Though the on-field drills don’t begin until Friday, the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine was busy from sun-up to sun-down in Indianapolis on Thursday.

The day started off with some of the official measurements from the quarterback, wide receiver and tight end group.

For the quarterbacks, Josh Rosen and Josh Allen stood a head above the rest (literally). Rosen, who many thought had a “small frame” measured in a 6-foot-4, 226 pounds and Allen measured in at 6-foot-4, 237 pounds. Both of those quarterback checked all the boxes for a prototypical NFL quarterback in terms of size. As for the best of the rest, Baker Mayfield came in at 6-foot-even, 215 pounds with 9 1/4 inch hands and Sam Darnold came in at 6-foot-3, 221 pounds with 9 3/8 inch hands. All of those are above what teams would consider “thresholds.” And Lamar Jackson came in a 6-foot-2, 216 pounds. No misses in terms of measurements there.

At wide receiver, Florida State’s Auden Tate came in as the most impressive, body wise. Tate measured in at 6-foot-4, but just a hair under 6-foot-5 and 228 pounds with 9 1/4 inch hands. All of that is just what Tate fans wanted to hear. Notre Dame’s Equanimeous St. Browns also stood out at 6-foot-4, but 214 pounds with 9 3/4 inch hands. St. Browns is expected to be one of the faster players from his group, and if that’s the case, at his size, it could mean a first round selection.

At tight end, Dallas Goedert from South Dakota State looked like a complete tight end with his measurement numbers coming in at 6-foot-4, 256 pounds with 10 inch hands. Depending on how he runs, NFL teams could easily consider him the top tight end of this class. East-West Shrine game standout Jordan Thomas measured in at 6-foot-5, 265 pounds with a Combine-high (so far) 11 inch hands.

For the complete list of measurements for each group, you can follow the tracker at NDT Scouting.

We’re just going to go ahead and say it: If Quenton Nelson makes it to the Bucs No. 7 overall pick, he should be their choice.

The Bucs likely aren’t going to have the chance to pick defensive end Bradley Chubb, as his landing spots will likely not get him out of the Top 5. But, due to the position Nelson plays, there’s a chance he could, despite likely being the best or second best prospect in the class overall.

Not only is Nelson’s tape elite, his personality and mentality proved to be just as desirable for a team today at his podium presser. Nelson was asked what his mindset is in the trenches: “I want to dominate all of my opponents, and take their will away to play the game.”

Yeah, we’ll take that, thank you very much.

Nelson also benched 35 reps today, which was second best in the group behind UTEP’s Will Hernandez who had 37.

However the Bucs choose to move their line around after selecting him, if the Bucs can get their hands on Nelson, locking him and Ali Marpet up on the interior would elevate the offensive line play from day one and for the next five or six years.

As hard as this is to believe, Georgia running back Nick Chubb could almost be considered the forgotten back in this class. A horrific knee injury got in the way of his college career being one of the best in school history, and his teammate Sony Michel gaining playing time because of it and ended up creating a running back by committee when Chubb returned.

But, Chubb said that he actually enjoyed that. Chubb admitted that it was hard to go through the injury, but when he came back and didn’t get as many carries as before, he wasn’t down. He enjoyed rotating with Michel, being there to encourage each other and keeping one another fresh during games. Though Chubb could be considered a franchise back, having the time in a committee that he did at UGA could come as a blessing in disguise as the NFL moves more towards running back by arsenal.

Speaking of Michel, he also took the podium today with the running back group and spoke in way that make you envision him as a Buccaneer.

“My greatest attribute as a player might be as a strong team leader,” said Michel. “Just being there for my brothers, playing for my brothers, playing for the guy next to me. I also think my pass blocking is underrated. I’m very passionate about pass blocking. Sometimes it’s not always about running the ball, it’s doing everything possible to help the next man succeed”

With the Bucs running a vertical offense, they need their back to be able to block. they have to be able to help out the offensive line to give the routes time to develop down the field, and they have to have a running back who has that mentality.

