About the author

Trevor Sikkema

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]

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  1. 1


    good read trevor.depending who might drop. im really starting to like the idea of trading out of 19 and picking up extra picks. if we can get 4maybe 5 players in the 1st 3 rounds? wepons and depth. the front office strengh is scouting. i like how there building the team

  2. 2

    Hank Scorpio

    Nice write-up. I’ve been a fan of Kollmann’s breakdowns (wish he’d do more) and his on Peppers was eye opening.

    That said, I still think he’s a 2nd rd prospect. Maybe someone falls in love with the hype/potential and snags him, but I think he SHOULD be there at 50 based on tape (even the good stuff he did). If an unpolished prospect (and future #2/slot WR) like Curtis Samuel gives him trouble in 1on1, it’s going to be a steep learning curve in the NFL. Plus his lack of turnover generating plays is very concerning to me.

    1. 2.1

      Trevor Sikkema

      Yes, if he goes to full time nickel (as he should) there is still going to be some developing. If a team moves him to a safety spot, it’ll be even steeper.

      1. 2.1.1


        Since he has experience at LB, could we use him at Sam to set the strong side edge on running downs, and move him back to nickel on passing downs? That way he never leaves the field.


          Trevor Sikkema

          You don’t want him taking on offensive linemen much at all.

  3. 3

    Jaboo III

    If we’re in a situation where Buddha, Davis, Williams, Ross, Cook, Howard are all gone I wouldn’t mind it. I prefer Buddha to Peppers, but I also think Peppers is back on the upswing after things such as this that people are realizing. I know we seem to have our eyes on Buddha, Obi, and Peppers based on visits but if we do want him I would want to trade back a little bit if possible. He does bring an intrigue but I feel that he’s third in line as far as safeties we like behind Buddha and Obi and if either of them were there I think we would be inclined to one of the first two.

  4. 4


    Interesting article. First, to answer your question, my price would be the Bucs’ second round pick. But the more curious aspect of Peppers’ rep is why isn’t his agent getting this angle out in public to boost his client’s stock? He may be doing it within the NFL community but it isn’t getting fan or media attention. Also, I assume that NFL scouts talk to college staff to understand what role specific players were asked to play so that they can better evaluate their skills and capabilities.

  5. 5


    I think the Bucs need a WR, TE, RB and DE much more than they need a slot CB in the first four rounds of this draft. Especially when you’re talking about a prospect in Peppers who has a lot of projection going on with regard to his success at the next level. The Bucs should be focusing on proven producers and certain impact players at positions of need in the early rounds of the draft, not guys that are combine champions and who are being talked about mostly based on that risky, unpredictable word: potential. Personally I’d pass.

    1. 5.1


      Here are the primary players under contract at three supposed “need” positions:

      WR – Mike Evans, Desaean Jackson, Adam Humphries, Josh Huff, Dontae Dye, Freddy Martino
      RB – Doug Martin, Jacquiz Rodgers, Charles Sims, Peyton Barber
      DE – Jacquis Smith, Noah Spence, Robert Ayers, Will Gholston, George Johnson

      I understand that Doug Martin is a question mark potentially, but he just resigned last year after a huge season. I do agree that TE is a position that seems pretty thin, but so is cornerback.

      TE – Cameron Brate, Luke Stocker, Tevin Westbrook
      CB – Brent Grimes, Vernon Hargreaves III, Jude Adjei-Barimah, Josh Robinson

      VH3 gave up more yards and more receptions on more targets than any other CB in the NFL last year.

      Brent Grimes is in the last year of his 2 year contract.

      1. 5.1.1


        They also have Ryan Smith moving to CB this year – not that’s he’s polished and ready to be a probowler, but they are high on him and it is his second year…time to start playing!



          The Bucs play 2 corners and 1 nickle 60% of the time…I don’t think Jude or Ryan are ready to step in for Grimes on the outside full time. Both those guys are nickle corners.

