Each week PewterReport.com’s Mark Cook answers your submitted questions about the Bucs. You can have your question answered by asking on Twitter using the #PRMailbag hashtag and also on the message boards. Here are this week’s five questions.
Question: If Bucs are seriously considering John Ross, what’s the likelihood he’s the next Kevin White from the Bears? Fast WR but super injury prone and a bust due to not being to play.
Answer: That is the million dollar question. I am sure they are intrigued by his speed and Dirk Koetter would salivate thinking of Ross, DeSean Jackson and Mike Evans on the field for Jameis Winston to throw to. But as you mentioned, a comparison of a player like White scares teams I believe. Injuries can happen in camp, or the preseason and No. 1 draft picks can be lost for the season at any time, but here is a guy with three serious injuries over the last few years. Of course it certainly didn’t slow him down at the NFL Combine.
I am guessing the Bucs medical staff would want to, if they haven’t already, taken a long hard look at him before they would even consider putting him on their draft board. But if he stays relatively healthy, and if can withstand the rigors of playing in the NFL, someone will end up with a heck of a wide receiver.
Question: What exactly was Cameron Brate’s back injury and is there any word as to him being back to 100 percent?
Answer: According to Jenna Laine it was a small fracture in the transverse process of his spine. He took a hard shot in that New Orleans game on Christmas Eve and then Bucs placed him on injured reserve before the season finale against Carolina. But according to a report, his agent said he is fine and he will be ready for OTAs, and late last season Koetter said no surgery was necessary.
It doesn’t appear there is anything to worry about. However, the injury clearly showed the need for depth at that position, particularly a receiving tight end, and we believe the Bucs address that early in the draft next month.
Question: Do you have any info about Trey Hendrickson (FAU DE) connected to the Bucs? Do they consider drafting him?
Answer: I believe the Bucs do have an interest in him, as they saw what we did at the East West Shrine last January. He really stood out against the competition he faced in St. Petersburg, and played very well in the actual game earning honors. The Bucs aren’t desperate for pass rush help, and Hendrickson kind of fits what we expect the team to do, and that is for Tampa Bay to draft defensive line help, just not super early.
Most likely he is a Day 3 guy, and that would be okay, as there wouldn’t be any immediate pressure to play, and he could work on developing his game to get better prepared for the NFL.
Question: If guard Forrest Lamp is still there at 19, would it be tempting 4 the Bucs to take him instead of a playmaker?
Answer: I suppose anything is possible, but I would be very shocked if the Bucs considered him at No. 19. And there is a very good chance he will be there when the Bucs are on the clock. But by all indications, on and off the record, Tampa Bay is pretty content with the current offensive line starters, and really like some of their backups as well.
Scouts are also kind of mixed on where he plays at the next level. If they were all in unison that he was a franchise tackle then he would be off the board way earlier that No. 19, but some say he most might be better suited to play inside. Regardless, he appears to be a solid NFL prospect, just not a position the Bucs are looking to address that early.
Question: Any idea if the Bucs front office is as high on Caleb Benenoch as some of us are?
Answer: Absolutely. The team thinks they got a steal last season in the fifth round with Benenoch. Some have even said, had he stayed in college one more season he would have been a second rounder this April. To snag a second round talent in the fifth round and let him ease into the game as the Bucs did in 2016 was a solid move by Jason Licht and his staff.
Benenoch had some growing pains in 2016, but all in all, the team is pleased with his development as see him being a long-term option down the road.
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]
What, no comments? Rise and shine Bucs fans! Up and at em Pewter Pirates! Wake up sleepy Tourist Heads. (If Green Bay fans have cheese on their heads doesn’t it stand to reason we should have a tourist on ours?)
Mark, next Monday , in honor of April Fools Day, you need to have fake questions and answers that are a bit controversial to generate more replies. Nothing too political because that will stir up Dr. D.
Maybe you could ask a question about fellow FSU alum, Roberto Aguayo and respond by claiming the unconventional 2nd round choice of a kicker will turn out to be one of the best Draft picks in Bucs history.
You might ask a question about the development of Donovan Smith and respond by predicting a Pro Bowl season in 2017.
Perhaps an inquiry about why Jason Licht let Bradley McDougald leave to become a certain future star in Seattle like Michael Bennett, and then point out how great Chris Conte played down the stretch.
How about answer the burning question, What happened to Josh Freeman? You could then reveal the truth that his play started to decline after he posed in that embarrassing Michael Jackson outfit.
Everyone is curious about Doug Martin’s status. Since his career has been as back and forth and seemingly predictable as the personality changes of Dr. Jeckle and Mr. Hyde, you could forecast a bounce back season for #22.
Of course if all of these failed you could always do another Mock Draft.
Scubog; That’s funny!
Speaking of Ross, you forgot to mention Mark he’s dealing with an injury now, having had labrum surgery this month. Anyone who drafts him shouldn’t expect him to take the field till late summer at best. Long injury history for a short college career. Some team will be swayed by that 40 time, hope it isn’t us. I don’t see this kid standing up to the grind that is the NFL. Someone real good will be there at #19. If one of the three, Cook, Fournette, McCaffery are there I think we pounce. Then come back in the second for let’s say Jones from East Carolina. Should be a good tight end left in the third. Theme for this draft, weapons for Jameis.
Speaking of Ross he twiked his hamstring running the 40 at combine to many ??? Injury wise. Also playing here in the heat could be a concern hamstring wise.
So the NFL’s original pirates are moving to the desert of Las Vegas. I have no problem with this move, but I’d like to propose a new rule. Teams that move must change their name to reflect their new location. This has only been done once when the Browns became the Ravens. How about the Vegas Rollers, with snake eye dice on their helmets, or the Gamblers with a one eyed Jack! Would love to see Goodell’s head explode over those names!