Michel seems to be the real deal for what Tampa Bay is looking for.

Outside of the Georgia running backs, one back the Buccaneers should have their eye on is LSU’s Derrius Guice.

In 2016, while backing up and then filling in for Leonard Fournette, Guice had 1,387 rushing yards on just 183 carries, a fantastic 7.6 yards-per-carry average. In 2017, however, while dealing with injuries and a poor offense around him, Guice recorded 1,251 yards on 237 carries.

Guice’s style of running is violent. He’s 5-foot-10, 224 pounds and is a player who loves to get yards after contact – something Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter mentioned was missing from Doug Martin’s game in 2017. Guice faced one of the highest percentages of stacked fronts (meaning more than the average players near the line of scrimmage) of any back in college football. He earned every yard he recorded in 2017.

Guice was asked if he could say anything to the teams in the NFL about drafting him. He responded: “If you don’t draft me, I’m going to give your defense hell.”

If the Bucs want t dip out west, Ronald Jones II out of USC could fit their needs.

Jones said he modeled his game after Jamaal Charles, even before the draft comps. Said Charles is why he wore No. 25 – and why he grew out his dreadlocks, too.

Jones was a great interview, one that any draft fans who follow him should watch. He’s expected to perform very well on the field this weekend.

One drawback with Jones, however, is that USC did not ask him to do much pass blocking. he said he’s eager to work on it, but all backs say that. if it’s not in the tape already, it’s still a projection.

All four the the running backs previously mentioned will surely go in the Top 50 of this year’s draft, which means they’ll require one of the Buccaneers top two picks to acquire one them. But, if the Bucs decide to wait to pick up a running back in the draft, Tennessee’s John Kelly could be an option.

Kelly, who measured in at 5-foot-9, 216 pounds, is a back whose style is similar to that of Guice – both love yards after contact and truly earn the yards the record. Kelly never had a season where he recorded more than 1,000 yards on the ground at Tennessee, but 2017 was the only year he started due to Alvin Kamara being ahead of him the previous two seasons.

We asked Kelly if he’s spoken to the Buccaneers yet this week and he said yes with a little extra affirmation, as shown in the tweet above.

Coming up next on Friday we’ll have the defensive line and linebackers measuring in as well as the quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends at the podium. Running backs and offensive linemen will also be kicking off the drills portion of the weekend.

We’ll have all the updates live from Indianapolis on twitter @PewterReport, and here at PewterReport.com

Previous articleBucs’ Winston Putting In Offseason Work(With Video)
Next articleSR’s Fab 5: Combine Freaks; Bucs Looking For Right Fit In Free Agency
Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for PewterReport.com. Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he's not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at: [email protected]

53 COMMENTS

  1. Kelly is totally a Koetter-style back in the vein of MJD/Martin/McNichols. It’s just hard to have an idea where he’ll be drafted….he wasn’t crazy productive at Tennessee and doesn’t seem to have long speed. I could see Koetter falling in love with him though. It’s cool that there are about a half dozen backs in this class to get excited about.

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  2. I can’t keep track of who the “perfect” pick is for the Bucs. One week PR says Nelson, the next they say Vea, and then the say Nelson again.

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  3. For the love of all that is good don’t draft a guard with a top 10 pick. I went back 20 years and couldn’t find one guard drafted in the top 10. There have been more kickers taken in the 2nd round than guards in the top 10. Not even the Browns have managed to squander such a high pick on a guard. Top 10 picks should be your core group of elite players. An elite guard is nice to have, hardly necessary. There are for more important areas of need on this team. The defense needs lots of help we need to address it early and often.

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    • Pro bowl Guard Sherff drafted 5th overall in 2015 to the Redskins. You cant just say because no one drafts a certain position in the top 10 we shouldn’t either. It just means there hasn’t been any talented guards worthy of a top 10 pick. You choose the most talented player available regardless of position. If he is there and BPA then draft him. Don’t keep making the same mistakes year after year. Draft BPA. Barkley, Chubb, Nelson, Fitzpatrick in that order.