  6. 6


    Trevor, I understand your enthusiasm. I grew up a Packers fan and Bart Starr was my Hero. I wanted to go to Penn State when I was a kid and I wanted to play QB for the packers. Unfortunately I was slow, and after getting hit really good a few times I realized I liked football a whole lot better from the sidelines. But when Tampa got the Franchise, I was so excited and followed the draft every year. I think trying to put a value at #19 is difficult because it is going to depend who is still on the board. If Bucs get to their pick and 2 or 3 of the best offensive players are still there, I think people who really need a TE or Receiver or DE or Running back might be able to trade away a lot more than we think. Bucs have done it plenty. They don’t show a lot of patience to trade back. They love to trade up. With Brooks that was a fantastic gamble. But I can think of several players over the years that have been busts or disappointing at least that they traded up for. If Bucs sit tight at 19 they are going to come away with a player who can start. If they do that through the whole draft they will probably get two or three who can start. This is a very strong draft and especially at positions they need help with. I am excited. Just about two weeks away now.

    1. 6.1


      I know you are disappointed in the trading up concept, but recently did they not trade up for Marpet and Alexander?

    2. 6.2

      Trevor Sikkema

      I’m glad the hometown team swayed you away from your Packers love!

      All of this depends on who falls to Tampa for sure. I try to write these articles to say “Hey, if they take this guy, here’s what he can do.” But in terms of a big board for that No. 19 pick, it could get weird come draft night.

  7. 7


    I just want the best player available. This draft is strong, we will get plenty of good players if we did good scouting.

    1. 7.1


      How refreshing to read someone mention drafting the “best player available” and not focusing on perceived need with every discussion on what to do at #19. Maximum value should be the goal at each selection and see how it shakes out regarding what position we fans think was needed. We all think we know the needs, but what we don’t know is how the team is ranking the players. What we “need” is the best players we can get.

      1. 7.1.1

        Trevor Sikkema

        The best draft hauls are the ones with the best players. Period. You want to build your team to where every pick can be a “luxury” pick and you can just pick for talent.



          Will we ever be there…..

  8. 8


    Very in depth analysis which I appreciate. Although my vote is still for Njoku. You mention that the TE is being used more these days to create mismatches. Njoku is clearly a physical mismatch. Plus the o-line could use some help and Jameis likes to throw to his TE.
    If Peppers slides to the 2nd round then trade up and get him. Your comment about how that would help Hargreaves stay in his more natural spot was enough to convince me of his value.

    1. 8.1

      Trevor Sikkema

      Hargreaves is so much more Grimes-like on the outside than he is these other successful nickel corners we’re seeing around the NFL.

  9. 9


    This is what I’ve been saying about Peppers since the college season ended. I’m a huge fan of his and I love his game and attitude. I’d still pick him at #19 if available because he can still contribute in many meaningful ways even while getting the coaching he needs for whatever spot his team puts him in. The thing about Peppers, is that he can fill a lot of needs on a team on a short term basis and still allow the team to play their normal defense. Injuries at corner, he can play corner. Injuries at safety, he can play there too and as you said he could be a outstanding nickel corner.

    I don’t think there is any possibility of him dropping to our pick in the second, he might make the 2nd round, but he’ll be gone in the first few picks IMO.

    I think there is a lot of value to Jabrill, you would need a creative coaching staff to maximize it. But I have no doubt that next fall we will be watching him make some NFL highlights doing things that fans will be amazed that he can do.

    Go Blue! Go Peppers! Go Bucs!

  10. 10


    I cannot justify the 19 pick for this guy .. second round, sure, he sounds like someone with a lot of potential in an evolving league where slot corners are becoming more and more the standard defensive lineup. Tripled up with VHII and Grimes, we’d have a very good DB corps.

    Getting him at our second round pick, however, seems somewhat doubtful .. we’d likely have to trade up. If we’ve traded down in the first round, then we might have some room to trade up in the first. I’m also doubtful, however, that trading down from 19 is going to net us very much, no “trade down and get a raft of extra picks” – the draft trade chart makes that very clear.

    1. 10.1


      I’m w/ you Naplesfan- Trevor didn’t sell me on the 19th pick being a good value.
      Informative article, as always- thanks Trevor

      1. 10.1.1

        Trevor Sikkema

        You definitely want to get him at a sweet spot since he’ll be learning full-time defensive back work for the first time. Talented kid, but have to take that into account, too. First rounders are planned starters. Peppers would start, but it’d be a process for him, I think.

