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, the beach and family time.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@example.com