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      • “You cant just say because no one drafts a certain position in the top 10 we shouldn’t either. It just means there hasn’t been any talented guards worthy of a top 10 pick”

        All those guys that went to Pro bowls as guards in the last 20 years were very talented. They weren’t top 10 picks because they were guards. You don’t use elite picks on kickers, punters, long snappers, slot corners, tight ends, centers, or Guards BPA doesn’t apply to those positions. Sherff was drafted to play right tackle, and the Redskins took criticism for that at the time. Most, not all; great guards played tackle in college. With the exception of Nelson I completely agree with your BPA list.

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        • When Shreff was selected the Redskins didn’t know where he was gonna play. They caught criticism because of this. they already had a pro bowler at LT Shreffs natural position. they were gonna try him out at RT and Guard and play him where ever he fitted better. It turns out it was guard. They didn’t care if they used a top 5 pick on a guard because he was BPA. There have been 17 guards, 12 TEs, and 2 Centers selected in the top 10 . Guards do get selected in the top 10 if they are good enough. Punters, Kickers, long snappers don’t because they aren’t on the field enough to make an impact. Fitzpatrick is slated to be a slot corner. Does that mean no team should draft him in the top 10. No, because he is talented enough to be drafted in the top 10. If the talent is there you draft him regardless of the position besides your special team players. Recently there hasn’t been many Guards talented enough to be drafted in the top 10 but I think Nelson is.

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  4. I’m telling you people, Nelson is not going to be there for us at 7. I seriously think he’s going to IND at 3.

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    • Then who gets DE Bradley Chubb? Browns got Myles Garrett last year, Giants already have 2 15mil DEs in JPP and Olivier Vernon. The next three teams are 3-4 teams while most NFL analyst say Chubb is a hand-in-the-sand 4-3 DE. I’m not saying you’re wrong (everybody’s guessing) just poses an interesting question. If you’re right and we get Chubb, I’m OK with that too! lol.

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      • We very well could get Chubb in that scenario. I don’t know if we take him, but he would probably be there.

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        • You dont know if we’d take him?

          I imagine if Chubb is there at 7, Licht might bulldoze through Goodell to announce the pick himslef

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  5. Trevor, thanks for the report. Why would we draft a Guard at spot 7; it really makes no sense. There always seems to be a Guard who is worthy to be picked before spot 5 but most teams have enough common sense to not take the bait. It has to be about Defense this year; we were horrible last year and now the hype is once again on Offense.

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  6. I really think with how today went or from what people have said that Nelson could be there for us (also history).

    1.) Guards in draft history typically don’t go top 5.
    2.) ‘Rumors’. 1-Browns and Sam Darnold is getting “stem”. 2- Giants probably draft a QB or Trevors mock trade to a QB needy team. 3- Colts like Barkley more then anyone. Irsay said months ago he wanted a RB. 4- Browns could trade the pick but if not could sit there and take Chubb. 5-Minnesota and Kirk have been getting a lot of noise, Denver could miss out on him. Thus needing a QB. 6-Jets needs a QB.

    Outside of the draft, Pete Carroll made it sound like Bennett was out of Seattle. Think we would look at trading to get him back in Tampa Bay?

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    • Plus Nelson hasn’t been like most Guards. Past history (from what I remember) there hasn’t been a OG rated as a consensus top 3 prospect in a long time! Last time I remember guards going high in the draft was Cooper and Bama big guy, neither worked out but they weren’t rated that high.

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    • Why would we give up draft picks for an old DE on the decline. If he is cut then maybe but not worth giving up a draft pick.

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  7. If Nelson is there at #7 I think we need to take him. Nelson and Ali at G with a 3rd round C or someone from FA would open things up big time for our round 2 RB.

    Of course, it all depends on how the cards fall. We all know Chubb is the ideal pick at #7 but we’d have to get lucky…like, OJ Howard at 19 lucky

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    • O.J. may well end up being better than Brate but if you could go back and get a high performing OL DL RB or CB instead of drafting O.J. and just resign Brate we would be a better team for it.

