BREAKING NEWS: WINSTON TO MISS A COUPLE WEEKS WITH SHOULDER INJURY

About the author

Mark Cook

Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya’ll Magazine. Cook can be reached at [email protected]

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42 Comments

  1. 1

    magoobee

    I’m suprised Ryan Ramczyk, LT, Wisconsin is not projected in any draft to the Bucs. The Bucs could then move Smith to RT, Dotson to guard and Marpet to Center.

    We need to have better pass protection for Winston to have time to throw to Djax.

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    1. 1.1

      EastEndBoy

      I agree with you @magoobee on needing better pass protection, especially if we’re changing to a pass-first team. I am resigned to the fact that Smith will be our LT this year, although IMO too, he is out of place. I am more hopeful that we will upgrade at Center. I think the very late signing of Hawley tells me that the FO may not actually be as “happy” with the Center as they seemed to suggest, and rightfully so. Perhaps we’ll find a younger replacement post the first round.

      As for the mocks above – the worst thing we could this year would be to draft a WR in the first round. Sitting your top pick on the bench is not a recipe for success. Safety we need, RB we need, Howard would make sense (he’s an excellent blocking TE too). Drafting backups with your first round picks is not the way to leap frog the Failcons into the playoffs.

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      1. 1.1.1

        cgmaster27

        Agree whole heartedly EEB. Wr should not be our =1st round pick unless either Williams or Davis is there. I would take one in the 3rd or 4th though as it’s a deep class. That’s the round a guy can afford to sit and learn from while getting some good 3rd and 4th receiver reps this year. As for Smith, we all just have to accept the fact that Koetter and LIcht aren’t going to move him. I would wager there is ZERO chance we draft a lineman in the first 3 rounds, if at all.

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      2. 1.1.2

        Naplesfan

        Completely disagree with you that picking a WR at 19 is bad. Couldn’t disagree more.

        For one, he won’t sit. We’ll typically go with 3 WR sets on a majority of plays, sometimes 4 even.

        For another, if he’s a burner, he can also do the very important duty of kick or punt returner.

        Thirdly, DJax is most definitely not a long termer … he’ll do well to not see a downturn in his speed – his major asset – by or before the end of his 3 year contract. That would be precisely the time a third year WR would be approaching full maturity – just as we saw with Mike Evans in his third year after understudying VJax, who also declined as Mike came into his own.

        This is the perfect season to draft a first round WR.

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        1. 1.1.2.1

          cgmaster27

          Well if we typically go three wide out sets, who are you going to sit, Humpheries? He’s your slot guy. If your’e taking a WR, it’s to eventually replace Jackson and that’s why I wouldn’t use a 1st on a receiver unless one of the big two fell to us. Koetter runs a run first offense, he’s not all of the sudden going to go to a NE 5 wideout stretch offense.

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          1. 1.1.2.1.1

            Naplesfan

            Humph has done reasonably well for us as a UDFA, but he’s not someone who by his play to date is a proven starting-caliber WR. A first or second round talent in this year’s draft, one of the deepest in WR talent in years, is clearly somebody expected to be capable of stepping in as a no. 1 or no. 2 WR within a season or three and being “Pro Bowl” ready.

            I also don’t see Koetter as being a “run first” offensive coach as you say. He is actually known as a “quarterback whisperer”, and he certainly did not treat Jameis Winston as a hand-off-to-the-RBs quarterback. Jameis threw more long balls than anybody in the league last season.

            Last season the Bucs passed 578 times to 453 running plays (including QB runs). That’s a 57%/43% pass/run – hardly a “run first” offense. A run first offense is, by definition, a team that runs greater than 50% of its offensive plays. A very few teams do that every year, but most don’t, especially those that get to the playoffs and win Super Bowls.

            For instance, nobody would call New England last season a “run first offense” yet their pass/run ratio was actually smaller than the Bucs last season – at 550/482 or 53%/49%.

            As Jamies Winston gains experience and skill, I expect the passing percentage to increase some more, perhaps approaching that of Green Bay last season at 620/374, or 62%/38%.

            The winningest NFL teams (playoffs and champions) are most often the most efficient passing teams with quality defenses. Rushing efficiency barely matters anymore except to burn clock time in the second half by teams that are well ahead in the score, and to sustain drives when the passing game isn’t working. Of course the latter is negated by a quality passing attack.

