question, from a talent standpoint anyway, but from what we have gathered, the Bucs see him strictly as a safety and I don’t know that they see his value being enough to draft him at No. 7. They see a first round talent for sure, just maybe not Top 10.
One person who does, and recently went to bat for Fitzpatrick is Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban.
“You always see an upbeat, positive, pleasant guy to be around,” Saban said. “When you’re in a room with him, you feel upbeat, positive, pleasant. He has a wonderful personality. . . . You will not find a better person. The guy’s got tremendous character. He was never in my office once for doing the wrong thing. He’s very responsible. He’s a good citizen, a good leader.”