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Now that the Buccaneers have been in draft season mode for over a month, Bucs fans have seen a plethora of names been thrown their way for what might be possibilities for their No. 7 overall selection. On the offensive side, the two names we’ve probably seen the most have been Notre Dame’s Quenton Nelson and Penn State’s Saquon Barkley. On the defensive side, N.C. State’s Bradley Chubb, UTSA’s Marcus Davenport, Washington’s Vita Vea and Alabama’s Minkah Fitzpatrick have all been options, at one point.

But, Charles Davis of NFL Network has now thrown a new name into the mix, Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward

No. 7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Ohio State CB Denzel Ward

“There is a huge need for a pass rusher, but another talented pass defender is welcome in the NFC South.”

The corner need for the Buccaneers is an interesting one. Brent Grimes is deciding on whether or not he wants to retire, Ryan Smith had quite the learning curve in 2017 and Vernon Hargreaves not only played poorly on the outside but also go banged up. The cornerback need is there, but does Ward make sense?

Ohio State CB Denzel Ward – Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Ward is listed at 5-foot-10, 195 pounds. On the surface level, that spells out another small corner, which Bucs fans are certainly tired of. But, on the flip side, Ward really does put that old cliche to use where he “plays bigger than he is.” Ward is a physical, man-on-man cornerback who does most of his work battling with wide receivers on the sidelines and making tackles near the line in press coverage. He’s a three-year player from Ohio State who played with the likes of Marshon Lattimore, Malik Hooker and Gareon Conley. Ward only has one year of starting under his belt and just two interceptions, but that’s due to the talent that was in front of him — Ward can still play.

Ward’s a good player, and the Bucs need a cornerback, but No. 7 for Ward and this fit when other players in the trenches are there might be a stretch. In Davis’ mock draft, Fitzpatrick and Chubb were both off the board, but the Bucs do pass on Nelson and Vea to make this selection.

If Grimes walks, cornerback becomes a dire need. Ward would start right away on the outside.

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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: trevor@pewterreport.com
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Wausa
3 years ago

Even if he turns out to be a really good corner I would be disappointed if we picked him at 7.
The Bucs need to pick a lineman if they stay at 7

deeznuts
Reply to  Wausa
3 years ago

That’s what I used to think until Julio Jones put 200+ on us. I’d love to have Fitzpatrick also, agree that ward is a reach at 7 unless he blows out the combine – he’ll be tough no matter where he gets picked though

CrustyClam
3 years ago

No No No…..Vita Vea 7.

wnb0395
Reply to  CrustyClam
3 years ago

I hope we don’t reach for Vita at 7. If we want Vita we need to trade back around 14-17 and get an extra 2nd or 3rd round pick.

Spartan01
Reply to  wnb0395
3 years ago

If no Chubb at #7, trading down to 15 (Arizona) for their 2nd rounder would be ideal if a QB they like drops.

1 – DT – Vita Vea or Da’Ron Payne
2 – RB – Sony Michel
2 – S – Deshon Elliott
3 – CB – Quenton Meeks
4 – DE – Duke Ejiofor
5 – DE – Jaylon Ferguson
6 – G/C – Will Clapp
6 – G – Scott Quessenberry

Spartan01
Reply to  Spartan01
3 years ago

FA Targets:
Bennett – DE (Cut Ayers)
Fuller – CB
Norwell – G
Sitton – G (Cut Sweezey)
Crowell – RB
McKinnon – RB

Attempt To Re-Sign:
C. Brate
B. Grimes
S. Siliga
K. Tandy
W. Clarke
A. Humpries

Attempt To Extend:
M. Evans
D. Smith
A. Marpet
K. Alexander
P. Barber

FLBoy84
3 years ago

Like Davis, but most of his mock drafts leave me scratching my head.

TBChucky
3 years ago

Agreed. Hell, if we’re going DB I’d rather take James. At least we’ll be adding an athletic freak to the defense..

Cody
Reply to  TBChucky
3 years ago

Yeah I like Derwin a lot.

Will
Reply to  Cody
3 years ago

I really hope the bucs draft Derwin

Cody
Reply to  TBChucky
3 years ago

Him and Kwon together would be awesome.

Cody
3 years ago

Honestly, Ward or Josh Jackson would both be a great pick if we lost Grimes.

Garv
3 years ago

Another wild guess. Like it matters…..

Bucsfan1983
3 years ago

If going with a CB at 7, I’d rather take Josh Jackson. We need more length at CB, not another 5’10” player at that position. Ward 5’10” 185, Jackson 6’1″ 200

makski
Reply to  Bucsfan1983
3 years ago

The Bucs like em short. Would fit what they are looking for. But I agree, not at 7, too high. Even bigger problem is he is a press corner and he uses his physicality. We run the SOFTEST 2 deep zone I have ever seen. Our current stable of CB’s all seem to play man/press better than zone, but we run zone?!???!?! I think Smith, Hargreaves and Barimah all would benefit from us switching to a man/press coverage scheme, hopefully, that will be one of the changes that the coaching staff is discussing.