      That’s what Licht somehow fails to consider with his meathead moves. With Licht not knowing what to do with O.J. falling it was actually unlucky.for us.

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    • My big board has Nelson over Chubb actually, ngl. If they’re both there at 7 I would probably take Nelson. I think he’s that good.

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  8. Drafting a guard at No.7 would be the icing on the cake. Slot corner with pick 11 and a kicker in the 2nd round is the cake.

    Apparently, I’m the only person on the planet who has watched Nelson out in space trying to block LB’s and DB’s. He sucks at that. No way you can draft him that high despite his elite play on the LOS. He’s a f()(*ing guard who has physical limitations for fuxsake!!!

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    • Yes, you are the only one who sees that because I can’t believe you think that’s what you see.

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      • He’s not the only one. I see it too.

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      • HAHA! this made me laugh.

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      • I have obviously watched more film than you Trev. I am unimpressed when he dominates 250 pound linemen. Maybe you should watch him vs. Miami to get a better idea of his limitations, or watch him vs. NC State who has NFL quality linemen. He looked average.

        Chubb put a hand in his chest and ran right around him like he wasn’t even there on an inside twist. The DL bull rushed him e couple times, and he missed a few assignments. He is average vs. NFL quality players, not elite and he’s going to be far from dominant.

        This is excluding his work out in space, which is not very good at all. Overall out in space he is grading under 50%. That’s not elite.

        Do some homework. Watch some film against NFL level talent and stop parroting everything said by the anslysts. They get it wrong all the time.

        If we’re going to make a huge investment on the OL we are better off signing Norwell, who is already an elite level player and is great out in space.

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    • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w34fgpIapJ8

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      • Funny how that’s the only play from the Georgia game you can find of him. John Atkins got in his ass and Notre Dame averaged 1.5 ypc.

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        • Not sure how one guy determines the ypc……

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        • JC5100, here are more for you since you asked. watch from 1:26 to 2:35. I only put that one play on there b/c the original post said he cant block LB or DB’s. There are not many 320 pound men that can make that block. He had to come from the other side of the line and pick up a Blitzing Safety. And not just pick up the block, but destroyed the guy.

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          • sorry here is the link….

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xi3Um_aHdMk

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  9. Many draft pundits don’t think Nelson will be available when the Bucs choose at No. 7, but NFL history suggests otherwise. Since 1996, only two guards have been selected within the first five picks – Leonard Davis and Jonathan Ogden (per Ira Kaufman).

    Let me clarify before someone suggests that OG Brandon Schreff/Redskins was drafted at pick #5 in 2015. It is true that Schreff was drafted at pick #5 in 2015, but not as an offensive guard. Coming out of Iowa, he was ranked as the best offensive tackle in the draft. The Washington Redskins selected Scherff in the first round (fifth overall) of the 2015 NFL Draft as an offensive tackle. He entered training camp competing with Morgan Moses for the starting right tackle position but was moved to right guard prior to the beginning of the regular season.

    Quenton Nelson is a pure OG and has always played the position. He is like perennial pro bowler Davis and HOFer Ogden a talented and special interior offensive lineman. While it is true as most say that the Bucs greatest need is defensive line, I would not be disappointed if he becomes a Buc!

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    • What about Greg Robinsons short stint at Guard? lol.

      I could only remember Cooper and Warmack, so thanks for doing the work!!!

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    • Yes @macabee Scherff was a OT at Iowa, but it would be hard to believe (even for Dan Snyder) that the skins took Scherff with the intention of him displacing Williams at LT…which means they either took him as a RT or as OG. I don’t have an issue with taking a OG high, as long as the Bucs plan around that accordingly…if done properly, we could have an incredible interior OL and a matching offensive game plan….but we’ll probably try for the slow developing deep passing game, relying on D Smith to fend off DEs…

      Anyway, I would love to add Nelson…but as long as we take somebody on one line or the other, I’ll be happy.

