Cover 3 is a weekly feature column written by PewterReport.com’s Tampa Bay Bucs beat writer Trevor Sikkema published every Tuesday. The column, as its name suggests, comes in three phases: a statistical observation, an in-depth film breakdown, and a “this or that” segment where the writer asks the reader to chose between two options.
But as I often love to do in the offseason, we’re once again rewriting the Cover 3 script this week.
In this week’s Cover 3, I’m going to give you three, three-round mock drafts (one on each page), and at the end I’m going to have you choose which one you would rather see become reality.
The old reliable of Buccaneers mock drafts, if you will.
For a while now, Williams, the 6-foot-5, 300-pound, 5-star junior offensive lineman for the Alabama Crimson Tide has been a hot spot for where Buccaneers mock drafts start, even before it was locked in that they were picking No. 5 in the draft.
I know that Bucs fans know the name of Williams, but I want to make sure you know everything there is to know about him other than “he’s good.”
Williams was one of the highest-rated recruits coming out of the 2016 recruiting class. He quickly earned the respect of his teammates and coaches, and started every single game of his true freshman season at right tackle. He then made the switch over to left tackle the following two seasons, and he once again failed to miss a start.
For as good as Williams’ tape seems to be, locking down some of the best pass rushers in the country over the past three seasons, who he is off the field in preparation is even more encouraging when it comes to his draft outlook. Williams is considered to be a “film junkie” by those who are around him. He said that before he got to Alabama, he didn’t have access to all the film they do. He started learning the assignments and responsibilities of the players around him, and that, in turn, helped Williams become one of the most consistent offensive linemen in the country. Alabama’s offensive line coach Mario Cristobal even said, “He’s a football addict… I mean that in a good way.”
There is a lot to like about Williams both on and off the field, but fit does go into the equation some. Kyle Crabbs from The Draft Network gave his full film assessment of Williams and threw in what he believes is the preferred offensive philosophy for Williams, too.
“Jonah Williams is a technically refined offensive tackle who projects most favorably into a physical offensive front. Williams’ pass protection skills would be best utilized in quicker passing schemes to protect his lack of length from being exposed on deeper pass sets, but that’s no reason to dismiss his skills as an offensive tackle and move inside to guard. Should be a rookie starter at the NFL level and provide quality play on the outside by the end of his first year.”
We know things won’t be quite as vertical with Bruce Arians as they were with Dirk Koetter, but Arians still does love to stretch the field and take his deep shots. Don’t let that factor influence your opinion on Williams too much, as he is still a dominant player, but keep that in mind when you think of the possibility of Williams in red and pewter.
Pick No. 39 (second round) – Amani Oruwariye, CB, Penn State
This pick would be a homecoming for Mr. Oruwariye, as Amani was born right in our backyard in St. Petersburg, FL.
After a great high school career at Gaither in Tampa, Oruwariye went on to redshirt his first season at Penn State. In his following three seasons, he racked up plenty of game reps and plenty of stats to go with them, finishing his collegiate career with 106 tackles and eight interceptions.
What makes Oruwariye such an intriguing look for the Buccaneers isn’t just the fact that he’d be a hometown kid coming back to the first place he made his name. At 6-foot-1, 205 pounds, Oruwariye would give the Buccaneers a similar style cornerback opposite Carlton Davis, who is a physical, man coverage defensive back.
This is what Joe Marino of The Draft Network had to say about Oruwariye.
“Oruwariye’s size, length, strength and ball skills make him an ideal fit as an outside zone/press corner. Complementing his impressive stature is a trust for his technique and outstanding processing skills. Oruwariye has the traits needed to matchup with “X” receivers in man coverage, making him a scheme-versatile defender. Oruwariye has the upside to start early in his career on the boundary and emerge as a productive playmaker with his ability to make game-changing plays on the football.”
Pick No. 70 (third round) – Miles Sanders, RB, Penn State
For the Bucs’ third-round pick, I don’t have them going defensive line, as would be their final need in what would most call the “Top 3” of their needs going into the offseason. Instead, I have them taking a teammate of Oruwariye’s from Penn State, Miles Sanders.
If you ask me, Sanders is not getting nearly enough love. He sat behind Saquon Barkley for two seasons because, well … duh. But in this, his first season as a starter, Sanders rushed for 1,274 yards and nine touchdowns.
The 5-foot-11, 215-pound Sanders possesses an all-around game. He’s not Saquon Barkley, but he’d be a great get in the third round, if you ask me.
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@example.com