How about the Las Vegas “Strippers” with a fan dancer logo?
Regarding John Ross; He is fast and when he was healthy his tape at Washington looked good, but whenever I read about players with a consistent history of injuries I worry. It makes one think that maybe if he would slow down a little he wouldn’t get hurt so much. I am more inclined to prefer players like Curtis Samuel or Chris Godwin who have speed and durability. Regarding Benenoch; I think he was in an Ideal situation where he was aloud to mature and gradually climate to the NFL. With few exceptions a player that can back-up for a year or so before being expected to start has a better chance of succeeding. Between him, Sweezy, and maybe Webster I am not anticipating a need draft pick for the OL. Finally, hope Brate is healing well. He was a surprise gift last year that the Buc’s seldom get.
Anybody remember Kevin House?
Absolutely! He had such gliding speed. I remember the game against Detroit when Dougie hit #89 in stride for a long “take it to the House”, TD to win the game.
The Ross critics love to point out that he suffered injuries in his freshman and soph seasons … while of course ignoring that, ang granting no credit for the fact that, he came back from those injuries and had his finest season last year as a junior, even playing through a torn labrum, through the Combine and individual workouts thereafter before having his surgery, which virtually everybody recovers from. Obviously he suffers not at all from his knees after posting the fastest all time Combine 40 yard dash time … which the Ross critics try to discredit by pointing out that he pulled a hamstring in the last coupla strides in that record-breaking run.
All of that tells us Ross is one tough SOB.
The Ross critics are going to criticize him – that’s what they do, they’ve already made up their minds. But somebody is going to get a great WR in him this draft.
And the same critics who say he’s going to be just like Kevin White – that is faulty reasoning. You can name any position and player type in football and point out that one, and probably very many, of that position and player type suffered short NFL careers due to injury. Every player is an individual, and the only thing that matters is what that individual does. It is totally irrelevant what another player does.
People forget that our multi-Pro-Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy was hampered by injury in his first two seasons with the Bucs. Many Bucs fans were ready to write him off after those first two seasons as a bust. He only started 6 games his second season, and McCoy had a grand total of 4 sacks in his first two seasons. Yet, he made the Pro Bowl the next season, indeed the next 5 seasons., along with 3-time All Pro first team and 1-time All Pro second team.
Being injured for part or even all of a season is extremely common – it doesn’t make a player a high risk for a bust.
Unless someone drops out of the Top Ten, would I strongly consider picking them at 19. I haven’t heard where Ross is actually rated? Anybody know?
Naplesfan, your point about McCoy is well taken.
However, the guy I would like to see us target in the first round is tight end David Njoku from Miami. He has a lot of upside potential from what I can gather. Two quality tight ends would only give us even more flexibility on offense.
As far as getting another potentially speedy wide receiver their are several based on their reported 40 yard times who we could possibly get from round two or later. Here is a list of those who bettered 4.5 that I grabbed quickly from CBSSPORTS.COM.
Curtiss Samuel, 5-11, 196, 4.31
Chris Godwin, 6-1, 209, 4.42
Zay Jones, 6-2, 201, 4.45
Amara Darboh, 214, 4.45
Dede Westbrook, 6-0, 178, 4.39
Of course I would be happy if John Ross or Corey Davis or Mike Williams should fall to us somehow. (Davis was reported as 4.48, Williams was reported as 4.54 and of course, Ross as 4.22)
I’m all for BPA in all our picks. We are not in emergency dire straits at any position now after a very productive free agency period, and getting a couple of players back from injury last season. Heck, despite all the “we have all the talent we need on the offensive line” talk here at PR, I would not be disappointed to see a Day 1 or 2 pick at OT … ditto on the defensive side of the ball, with some excellent defensive linemen and safeties and even cornerbacks available (Grimes isn’t going to play for many more years – might as well start thinking about a rookie at that spot to go along with VHIII).
BPA all the way!
I’m with you on the BPA philosophy Naples, but is there really much chance the BPA at #19 is going to be an offensive lineman? If Christian McCaffrey is still on the board I don’t know of any other options that have his versatility to impact three positions of need.
Notice that I wrote “Day 1 or Day 2 at OT”. The likelihood of round 1 OT talent at 19 might be low, but there’s more than 1 offensive lineman will go in the first two days. The Bucs have already individually worked out at least two offensive linemen (a guard and a LT) in the last two weeks, and possibly more to come, so they’re clearly thinking offensive line in this draft, despite all the denials by PR writers. Where exactly they might take an OL? Nobody knows but Jason and his team.
My bet is John Ross falls to the end of the first round and possibly to the start of the second round due to his past injury history. For the Bucs to take Ross at #19 is a huge gamble especially considering the number of great players available in this draft. I would not even make a play for him in the second round as I think there are more reliable players available at wide receiver. The additional potential is for there not to be enough footballs to go around and we would have a number of type “A” personalities on the Team to keep happy. I would steer clear of John Ross altogether, as if you could not have recognized that already.
I look forward to a certain John Ross supporter to completely force his differing opinion on this subject shortly….
I am hopeful that Howard or Njoku are available at #19 and that we go that route and then RB in the second followed by WR in the third.
You imply that Ross is one tough SOB because he got hurt in his Freshman year, hurt again in his Sophomore year and then he gets hurt again his Junior year? You just made the case that this guy is very fragile.
Your logic is nil, skipper. Playing hurt is what you do in the NFL. He plays extremely well, came back from injuries that would have forced many other players to retire or lower their production – instead he increased his production.
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