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          2. 1.1.2.1.2

            Naplesfan

            type correction to my note on the NE pass/run percentage – that’s 53%/47%

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          3. 1.1.2.1.3

            cgmaster27

            My point stands as Humph has earned that spot and Koetter is not the kind of guy to pull him just to draft a guy. Ross would be the 4th receiver if drafted until other wise proven.
            I’m not saying don’t draft a receiver, I’m saying don’t waste it on Ross in the first.
            As for the passing rushing statistics, don’t you think that might have to do with the fact that our running game sucked last year. Why run it when you know it’s not going to work. Koetters offense is heavily predicated on the play action pass, and you need a competent run game for that to work. Most of those long balls you speak of are off of play action from what I remember watching.
            Also passing statistic don’t account for situational football. A lot of those passes were probably earlier in the season when we had to throw it a ton because our defense was getting shredded.

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      3. 1.1.3

        toofamiliar17

        “Sitting your top pick on the bench is not a recipe for success.”

        Fun fact of the day – 8 of the last 10 Super Bowl champions did not start their first round picks from the draft the year before they won the Super Bowl.

        In reality, if you are sitting your first round picks, that probably means you’re taking the best players available rather than reaching based on short term needs. The draft is not about plugging holes. It’s about getting the best players you can for the long term building of your team. Sure, needs factors in to an extent. And we do still have a serious need for a wide receiver or two. Evans + DJax might be the best one two punch in the league, but the depth behind them is precarious at best.

        Especially considering that NFL teams have their #3 WRs on the field for more than 50% of snaps, and that there’s a pretty decent chance that at least one of your top two receivers is going to get injured at some point, taking a WR in round 1 is a completely reasonable idea. Forcing players to play early is what is NOT a recipe for success. If we took John Ross, Corey Davis, or Mike Williams, he could come along at his own pace rather than being forced to play even though he’s not ready yet due to attrition.

        And, as cgmaster already pointed out, DJax will not be here for very long. Three years isn’t much, and the reality is that he could fall off due to his age advancing even before that. So we have a current need for a #3 WR, a long term need for a #2 WR, and serious help with depth at the position. And we’ve already proven that sitting your first picks is not a recipe for failure, since the best teams in the league do it with regularity.

        Lastly, I know a lot about football, and I have absolutely no idea how NFL defenses will defend an attack that features two of the three fastest players in the game, arguably the best young receiver in the game (Evans), and a great safety valve/middle of the field worker in Brate. Taking a great WR in the first would unquestionably make us borderline impossible to comfortably defend.

        There are other reasonable hopes. I actually prefer Howard to anyone else in the draft with our pick. I can see merit in taking Budda Baker, too. I’m not saying that taking a WR is the only thing we can do with the pick. Just that it is a very defensible idea.

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        1. 1.1.3.1

          EastEndBoy

          We are clearly not on the same page – and that’s okay, and I do respect that you are entitled to your opinion.

          “In reality, if you are sitting your first round picks, that probably means you’re taking the best players available rather than reaching based on short term needs.” I couldn’t disagree more.

          In reality, if you are sitting your first round pick (and winning a Superbowl), that probably means you had a pretty good team without holes to begin with. Like New England and Denver did.

          If you’re a team that has missed the playoffs perennially, and needs to find a way to get over your division opponents that keep beating you, then you need to be finding players that actually play on the field – now (like Evans did, like OBJ did, like EzE did, like Jordan Howard did, and so on – a good rookie is invaluable). New England, they can afford to focus on the bench for a reason.

          “Forcing players to play early is what is NOT a recipe for success.” Let’s just say, I’ll take OBJ, EzE, Howard, and a bunch more rookies any day – no problem. Playing rookies is not an impediment to success as you suggest. Playing bad rookies could be.

          Finally, I understand that “[you] know a lot about football, and [you] have absolutely no idea how NFL defenses will defend an attack that features two of the three fastest players in the game, arguably the best young receiver in the game (Evans), and a great safety valve/middle of the field worker in Brate”…I might suggest that a decent pass rush would do the trick against our OL and absence of a running game.

          When was the last time a team won the Superbowl with a running back that came off the street, an OL that rated out poorly in pass protection, and 2 of the supposedly fastest WRs in the game combined with the best young receiver in the game and a great (I think that’s a little over the top for Brate) TE?

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          1. 1.1.3.1.1

            EastEndBoy

            my last point also known as “you win in the trenches”.

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      4. 1.1.4

        76Buc

        We’ll always be a run first team as long as Koetter is there and that may be a long time.

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    2. 1.2

      toofamiliar17

      I think it’s because media members know that the team thinks highly of Donovan Smith, and that we aren’t looking to move on from Demar yet. The team has been very vocal in its approval of our current group of talent. They’re wrong, but it is what it is. Right or wrong, we will not be drafting a tackle in the first three rounds of this draft.

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    3. 1.3

      jshumaker

      Yes better pass protection will give Jameis time to throw but having another WR will also force defenses to put more in coverage. Having more play makers on offense is an indirect way to keep the pressure off of Jameis.

