Though there are people crazy enough to get sucked into the NFL Scouting Combine process before the weekend, when Friday rolls around the whole world tunes in to watch and read.

Friday morning in Indianapolis began with offensive linemen taking to the field for their on-field drills, and that meant plenty of potential Bucs prospects got to lace up their cleats. Just to get it out of the way, offensive guard Quenton Nelson did not run the 40-yard dash. He did, however, participate in the vertical and board jump, where he recorded a 26.5-inch vertical and an 8-foot, 9-inch broad jump. Both of those are fine for his size. Two other interior offensive linemen who have emerged as potential Bucs selections, if they can’t or just choose not to select Nelson, are UTEP’s Will Hernandez and Nevada’s Austin Corbett. Hendanez ran a 5.14 in the 40-yard dash, which, for a bulldozing offensive guard, is great. Corbett himself recorded a 5.15 in the 40-yard dash. Nelson is the first round guard option, Hernandez is the second round option and Corbett is the third or fourth round option. So, the Bucs have some choices to improve their interior offensive line throughout the draft.

Another option that emerged as a good candidate for what the Bucs might be targeting on the offensive line is Iowa’s James Daniels. Daniels measured in at 6-foot-3, 306 pounds with 33 3/4 arms yesterday. He also had a great podium session with the media where he seemed very genuine about his love for the game, his work ethic and his outlook in his potential at the next level. On the field on Friday, Daniels continued that good trend with a 30.5-inch vertical jump and a 9-foot broad jump. He then showed some of the smoothest movement when going through drills. He’s a guy who can play center or guard for the Buccaneers, if selected. Likely another Day 2 option.

As for guys that didn’t impress, Oklahoma offensive tackle Orlando Brown had one of the worst athletic performances we may ever see at the Combine. Now, Brown is 6-foot-7 and 345 pounds, so we know he’s not suppose to look that great. But, his 5.86 40-yard dash was one of the slowest ever recorded, and his 19-inch vertical as well as his 6-foot, 10-inch broad jump were all lows.

Once the big men showed their stuff, it was time for the running backs to take their places, and one of the very first to show off was Penn State’s Saquon Barkley. At 6-foot, 233 pounds, Barkley put on an impressive athletic display with a 4.4-flat official 40-yard dash and a 41-inch vertical jump. We all knew Barkley had it in him, but it’s still fun to see it.

Georgia back Nick Chubb also had a good day. After going through his horrific knee injury at UGA in 2014, we weren’t sure how close to his old self he would get, even over time. On Friday, Chubb ran a 4.52 in the 40-yard dash, jumped 38.5 inches in the vertical and 10-feet, 8-inches in the broad jump. If we had to say, we’d say those are likely the top two backs on the Bucs board.

As for the others, LSU’s Derrius Guice had a good day with a 4.49 40-yard dash with a 31.5-inch vertical, Georgia’s Sony Michel ran a 4.54 40-yard dash, and SDSU’s Rashaad Penny ran a very impressive 4.46 40-yard dash and had a 32.5-inch vertical with a 10-foot broad jump. USC’s Ronald Jones ran a 4.66, but appeared to have tweaked his hamstring mid-run.

On the freakish size, Alabama’s Bo Scarbrough, at 6-foot-2, 228 pounds, ran a 4.52 40-yard dash with a 40-inch vert and a 10-foot, 9-inch broad jump. That’s hard to believe for a man his size.

During the afternoon, we got to view the quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight end. Chances are the Bucs won’t be investing too high of a pick in any of those positions, but it’s good to get some background knowledge on them regardless.

Mayfield was the first big name up at the podium and he was very genuine, as you would expect. He said that the Manziel comparisons for him are off and that even though he respects who Manziel was on the field, Mayfield think he’s better than Manziel was — he’s right.

The wide receivers were also up to the podium and the one that stood out the most (get it, because he’s the tallest) was Florida State’s Auden Tate.