Ken Grant
Reply to  Bucsfan1983
3 years ago

Josh Jackson really struggles in press though so if we do play to get more aggressive and play single high then he’s not a good fit. If they plan to stay in cover 2 and play off then he is. I hope we are not staying at C2 personally.

Buc 1976
3 years ago

Another 5’10 CB! IMO the only person that likes him is Smith!!

wnb0395
3 years ago

SIgn Sheldon Richardson, Trade TE Brate and 4th to seattle for Richard Sherman. Draft Chubb, Barkley, Fitzpatrick, Nelson in that order or trade down with the Bills and draft Price and Key or Davenport.

Buc 1976
Reply to  wnb0395
3 years ago

How?

dexfields22
3 years ago

If you listen to anything that man says you’re a fool!

Charlie
3 years ago

Yeah and receivers in this division are a little bit more than, “play bigger than your size” Julio Jones would probably just old school Deacon Jones headsmack his tiny ass off the line. Tired of having our defense, hell our team get bullied. Chubb, Vea, or Nelson wpupd be ideal.

Will Moffatt
3 years ago

First of all I’m so happy I finally registered for an account here. Have been a long time follower and love what you guys do for this franchise! With that said have a few questions in regards to this draft as well as some things I’ve read. 1.) ‘Trade Rumors.’ What are you thoughts on the rumors circulating about the Bills wanting to move into the top 10 to acquire a QB? Their first round picks of 21 and 22 are close enough for both franchises pulling the trigger for pick 7. The ‘next tier’ of prospects hold great value… Read more »

Buc 1976
Reply to  Will Moffatt
3 years ago

Welcome aboard Will: you have a good point about trading down. This years draft looks to be deep at DT,CB and Offensive Guard. Depending on what the Bucs do inFA. If they get a DE,CB and OG then trade down.

Will Moffatt
Reply to  Buc 1976
3 years ago

Is there any noise out there about pursuing any of the potential FAs?

Would be devastating and nice to see Norwell in Pewter but same time hesitant after the Nicks signing during Marc’s regime.

Saw someone down say something about Sheldon Richardson. What would have been, Marc decides to pull the trigger on trading the Jets our first round pick for Darrell Revis for 1 years of work and the Jets are compensated with the 13th pick in the 2013 draft…Sheldon Richardson. Would be fun seeing the full circle. Really don’t want to spend on him personally but still fun.

Will Moffatt
3 years ago

Sorry for a second post but forget to ask this third question.

3.) Last year Trevor I vaguely remember you having a man crush on Derwin James. What changed?

His an unbelievable talent and was asked to do a lot for that team. Still produced in two phases of the game and earned first team all American honors (second team in others). What did you see to make you change your mind?

cvillebucfan
3 years ago

I’m telling everyone D Ward sucks. Get me on record.

GoldsonAges
3 years ago

Reaching for a need with our 1st round pick? Uggggh

Bigslick67
3 years ago

If we can sign Sheldon Richardson would it make sense to look at vita at 7 (assuming Chubb or Nelson off board), or preferably trade down a 1/2 dozen spots and take vita around 13 and pck up another second round pick. Sign a quality free agent G/C and draft a G/C in second round. Use the second round pick from trade down to draft best available CB/RB/Olb/DE. Switch to 3-4 with Richardson,McCoy, vita on D-line?

TBAtlas
3 years ago

I could see this happening. I’ll have to take a look at his production and competition before I really like the pick, but it’s an option. I couldn’t give less of a sh*t about size and speed if he can bat the ball to the ground. People are acting like we should think bros like EJ Biggers or Myron Lewis are better CBs than Ronde Barber, Brian Kelly and Brent Grimes because of measurables. Lol.

scubog
3 years ago

There have certainly been a lot of great CB’s who didn’t have “length”. Folks need to check the measurables of the typical CB and stop thinking that if a pass defender is under 6’0″ he can’t cover. Remember, there are little Smurf type wide-outs running around the field too. As the saying goes, “there are a lot of ways to skin a cat” . I don’t see any of the available DB’s being worthy of being the 7th player overall. These Draft “experts” always focus their choices on their perception of our need and often echo each other. Lots of… Read more »

surferdudes
3 years ago

When you have an ageing D tackle in McCoy, just cut your high priced F.A. nose tackle, and every other D linemen is either a F.A., journeymen, or simply ready for retirement. If that’s your D line you need to draft the biggest, strongest, fasted, Mo Fo defensive tackle available. That would be Vita Vea. Don’t know why people think he’s a reach, he’s considered a top ten pick by everyone, we pick 7th. He fills a huge need, D.T. look at our roster. Why wouldn’t we fill that need with a 345 pound freak who can line up anywhere… Read more »

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