      Not only that but if this a strong WR class but weak o-line class then the statistics are going to show a better value in picking with the strength of the draft

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    4. 1.4

      BucWild02

      No way do the Bucs take a LT in this draft in round 1 or 2. Im not sure a player at 19 could beat Donovan Smith out of that job. There will be too many other positions that make more sense at 19 and 50:

      #1 need is CB : Grimes, VH3, Josh Robinson, Ryan Smith are the only players worth noting at CB
      #2 need is DT : McCoy, McDonald, Baker
      #3 need is TE : Brate, Stocker, Westbrook
      #4 need is WR : Evans, D.Jax, Humphries, Huff, Martino, Dye
      #5 need is S : Conte, Wilcox, Tandy
      #6 need is RB : Martin, Rodgers, Sims, Hansborough, Barber are all under contract.

      If the Bucs take Christian McCaffery in the 1st, it’s because he is a special talent that addresses 2 phases of the game…Offense as a RB/WR and Special Teams as a PR/KR. Dalvin Cook, Leonard Fournette, Alvin Kamara do not make sense at 19.

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  2. 2

    cgmaster27

    Despite peoples confidence, I still don’t see Cook falling to us. I’m just not going to get my hopes up for that one.

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    1. 2.1

      jshumaker

      Of all the offensive play makers that have high grades, I think Cook is the guy that has the best chance to fall to us. There are health and character concerns. Plus he has publicly stated he wants to play with Jameis.

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  3. 3

    e

    I agree with Magoo… Everything on offense starts with the OL. We can have all the fun toys everywhere else, but the Bucs are just one injury away from big trouble at OT. I would not complain at all if the choice was Ramczyk. The Bucs have done pretty good with Wisconsin Tackles 🙂 … I’m still on the McCaffery train, but I don’t think he’ll be there with his post combine results.

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  4. 4

    Naplesfan

    A lot of variation, still, in the mocks for the Bucs. That’s a positive … makes our pick less predictable, obviously, and so more interesting for us as fans. It’s also an indication of how deep in talent so many position groups are this year.

    The only thing I’m confident in now is that Jason Licht ought to have at least several attractive choices at BPA for pick no. 19.

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    1. 4.1

      jshumaker

      Variation also probably means one of the offensive play makers that we all have on our wish list is probably going to drop to us

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  5. 5

    Brandonges

    Loving those Obi picks! I’m hoping those John Ross picks came before free agency because that doesn’t really make sense at this point

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    1. 5.1

      toofamiliar17

      Makes plenty of sense to me. Drafting Ross would scare the heck out of me due to his injury history. That said, who wouldn’t love the idea of having two of the three fastest players in the NFL on one receiving corps? Oh, and they both run a diverse route tree and can create major YAC on short passes, while also stretching defenses vertically. With one of the best all around receivers in the game lining up with those two, defensive coordinators might just stroke out during gameplanning sessions in the weeks leading up to matchups with us.

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      1. 5.1.1

        Brandonges

        Because football is a game of finite resources (salary cap/draft picks/roster spots) and devoting more capital to the WR position would be excessive. It’s not like the rest of this roster is absolutely perfect aside from the third WR position. Based on the consensus that would be an overdraft for Ross and now it’s not even a position of need. Your offense sounds like it would be fun in Madden though.

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        1. 5.1.1.1

          76Buc

          Let’s draft a long snapper.

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        2. 5.1.1.2

          Naplesfan

          We have the opportunity to re-create the “Greatest Show on Turf” between big Mike Evans, a speedy over-the-top DJax, and a first round WR (any of the top three WRs), along with our nicely-developing first overall pick quarterback, Jameis Winston, who last season threw deep more than any other QB in the league.

          Why is that “excessive”? Do you mean there is such a thing as “excessive points scored” by an offense?

          It’s not as if we’ve neglected our defense (most of our draft picks for the last four pre-seasons, including the first and second round picks last year; we just picked up a top shelf DT and a good starting safety in free agency). It’s also quite likely that we’ll scarf up a good talent in the edge rusher group that is also very deep this year. And we’ve also picked up some very good offensive linemen in the last three years.

          There is no such thing as excessive receiver talent.

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  6. 6

    Hank Scorpio

    Out of all those names, give me Budda Baker please

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    1. 6.1

      Mr_Wasabi407

      I like Obi if we are going to reach for a safety

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    2. 6.2

      BucWild02

      Safeties rarely get drafted in the first round and with good reason. I will take a shutdown corner over any safety at #19.

