NFL.com draft expert’s Daniel Jeremiah and Mark Dulgerian weighed in on the draft prospects earlier this spring and PewterReport.com complied a listed of Tampa Bay’s selections. After the draft was completed, NFL.com added their pick-by-pick grades for each of the Bucs selections. Below is a list of the pre-draft evaluations, then a the snapshot analysis post-draft for the new members of the Tampa Bay roster. Read their thoughts below.
PRE-DRAFT EVALUATIONS
LSU ILB Devin White
GRADE = 6.24 – Should become instant starter
NFL Comparison = Myles Jack
Draft Projection = Round 1
Running back convert out of high school who continues to show rapid development as a high-impact linebacker in a physical conference. White is still learning to take on blocks and play with better control/efficiency, but he’s a willing pupil and coaching should improve both areas. White’s work ethic, competitiveness, and rare play speed are elements that can’t be taught and should push him into an early starter’s role and a successful NFL career.

“Devin White makes a lot of sense for the Bucs. When you lose Kwon Alexander to free agency, they went out and found an upgrade, in my opinion, to Alexander. He has great sideline-to-sideline range and with running backs in that division like Christian McCaffrey and Alvin Kamara, you need somebody like that.” – Daniel Jeremiah

Central Michigan CB Sean Bunting
Central Michigan CB Sean Bunting – Photo courtesy of CMU

CMU CB Sean Bunting
GRADE = 5.76 – Chance to become an NFL starter=
NFL Comparison = Levi Wallace
Draft Projection = Rounds 2-3
Long, lanky press corner who plays with good control, an ability to stay connected to routes and above-average ball skills. Bunting is a bail or trail corner who is more adept at shadowing the release than road-blocking it with physicality due to a leaner frame. He’s confident in coverage and doesn’t play with panic, but has to prove his top-end speed. He’s proven his worth on 50-50 balls, but may fall below NFL standards with closing twitch and instincts. He’s a solid Day 3 prospect with CB4 potential.

“Big corner. He can play inside-outside. Very twitched-up. He’s a little grabby downfield, which is something he needs to work on. Very aggressive.” – Daniel Jeremiah

Auburn CB Jamel Dean
Auburn CB Jamel Dean – Photo courtesy of Auburn

Auburn CB Jamel Dean
GRADE = 5.73 – Chance to become an NFL starter
Draft Projection = Rounds 3-4
Dean’s combination of height, weight and speed will get the conversation started off in the right direction for NFL evaluators, but there is no way around the fact that multiple knee surgeries will be a cause for concern in those same circles. His length and ability to disrupt catch space is a big plus in his favor and he has the athletic ability to play in a variety of coverages. However, he needs more consistent competitiveness and better technique for the next level.

“Teams all over the league were split on him. When you watch him on tape, you don’t see the speed he showed at the combine. He’s also had some knee issues that concerned teams.” – Daniel Jeremiah

Kentucky S Mike Edwards
Kentucky S Mike Edwards – courtesy of Kentucky

Kentucky SS Mike Edwards
GRADE = 5.59 – Chance to become NFL starter
NFL Comparison = M.J. Stewart
Draft Projection = Rounds 3-4
Versatile defensive back with above-average instincts, awareness and toughness. Edwards has the instincts and range to become an eventual starter at safety, but some evaluators might view him as a big nickel with the size to handle bigger slot receivers and the toughness to get his nose dirty in run support. Edwards is a smart, tough and consistent player who could find early starting work if he tests well.

“I love watching him play. He’ll play in the deep half and get his hands on a lot of balls.” – Daniel Jeremiah

Iowa DE Anthony Nelson
Iowa DE Anthony Nelson – Photo courtesy of Iowa

Iowa DE Anthony Nelson
GRADE = 5.74 – Chance to become NFL starter
NFL Comparison = Carl Nassib
Draft Projection = Rounds 3-4
Promising 4-3 defensive end prospect with outstanding length, good quickness and a play motor that keeps humming from snap to snap. Nelson needs to add play strength and learn to leverage his length to unlock his intriguing potential as a pass rusher. Teams could be tempted to play him inside in odd fronts, but he might not have the strength or physicality to handle that early on. His areas of concern are mostly correctable for a traits-based prospect with the potential for rapid improvement as a future starter.