  11. 11


    I was impressed with Peppers at the combine. He has a fairly thick frame and he looks like the kind of guy that gets into a collision on his way to the Coke machine. He also showed humility and a team first mentality. Those intangibles boost his value and his chance of succeeding at the next level in my opinion. I listened to the podcast and realize that SR isn’t a huge fan, but I thought Peppers was a star in Indy.

    I think grabbing a corner in the first round is a priority and would prefer Gareon Conley if he’s available. As good as we all think Hargreaves was last year, no corner gave up more yards(1069) or was thrown at as much(80 receptions on 113 targets) as VH3 was.

    Grimes will not be around forever and while I like Jude Adjei-Barimah, getting a top CB in this class seems to make sense from a value/depth/cost standpoint.

  12. 12


    Okay, just throwing this out there since I am in no way qualified to come up with defensive schemes or judge how well a player will do in them, but doesn’t it seem like Peppers would be an almost ideal fit for our Sam linebacker? And I mean in a way that we wouldn’t have to constantly shuttle in a nickel CB? Doesn’t Mike Smith’s defense almost beg for a guy like Peppers who can be used to blitz, to cover, or to play outside containment?
    Again, I’m not even marginally qualified to make a call one way or another, but it really feels like he’s both the speed guy the Bucs like at LB, AND a guy who can cover pure receivers.
    Okay… well, if I’m right, you’ve changed my mind on Peppers (well, you and Kollman).

    1. 12.1

      Trevor Sikkema

      I know where your train of thought is coming from, but it doesn’t quite work like that. Playing him in a SAM role that could also be used in coverage would change the roles of David and Kwon and where they line up/gap. It would also asks Peppers to take on offensive linemen way more than you’d want him to on run plays.

      With the Bucs scheme, they use their SAM on short-yardage packages. You don’t really want Peppers there, so you’d essentially be subbing him out anyways. Plus, a part-time SAM role would also ask him to play more zone coverage, too, which would be wasting his man coverage athleticism.

      A hybrid role was fun for him in college, but he shouldn’t be doing that in the NFL. You can blitz him plenty from the nickel spot and still get the most of him in coverage.

      1. 12.1.1


        Thanks for the reply, sir. I understand he’d be incredibly undersized there, and would have to sub on short yardage. I guess I’m just dreaming of a LB corps of 3 really fast guys. Would it really be so bad to have Kwon and Lavonte line up in different places? No matter, I still think Mike Smith would come up with some incredible ways to use him, and having Mike Smith at DC, IMO, makes Peppers significantly more valuable because Smith has and does design schemes to use the players he has to the best of their abilities. I’d hate to see Peppers stuck in a nickel role, though, and who would you sit at S? Tandy or Wilcox (guessing the latter?)? I just feel like when you have a freaky athletic player like Peppers, you have to play to that strength and use him like the unicorn he is (I guess to me he seems like the defensive equivalent of what Kordell Stewart was for the Steelers all those years–I think the hybrid label gets a bad rap. Very few guys are good enough or athletic enough to be hybrids in any sport, and the ones that are good enough and are used properly are world beaters).

        Either way, however, loved the breakdown and Kollman’s video (thank you for that… been binge watching all his stuff on this year’s prospects), and I’m now firmly in the pro-Peppers camp (and I’m a stubborn guy… no, seriously, it takes a good bit to change my mind on someone :D). I’d still like to see us trade down with, say, Seattle to get him, though (and pick up maybe a couple 3rd rounders).

  13. 13


    Good read Trevor. Be thankful that you never played football. Every morning it’s horse lineaments and brace on both knees. When people ask me if their children should be allowed to play, I adamantly say no. Wish I never played myself, even though I loved every minute.
    I’m still waffling on Peppers. First round? I’d have to say no. If he fell to us in round 2 I’m all for it. There are too many really good CB in this draft to gamble. Unfortunately for the BUCS he will be drafted in the late 1st and make a good team better. Where he would be awesome is in Jax. Him and Jalen Ramsey flying around is scary for their opponents.
    I can’t wait for the college season to start to see what Harbaugh does up in Ann Arbor.
    I’m still hoping for Dalvin Cook in our 1st round. BPA? No but I still want to see him in Tampa.