We asked Tate if he has either met or has a relationship with Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston. He said tat he has met him, and actually re-told the story of when Winston came back for one of their games and helped motivate them in the locker room at halftime of the Ole Miss game.

Tate also said that he molds his game around Brandon Marshall, Dez Bryant and Alshon jeffery. Those are some of the best in the game for his size. We’ll see how he runs tomorrow.

To close things out, Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson was one of the final people to speak at his podium today. Jackson started things off by saying that there have been zero teams in the NFL that he’s met with that have asked him about playing wide receiver, which was good clarification against certain media reports. Jackson also said that he isn’t going to run the 40-yard dash this weekend, but will throw in Indianapolis and will run the 40-yard dash at his Pro Day before the draft.

Tomorrow the quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends hit the field, but the spotlight gets brightest for the Buccaneers across the street as the pass rushers (defensive line and linebackers) get under the bench press and up to the podium.

We’ll learn which ones the Bucs are keying in on.

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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]

11 COMMENTS

  1. Off topic, but a bit frustrating the Dolphins are getting Quinn for just a 4th and a swap of 6th rounders. With the massive need we have at DE, can’t see why the FO wouldn’t have been able to do the same, as our 4th was three spots higher than Miami’s. Understand he’s making $11.4M this year and $13M next, along with a bit of injury history, but he is only 27 and has consistent production.

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    • Bucs should trade a 4th to bring back Michael Bennett.

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      • Like Bennett, but a high 4th for a DE that’s turning 33 this yr is a bit much imo. Thinking more like the two 6th’s we have to get it done. Good chance he gets released though as well, as he has guaranteed money kicking in here in a couple of weeks.

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        • Good point, I’d do that.

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    • Even Gerald expressed his displeasure over this. If Licht knew about this guy being available and didn’t try to get him, then he’s more clueless than I gave him credit for. Apparently he thinks he can get a 9 sack guy in the third round. Smdh we could’ve had Marcus Peters and Robert Quinn for a third and a fourth this year in essence. Those are two very glaring holes in this defense

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      • It was reported that the Bucs had talked to the rams about Quinn and the cost obviously wasn’t the issue. It had to be injury concearns or possibly character issues that we fans just haven’t heard about. And Peters was definitely about his character issues and I am glad we passed on him. It’s a safe bet that we already have a cb and de ready to be signed once we are aloud to do so. Licht knows he has to be aggressive this year. And I believe he will be.

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  2. Nice write-up Trevor. Was REALLY impressed by Daniels’ and Nelson’s technique, especially their consistent hand placement during the drills. Easy to tell they’ve been well coached. If the team decides to go a different route than Nelson at 7, or trades down, grabbing Daniels at the bottom of the 1st might not be a bad idea. Hopefully that would solidify the C position for the foreseeable future at least.

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  3. I don’t think we should trade our 4th round picks, for some reason in recent history I feel like our fourth round guys have been better than our second round guys. Last year being the exception.

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  4. Sony Michel will have the best draft value as a running back after all is said and done. The Bucs should draft the Notre Dame guard or the Washington DT in the 1st round and then grab Michel in the 2nd. He can do it all and has shown to be very durable.

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  5. Why do fans want our old players back? Give up a draft pick for 33 yr old Bennett, a guy we let go of years ago for nothing? I admit it was a mistake then, but it would be another mistake trying to bring him back now, same with Talib. Get over it already, move on. So Gerry isn’t pleased we didn’t trade for some body, boo hoo. Shut the hell up McCoy, and try to make a play when it counts for a change. Stop being a cry baby, go eat some ice cream, and play with your Batman dolls. Is it any wonder our defense is marsh mellow soft being lead by Capt. McSofty himself?

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    • I would bet any amount of money you wouldn’t call him soft to his face. Chill out on the keyboard warrior bs. I know he said himself that he needs to make more big plays when they count but he actually gets a pretty high percentage of his sacks in the 4th quarter. And obviously teams are gonna double or even triple team him on the plays where the game is on the line.

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