“The Bucs value length in their defensive end position and Nelson certainly fits that mold. He also offers them versatility to move around the defensive front in various packages.” – Mark Dulgerian

Utah K Matt Gay
Utah K Matt Gay – Photo courtesy of Utah

Utah K Matt Gay
GRADE = 5.00 – Has 50-50 become NFL starter
Draft Projection = Round 7- undrafted
Surprising omission from the Senior Bowl, Gay is a big boy with an even bigger leg who has the ability to drive both the long field goal and the long kickoff. The former soccer player has an awkward, three-step approach to strike field goals which may require some work to make a roster on the next level.

The Bucs were abysmal in the kicking game last season, hitting on just 74.1% of their field goals (4th-worst in the NFL). Gay has a booming leg and should help the points per game column for an offense that ranked 3rd in total yards. – Mark Dulgerian

Bowling Green WR Scotty Miller
Bowling Green WR Scotty Miller – Photo courtesy of Bowling Green

Bowling Green WR Scotty Miller
GRADE = 5.17 – Better-than-average chance to make NFL roster
Draft Projection = Priority free agent
Slim, slot target with legitimate track speed and short area burst to separate over the top and underneath. Miller was lightly recruited out of high school but posted strong catch production for Bowling Green over the last three years. He’s tough, but durability will be a concern for NFL scouts considering how often he absorbs big contact. There are boxes he won’t check, but the speed/separation is one that gets an immediate check and that could help him find a roster spot as a three-level target and Day 3 selection.

“It’s not far-fetched to believe Tampa Bay sees Miller in a John Brown-type of role in Bruce Arians’ offense. He is a true field-stretcher.” – Mark Dulgerian

Missouri DT Terry Beckner, Jr.
Missouri DT Terry Beckner, Jr. – Photo courtesy of Missouri

Missouri DT Terry Beckner, Jr.
GRADE = 4.99 – Should be in an NFL training camp
Draft Projection = Priority free agent
Beckner has flashes where his ability and football instincts can take over in spurts, but he struggles to sustain it. He’s strong and has enough athleticism to compensate for his lower body stiffness when taking on double teams, but he gets put on skates and washed out when he gets blocked on the move. If he can improve his hands, that should help, but his medicals could be a concern moving forward.

“Beckner has traits to develop into a solid contributor down the line. He is likely a practice squad stash for now.” – Mark Dulgerian


POST-DRAFT GRADES
Day 1 grade: B+

Day 2 grade: C
Day 3 grade: C
Overall grade: C+
Draft analysis: White is a star inside linebacker who will lead the Bucs’ defense for years to come. Thankfully, his talent was not overlooked due to the diminished value that’s often placed on his position. If Josh Allen becomes a star pass rusher, though, Tampa Bay fans will wonder “what if?”

Bunting could be a good player for Tampa Bay, but there were other corners of higher value available in the early second round. Dean’s film was quite inconsistent, but the team thought his potential on the outside was worthy of a third-round choice. The secondary got more help with Edwards, a starter-quality safety who will compete for playing time sooner than later. However, the Bucs ignored needs at running back, wideout, and offensive line to pick those defensive backs.

Nelson will be a starting power end in the NFL for many years. They certainly needed a kicker, though I don’t believe Gay is the best in the draft and I figured they would wait until Round 6 or 7 to address the position. The team may see Miller as its new Adam Humphries. Beckner flashes great talent inside.

Shop the newest Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan gear at Fanatics!
Previous articleBucs’ DC Bowles: ” We Just Needed More Speed”
Next articlePFF Named Bucs Most Improved In NFC South Following Draft
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]

23 COMMENTS

  1. That is pretty fair grade IMO. I too had the Bucs a C+ grade for their draft. But obviously the grade can be much higher if picks like Gay and Miller play big roles for the 2019 team and White plays near a defensive rookie of the year level.