    1. 13.1

      Trevor Sikkema

      Man, sorry to hear about the football aftermath. I have friends who are in that same spot. They loved playing, but it definitely took a toll.

      1. 13.1.1


        You guys are making me feel better about my choice to play rugby!

  14. 14


    Very nice article Trevor and a nice look at Peppers. I think his “safe” value is in the 2nd round. One thing we do know is he is a great athlete & return specialist, those are proven facts.

    What is not known is his true ability on defense (his full time job). Does he have good instincts? Are the assessments written over the last 3 pages truly accurate? Is he an NFL position player or a “tweener”? Michigan had sooo many very good defensive players did the totality of the parts/players make them all look better than they are individually? These are the tough GM questions.

    I’m a big believer in trading back and back and back all the way out of the 1st round. I believe the line between first round talent and 2nd round talent blurs at 19-ish. Crazy things can happen during draft day and a top flight player could fall to the BUCS @ 19, but if things play out to standard then the BUCs should be gathering quantity as quality will be close to the same.
    This would allow the BUCs to navigate/trade for more 2nd & 3rd round picks.

    I believe the fundamental pieces for the BUCS are in place to be a playoff team. I believe that what they lack is quality depth in a lot of spots. We saw that last year as injuries mounted there was no “next man up”. They have 3 great starting WR’s, but who plays if one goes out with injury? They have no one on the roster. Same for TE, RB, S, and LB. This draft is putting the building blocks in place to SUSTAIN success throughout a season, and this draft is rich with talent through 4 rounds.

    So, if there is truly a difference maker available at 19 then make the pick. If not a true difference maker then get out & accumulate. I know it takes 2 but Licht has shown that he can find a dance partner.

    In Licht we trust, Go BUCS, and thanks Trevor well done.

    1. 14.1

      Trevor Sikkema

      Thanks for the kinds words, and the words of your own! That was good stuff.

      I do not think he’s a tweener at all in the NFL; he’s a nickel corner and maaaaybe a strong safety, but I’d be worried about the SS part since he didn’t play. If a team doesn’t play him in either of those spots and tries to get cute, I don’t think he’ll ever match the value of where he’s going to get picked.

      I think the roster is pretty good, too. That’s why if they end up trading back and getting four or five really good depth players from rounds 2-4, might be worth it more than a guy at 19.

    2. 14.2


      First of all, Trevor you rock and are ‘playing’ at a level above everyone else on this site.

      Second I have agree with Mud and Vette earlier. No projects in the first round, or even second for that matter, for a team like ours. We don’t have the luxury of depth to take chances.

      Stacking another few missteps on top of the two picks wasted on Roberto, drafting ASJ (leaving us needing another TE), overdrafting Smith (which IMO leaves us still needing a top flight LT) and drafting a one dimensional pass catching RB in Sims (necessitating another pick being spent on RB so soon after) could be the difference between us being a playoff contender/one and done team most years to being in the thick of the NFC Championship race.
      It saddens me to say it but reading all of this, Peppers could easily land and fit right into New England. Teams that compound good decisions over time get to make luxury picks like the this one, and have the time for them to work out.
      We’ve done some good things for sure but our second round picks under Licht have been atrocious and our draft day wheeling and dealing has only been slightly positive (Marpet + Kwon + Roberto -, the rest noise). We are not there yet.

  15. 15


    Wow, great read Trevor! I must type, you now your stuff. Draft “geek” or not!
    I’m on board with Peppers as well but truth be told I’m so confident in Jason Licht that I’ll probably be happy no matter who the Buccaneers choose to draft. The problem with mocks is that for me personally, they are simply fake news. Pointless. Now as soon as a player IS drafted I’m all over him as far as looking at his skills and college career.

    In just over two weeks the fun really begins.

    1. 15.1

      Trevor Sikkema

      Thanks, Garv!

      And we’ll be sure to give you the full run down of every player they draft once it happens.

  16. 16


    Like our Coach always says:” We want our best players on the field regardless of position.” I would hope GM would follow the BPA world. If another player is available with similar grades, they could move down then and still get him; I’m for this type of drafting.