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  7. 7

    htownbucfan03

    I like all opinions but doing mocks are fun I really like to do them for giggles but I seriously doubt we will go all skill positions. I will always perfer to solidify the offensive and defensive lines. At 19 if Howard is gone then I would seriously consider the best edge pass rusher or best pass blocker. The Dallas game exposed our biggest weaknesses and it’s not winston’s inaccuracy it was that we are too light on the d line and we were not athletic enough on the o line especially tackles. As for pass rushers I would be ecstatic if barrnett or charlton fell to 19 also would love if the tackle from Utah fell to 19 or cam from bama. If we are solid on the lines I truly believe we are superbowl contenders for years to come

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    1. 7.1

      Buc 1976

      03 I agree it Start’s up front both sides of the ball!

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  8. 8

    David DeLeon

    I wouldn’t mind Lamp in the first and Ethan Pocic or Pat Elflein in the second. Then you can TE, WR, or Safety later

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    1. 8.1

      BucWild02

      Run Forrest Run! Run away to another team that needs a guard.

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  9. 9

    drdneast

    So true toofamiliar17. This coaching staff knows so little compared to the rest of us armchair GM’s who have never played at the pro level, let alone coached or evaluated talent at that level.
    All they have to qualify their judgement on is years of experience while the majority of us listen to every critic we can find and then regurgitate it like parrots. Such buffoons.
    LOL.

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    1. 9.1

      scubog

      Thanks for giving me a chuckle this morning Dr.D. I too find it hysterical every Draft season when folks take what amounts to a tidbit of information as compared to the professionals (not the talking heads on TV) and believe they somehow know more. We all talk best player then promptly make predictions based on need. Some here think we need to replace the entire O-line except Ali Marpet in spite of the Bucs brain-trust stating otherwise. Sometimes I wonder if they even watch the game. Maybe since you and I are actually at the game we see more. I still say, take the best player…………period!

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      1. 9.1.1

        Bucmeister

        SCU nobody said throw out the entire line. Drafting one OL is not throwing out the entire line, anymore than drafting one WR is throwing out all our WR. I doubt JL is going to draft an OT tackle early(though I wish he would). But spending a high draft choice to upgrade one of five offensive line spots does make some sense. If you look at the line outside of Smith and Marpet it is made up of primarily 5-7 round picks and UDFA. The Bucs need to spend some high draft picks over the next couple years (1 a year) to upgrade or JW will end up like the Colts and Luck

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  10. 10

    Julian Jordan

    Bank on a tight end being drafted, by now, they’ve realized that by continously tendering people that have outplayed their contracts they have a tendency to make a break at the 1st sign of daylight (i.e. McDougald). Have to prepare for the inevitable.

    But most importantly at this point Jason Licht and the Bucs board is set.

    Now is full blown lying season and that the mockers don’t have a unanimous decision on who the Bucs are drafting that means the Bucs have an upper hand because no one really knows what to expect from the Bucs.

    Cards have been dealt. How everyone plays them is essential, look out for the articles being published and sources being leaked on who is visiting who and what who is saying about what.

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  11. 11

    GIJoeWasThere

    I hope we take Awuzie in the first round.

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  12. 12

    rastaman40

    Do you people even read the articles Scott writes? How we shouldn’t draft a receiver because it’s not a need. Teams who draft for needs end up having bad drafts more often than not. In reality DJAX got a 2 year deal. He’s a rental folks. I would totally draft a receiver round one. And don’t be surprised if Davis falls after he didn’t run at his pro day.

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  13. 13

    Buc 1976

    Corry Davis has not run a 40 may drop to 19, then take him because he CAN PLAY.

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  14. 14

    scubog

    Every one of the prognostications offered here from the media experts notes a player to the Bucs as a perceived need. Of course we have a lot of areas where the roster is a bit weaker than others. But for me, at #19, who is likely to be the best player? As it is every year, there will be a group of players with equal grades when Jason Licht and staff have to turn in their card. That’s when a lean toward need will be a consideration, But it won’t be like we often think that they pick the missing piece to a puzzle.

    Some here scoffed at the thought of taking a WR at 19. Why? If when the time comes the best player is a WR, even though we now have D-Jax to line up opposite Mike Evans, Licht will take him and know that Koetter will find a way to use him. Didn’t we learn from last year when Licht was sweeping the streets for the likes of Josh Huff, Cecil Shorts and others to line up on game day? There will be at least five WR’s on the roster. We have but three who are worthy to stick. That leaves at least two pieces to upgrade the puzzle.

    At #19 I don’t think any position is off limits except QB and Kicker. Take the best player! Needs can change with a twist of fate…….or a knee.

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  15. 15

    hamilton

    we can use ross at slot an evans an Jackson out side,thats hard to match up with.

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  16. 16

    mattmart01

    wishlist:

    1st rnd: OJ Howard/Njoku
    2nd: Budda Baker
    3rd (or move back into 2nd): Donta Foreman

    the rest BPA

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