    +8
    -3
    Rating: +5. From 11 votes.
    Please wait...
  2. I read a lot of post draft evaluations and grades. NFL.com was by far the harshest and gave the Bucs the lowest grade.
    According to NFL.com the Bucs are a bunch of rubes who drafted four out of eight players too early and drafted three other players who were destined to be undrafted free agents.
    Not buying it.
    It wasn’t a perfect draft, but it hardly was the exercise in stupidity suggested by the website.

    +20
    -11
    Rating: +9. From 31 votes.
    Please wait...
  3. Websites and evaluators are Idiots… Not sure how any of them still have a job… They grade guys low that turn into Hall of Famers and guys High that are out of the league in a year two… The only thing evaluators are good for is a little General info on players I’ve never heard of but they are mostly Idiots… I Love watchin guys like Mel Kiper have a Top Ranked Board and there are still guys with first round grades on Day 2 or 3… If they were the geniuses some people think they are Teams would follow their boards to a tee, but they are not and never will be…

    We will see how these guys are when they get on the field and then we can judge…

    +15
    -5
    Rating: +10. From 20 votes.
    Please wait...
  4. 5-11

    +10
    -20
    Rating: -10. From 30 votes.
    Please wait...
  5. Well this makes me feel a little better. Go Bucs!

    +3
    -7
    Rating: -4. From 10 votes.
    Please wait...
  6. I feel the grade is pretty fair. My cousin asked me after our Beckner selection, what I thought of the draft. I expressed some immediate concern and why, but gave the Bucs an overall grade of B-. We did reach on a couple of players, but we addressed a few needs by doing so. We got a new defensive QB, upgraded overall team speed, added some(hopefully) quality depth and got a little taller in the secondary, not to mention faster. Everything considered, after seeing some more highlights on these guys, I stick to the B-. @destinjohnny please take it somewhere else, man. You’re shtick is tired, even when you offer actual commentary, it’s very grade school and nothing but negative. Give it a rest

    +7
    -5
    Rating: +2. From 12 votes.
    Please wait...
  7. Devin White was linked to the Buccaneers in almost every mock draft by so called experts . He was a perfect fit in form of what he brings to the table and what the Bucs need. But suddenly the Buccaneers get a B or C grade for choosing him. I don’t get it.
    If the Raiders or Giants, who also have a need for ILB, would have drafted him, the would get an A+++
    Seems like the media istn’t that “impartial”

    +9
    -7
    Rating: +2. From 16 votes.
    Please wait...
  8. I think a C+ would be more than fair. Drafting two CBs early, while ignoring the O-line is unacceptable. Drafting a f****ing kicker in the fifth was criminal.

    +20
    -6
    Rating: +14. From 26 votes.
    Please wait...
    • By the way, Devin White was the best player in the draft, period!

      +7
      -11
      Rating: -4. From 18 votes.
      Please wait...
  9. The grade after the 1995 Draft that netted Sapp and Brooks……”C”. Nuff said.

    +22
    -5
    Rating: +17. From 27 votes.
    Please wait...
  10. That’s exactly how I grade it, C+. Get rid of Licht. We needed a B grade or better. He is terrible in the draft.

    +11
    -8
    Rating: +3. From 19 votes.
    Please wait...
  11. Scubog, has Jason Licht really given you any reason to believe that he is smarter than the pundits?

    +8
    -4
    Rating: +4. From 12 votes.
    Please wait...
  12. You’re protecting your 20 million future franchise QB with Benenoch & Dotson is the reason for the C. You’re also hoping rookies Bunting or Dean can cover Julio,Calvin Ridley,Michael Thomas while Brees,Ryan and Cam are standing up in the pocket looking down field waiting for the 1st receiver to out run MJ Stewart opps I mean Mike Edwards for a Touchdown. Sorry but I’m not buying what Licht is selling this time.

    +10
    -4
    Rating: +6. From 14 votes.
    Please wait...
  13. I don’t know Jack Diddly about any of these players. I will reserve my judgement on this draft even if it was a shocking series of selections. I am looking forward to watching the new scheme and seeing if all the added speed on the back end improves the overall defense and turnover ratio.