  17. 17

    Biron Smythe

    Sounds to me like his strengths match up to a more raw version of Budda Baker. If we are talking first round, I would much rather have Baker. If we end up with someone like Njoku at 19, I would be pretty happy with Peppers at 50.

  18. 18

    Buc 1976

    Just draft David N from the U stop this BS!!

  19. 19


    This article describes Peppers similarly to the LA rams nickel corner Lamarcus Joyner. He was drafted with the 41st pick and that might have been a reach considering he’s struggled there and is being considered at FS now.

    Peppers is much more athletic than Joyner but I don’t think he has the football IQ and instincts Joyner has.

    I was fine with drafting Hargreaves as a nickel corner since his upside was moving to outside corner. If we draft Peppers it needs to be with a 2nd round pick since he doesn’t project to likely move to a more traditional position.

    1. 19.1


      Also, in the gif of the slot receiver “beating?” peppers, he’s definitely responsible for the flats and the HB taking that space, not the slot. Especially with the pump fake from the QB.

      The safety had no reason for being late and should have decleated that brave receiver.

  20. 20


    As a Wolverines fan, i watched this guy play every game of his college career….one think is for sure: every coach in college football had to game-plan for this guy, and they were all scared out of their wits about him. He’s fantastic in space – as a WR on short passes, as a kick returner, and in closing distance as a defender. Maybe he’s not the NFL-ideal for any position, but he’ll make things happen on the field.

    having said that, not our best bet at 19…trading up in round 2 would make sense….the sort of round 2 trade-up that a GM should make (cough, cough Aguayo cough cough)….

  21. 21


    Yesterday I said the 49ers would draft Deshaun Watson at #2, now it’s been reported he’s coming in for a visit. It’s also been reported the Browns might surprise everyone but me they’re leaning towards Turbisky at #1. If this happens two stud D.E.’s slip down. The Jets also need a Q.B.. So if 3 Q.B.’s go, 2 D.E.’s go we’re really picking at #14. Factor in corners who every team needs, a stud tackle or two we now have the 10th pick in the draft. With the 19th pick in the NFL draft the Tampa Bay Bucs select Running back Dalvin Cook from FSU. Remember Winston’s speech to his former team that went viral, what did he say? We got the best damn running back in the nation! Licht, and Koetter won’t disagree book it.

    1. 21.1


      Deshaun Watson #2 overall??? No, no, no. Deshaun Watson in ROUND #2. There’s a better chance the 49ers take McCaffery at #2 than Watson.

      1. 21.1.1


        Watson will be a first half round one pick, probably not make it past the first five. Too many QB needy teams, and he is the most ready of the several QB candidates for first round picks.

  22. 22


    I just think a tweener taken at 19 and this “experiment” to find his niche is too risky. Good article and interesting though.

  23. 23


    I have been ranking players in the last week and I really like peppers but he ends up being one of my last 2nd round talents. There isn’t a scenario where I would be able to draft him prior to the 3rd round, based on my rankings. This draft is so deep. I also saw that video breakdown on Peppers and it was really good, but also very one sided. Where Peppers really struggles is in deep coverage when the ball is in the air. He almost seems to lose balance trying to track the ball. He brings a lot to the table on special teams, but he may not be a starter right away on defense. I think his limitations in deep coverage and size make him a bit of a gamble in the first couple rounds unless a DC has got a specific plan for him that will utilize his strengths and limit his liabilities.

  24. 24

    David DeLeon

    Hey Trevor, another good one. I like Peppers, I like him a lot. As much as I like Cook, Davis and Howard. That first pick has to be a starter by mid season. If we can back up a couple spots and still get a stud and another pick that would be awesome. I don’t see anybody worth moving up though.

    Obi or Peppers in the second would be ideal at the end of the day.

  25. 25

    Julian Jordan

    We have some of the fastest linebackers in the league I don’t see a need for Jabrill.

    Especially not in the 1st or 2nd I don’t believe he’d be a substantial upgrade over Jude or Javien Elliot.

    So.. Just, no.

    Love the draft values though.

  26. 26

    Julian Jordan

    Give me Ju Ju Smith-Schuster in the 2nd please.

  27. 27

    Julian Jordan

    So many decent DBs and Defensive Lineman in this draft to be wasting time on Peppers.

    Teez and Corn should be Buccaneers.

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