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      • Eastend,

        As I said in the post above, the Redskins took Scherff as a right tackle to compete with Morgan Moses. They never intended for him to be a left tackle. Later moved to right guard.

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  10. Agree the focus of the draft should be the D (and probably will be), but if Chubb isn’t there the only other realistic defensive alternatives are at Cb or S. And as easy as it is to say “just trade down”, there has to be two teams to make a trade. There may or may not be an offer to the Bucs’ liking, and if not, they’ve got to pick someone.

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  11. I just checked on Davin Joseph. We drafted him with the 23rd pick. He lasted for seven years with the Buccaneers. He was in two Pro Bowls.
    _______
    Go Bucs

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  12. I’m down with Nelson, a dominant fixture on the line for over 10 years.

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  13. My top choices in order:
    #1 Chubb (obviously)
    #2 Nelson
    #3 Barkley
    #4 trade down
    #5 Minka
    #6 Vea
    #7 James

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  14. If we stay at #7, just take the best player and the surest thing……….period. Other than QB (and in our case, kicker), I don’t care what the position is if he improves the team drastically. Nelson sure looks and sounds the part to go along with his evaluations. He’s been my favorite since the start of the off-season.

    There are a lot of ways to develop a pass rush. There aren’t a lot of ways to stop one.

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    • Scubog, normally I agree with you; here’s the thing though; you’ll still have your seats in 2019 no manner what, Licht & Koetter won’t be here if they don’t dramatically improve our Defense.

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  15. I’m surprised you didn’t try taking John Kelley out for what he did to your alma mater Trevor, 25 touches for 300 yards, disrespectful lol

    https://youtu.be/_ioP_lk128I
    (Florida highlights)

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  16. If Bradley Chubb or Saquon Barkley are not there at 7, I take James or Fitzpatrick all day before I take Nelson.

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    • I agreed with you for 3 years about Fitzpatrick, but from what I read yesterday there were two top ten teams (a GM and national scout in his region) said he wasn’t a dynamic talent or a ten pick. So he maybe falling in the draft, if that is the case then there is no need to reach for him at 7.

      Felt the same way about James too but I went to Alabama and thus watch their games and not many of Florida States (tried watching James as much as I could). Was reading too that teams have concerns about his coverage ability and he may have to play WILL LB in the pros. Reminds me of a guy we took in the top ten and had to end up trading him to the Rams because it didn’t work out well.

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      • I don’t buy that at all. James and Fitzpatrick are both top 10 worthy.

        I’m an FSU fan, when you think of James think of Kam Chancellor and the Honey Badger.

        At 6’3 215 lbs James bench presses 450 lbs and runs a 4.4 40 yd dash, has a broad jump of 11’3″

        Both Fitz and James have All Pro/Pro Bowl potential .

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        • Kam Chancellor and the Honey Badger are not similar players at all.

          Many think Minkah is like the Honey Badger.

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          • I meant think of him as a mix of those two. Geez didn’t think I’d have to explain it to you. SMH

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  17. His tape vs Miami and Georgia is far from elite. There have only been two college guards taken in the top 10 last 20 years and they both busted, one of which Licht was a part of in Arizona. This should be a major concern for Bucs fans, but keep drinking the kool-aid.

    He’s a good prospect and should be a first round pick. But this guy is far from perfect. Orlando Brown is a better player at a more important position and Connor Williams projects as a better guard if he was to be switched.

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  18. Yahoo’s Charles Robinson reports the Broncos are prepared to go “all-in” on free agent QB Kirk Cousins. Robinson reports the Broncos have “examined scenarios” to clear up to $50 million in cap space this offseason (like cutting CB Aqib Talib).

    They will get competition from the Vikings and the Jets who are poised to make a run at Cousins. The Vikings have looked like the early favorites to land the QB, but the Broncos and Jets appear prepared to play hardball (this from Rotoworld).

    If the Broncos land Cousins, they are the team most likely to draft OG Quenton Nelson at #5.