    +2
    -2
    Rating: 0. From 4 votes.
    Please wait...
  14. Scubog, thanks for that history lesson.
    Captain Sly, most of the three QBs you mentioned didn’t torch the QBs on long TD passes last year but rather on short to intermediate routes.
    Brees in particular craved us up that way and has for years. Hence the need for CBs with more speed and quickness that can play force, rather than the off coverage that moron Mike Smith used to call constantly, even on third and long plays.
    And as far as Newton is concerned, we INT’d him four times during his last visit here.

    +2
    0
    Rating: +2. From 2 votes.
    Please wait...
  15. @drdneast Well I only hope it works. Do you trust our Oline to protect Winston?

    +2
    -1
    Rating: +1. From 3 votes.
    Please wait...
  16. If you only get a C grading in the NFL that means you’re not going anywhere, but down; we are already at the bottom of our division.
    By the way we still don’t really know if JPP and Nassib can play in a 3-4.

    +1
    -2
    Rating: -1. From 3 votes.
    Please wait...
  17. Just FYI, I listened to the “Stick to Football” podcast yesterday where they gave quick dives and grades into every team’s draft. Matt Miller and Connor Rogers mentioned how they spoke with numerous NFL teams who “were crushing” the Bucs and Licht for their draft choices. Interestingly, both Rogers and Miller didn’t agree. They didn’t understand the drafting a kicker thing (who does?). But, they are high on most of the Bucs draft. They love Devin White, of course. They are also very high on Bunting, Edwards, and Nelson. They were split on Dean. The Bucs received grades of B+ and B. Again, for what it’s worth…

    +2
    0
    Rating: +2. From 2 votes.
    Please wait...
  18. “The team may see Miller as its new Adam Humphries”…I thought the team saw Chris Godwin as its new Adam Humphries, or have we given up on him already? SMH…

    +1
    0
    Rating: +1. From 1 vote.
    Please wait...
  19. @scubog do you have a source for your C draft grade in 1995? Sapp was widely considered one of the top players that year and only fell due to the positive drug tests. Generally when a team takes a player that “falls” much lower than their on-field talent suggests they are hailed for getting a steal. While someone may have written about their concerns about Sapp’s off field flag, there was never a doubt about his ability on the field so I’m curious as to who would’ve rated that a C at the time.

    espn.com/nfl/draft2015/story/_/id/12741261/new-york-jets-altered-nfl-history-drafting-kyle-brady-warren-sapp-1995

    +3
    0
    Rating: +3. From 3 votes.
    Please wait...
  20. They blew it in the 2nd, 3rd, & the 5th. What sucks is the players were there for them to take. instead they reached for DB’s. With this flood it approach to drafting a position. How do you take a Kicker before an o lineman. They could have easily been a very good draft a solid A. But no. He should have been fired right after the draft. The tank has been on for almost 30 years. proof is in the record.

    0
    0
    No votes yet.
    Please wait...
  21. C+ is very generous IMO

    0
    -1
    Rating: -1. From 1 vote.
    Please wait...
  22. @Devasher: As I recall (I’m old and it was 25 years ago) it was Mel Kiper, Ourlads and our own local newspapers. Could have been others. Coach Sam Wyche scoffed at it. Back then we didn’t have NFL Network and all of the internet sites we have today. At the time there were folks who thought Sapp was a thug, so the drug rumor (I always suspected Richie McKay started it) just added to the doubt. Plus he only did 17 reps at 225 at the Combine)

    With Brooks, many thought he was a “tweener”. Too big for a safety and too small for linebacker. He was not as highly regarded as he became. Hence his draft position in the 20’s, who some considered a “reach”.

    I used to keep all of the Draft publications including their follow-up evaluations. My wife made me get rid of them when we down-sized. Every now and then I would check how accurate they were. Conclusion…….I’ll give the Draft experts a ‘C’.

    0
    0
    No votes yet.
    Please wait...