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  19. I guess because yesterday was O linemen and RB. I would like to have them all!
    But my question is how do the Bucs plan on stopping teams from scoring.

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  20. The more i learn about Nelson the more i want the bucs to draft him. For all of you who dont think its a good pick are crazy. He is a beast who has a knack for pancaking D-lineman. We need to fix the trenches!!! and he is one of the best trench guys in this draft. Him and Marpet on the same line would be awesome. Create some lanes for our new RB and protect Winston. Its a no brainer. Quenton Nelson will be a buccaneer.

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  21. My top choices in order:
    #1 Chubb (reasonably sure thing)
    #2 trade down
    #3 Nelson (reasonably sure thing)
    #4 Barkley (reasonably sure thing)
    #5 Vea (Beast along side McCoy)

    + CB and RB (next 2 or 3 picks)
    _________
    Go Bucs!!!!!

    [w thanks to TBChucky]

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  22. Of course Nelson tweaks his hamstring….well hopefully that helps him fall to us. Can you guys write about Joshua Jackson, Arden Key, or Orlando Brown next? Maybe they will have something happen and will fall to us

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  23. If you really are concerned about protecting Jameis you have to move out Turnstyle LT Smith to his best position according to Lindy’s which was Guard. He is poor at pass blocking and has to resort to holding and his holding penalties have been killing our drives. He would be as good as Nelson at LG because Smith is a road grader blocker in the run game and can stop bull rushers on pass plays. So move down and get Orlando Brown Elite LT with Oklahoma with one of two Buffalo first picks when they trade up with us to grab a QB. Then get a Center in Free Agency or one of three elite Centers in the third round. Use the other first round pick for Cherry, a breakaway RB who led the NCAA in yardage running last year and also ran back kicks for touchdowns and catches passes well too. (We already have a proven power back with good yardage after contact.). We need a change of pace back and not a bruiser. With the second pick get a good DE. Just the above moves would fix our OL worries and give us great RB options too. With our new DL Coach Buckner he can train Stevie T to be the NT we need as a powerful 340 pound run stuffer, and with both a buff Noah back and a second round DE, along with training up Gholston to use his hands in pass rushing and he already is an excellent run stuffer, and we’d have Silga as a backup NT and dependable McDonald to rotate in, we would be much stronger up front to rush the passer and stop the run. Use an elite CB in Free Agency and a veteran, proven Safety who can hit hard, tackle well, and cover in Free Agency and our Defense will be much better. Now if our DC will just stay in the box above the stadium and let Buckner call a variety of blitzes too, we could have a really good defense as long as Licht also keeps all our own free agents except for Sweezy, and Quizz. We also need Licht to get the Gator Place Kicker who only missed one field goal all year and kicked one 87 yards in practice as long as with a 5th pick or lower, the Browns running back, and at least two Special Team Studs in Free Agency and we would be set!

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  24. By the way Licht helped cause our poor run stop stats last year by previously not resigning our strongest DT Akeem Spence who had a total of 39 tackles and 3 sacks and one forced fumble last year with the Lions and is a Free Agent who wants to come back to the Bucs now and is just 25 years old. We should grab him to bolster our interior DL in rotation and always got along fine with his teammates here.

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  25. Barkley ran 4.41 in the 40 at the combine.

    I wish we could get him or B Chubb. I can’t help but dream of the help Barkley would provide this offense, would be explosive like we thought we would see last season. If we some how got Barkley, Bucs need to bring in some O line up grades. IE Jensen at C, Marpet back to RG and draft a LG.

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  26. N Chubb 4.53
    Micheal 4.58
    Penny 4.46
    Wadley 4.53
    Guice 4.49
    R Jones 4.62
    Ballage 4.46
    Freeman 4.54
    Hicks 4.62
    Hines 4.39
    Nall 4.58
    Pettaway 4.74
    Scarbrough 4.52
    Thomas 4.56
    Wadley 4.54
    Walton 4.60

    John Kelly and Kerryon Johnson did not run in the 40

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