Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht and head coach Dirk Koetter wrapped up Tampa Bay’s 2016 draft with seven new players, including five from the defensive side of the ball. Licht feels like the Bucs addressed several needs, especially at cornerback, defensive end and surprisingly at kicker, and is very pleased with the team’s haul in the 2016 NFL Draft.
“Well obviously we feel really good right now,” Licht said. “I have the same feeling now that I did last year. All these guys I think – for our needs and where we had them on the board and what we thought of them as players – I think they all have an excellent chance of making this football team.”
PewterReport.com evaluates each of Tampa Bay’s draft picks and offers up a grade for each selection. While the Bucs addressed several needs, they failed to address the defensive tackle and wide receiver positions, which causes PewterReport.com to give the Bucs a “B” for the draft class as a whole.
Yet, this draft class appears to have four starting-caliber players on the surface in cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III, defensive end Noah Spence, kicker Roberto Aguayo and fullback Dan Vitale, so Licht and his front office could very well match last year’s feat of finding four starters in a single draft.
ROUND 1 – FLORIDA CB VERNON HARGREAVES
While I like Hargreaves’ footwork, competitiveness and ball skills, I’m not crazy about his size. I didn’t think Hargreaves was a top 10 pick, and neither did the Bucs as they traded down two spots from No. 9 to take him at No. 11. Yet, I don’t think Hargreaves is a top 15 player, either. Suddenly, in a division with some giant wide receivers, the Bucs have a plethora of 5-foot-10 cornerbacks with Hargreaves, Brent Grimes and Alterraun Verner, and that’s quite scary.
Florida CB Vernon Hargreaves III – Photo by: Getty Images
NFL teams should be focused on drafting a Pro Bowl-caliber player in the first round. Will Hargreaves become a Pro Bowler in time? I could see it go either way, really. With good coaching, Hargreaves, who had 10 interceptions at Florida in three years, has the tools to develop into a Pro Bowler, yet I could see him fall just short of attaining that status, too, mainly due to 4.5 speed and his height.
I’m just not a big believer in building a defense from the back front unless you’re starting off with a real special talent, such as a Patrick Peterson or a Marcus Peters. With the 11th overall pick the Bucs drafted the third cornerback when they could have selected the first defensive tackle in Louisville’s Sheldon Rankins, who went next to New Orleans at No. 12. Licht chose wide receiver Mike Evans over Pro Bowl defensive tackle Aaron Donald in the first round in 2014. Did he make a potential mistake? Time will tell.
The fact that the Bucs haven’t addressed the defensive tackle position this offseason outside of signing Cliff Matthews to replace Henry Melton and Tony McDaniel, and that is worrisome. If Pro Bowler Gerald McCoy goes down with an injury, who is going to provide a consistent pass rush? Not only did the Bucs fail to take advantage of a deep defensive tackle draft in the first round, they didn’t address at all in the 2016 draft, which is quite shocking.
GRADE = B
ROUND 2 – EASTERN KENTUCKY DE NOAH SPENCE
Tampa Bay absolutely had to address its pass rush in this draft and got a steal in Spence, who starred at the Senior Bowl. Spence is regarded as the best pure pass rusher in the draft, but a slower than expected 40-yard dash time and past drug use that caused him to be kicked out of Ohio State caused his tumble to the second round. There are bits and pieces of Spence’s game that remind me of great pass rushers like Vonn Miller, Terrell Suggs and Hall of Famer Derrick Thomas.
Spence, who had 11.5 sacks and 22.5 tackles for loss last year at Eastern Kentucky, got a ringing endorsement from Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston, who he’s friends with, and sent the results of his last 20 drug tests at Eastern Kentucky to NFL teams to prove that his prior use of ecstasy is behind him. Spence was honest with NFL teams and the media in Senior Bowl and NFL Scouting Combine interviews and has been accountable about his past transgressions.
Look for Spence to rotate with Robert Ayers, Jacquies Smith and Howard Jones during his rookie season as a situational pass rusher. It’s a perfect situation for Spence to come in and learn at his own pace without the pressure of having to be an every down starter right away as a rookie. When it’s all said and done, Spence could have the most success of any pick in this draft class for Tampa Bay and develop into a perennial Pro Bowler if he can stay healthy and thrive in Mike Smith’s defensive scheme.
GRADE = A
ROUND 2 – FLORIDA STATE K ROBERTO AGUAYO
The selection of Aguayo in the second round was either cheered or jeered by the Buccaneers faithful fans. Drafting a kicker isn’t a sexy move for most any NFL team, but Tampa Bay had success with it the last time the Bucs drafted a kicker, which was using a third-rounder on Martin Gramatica in 1999. Gramatica became a Pro Bowler in 2000 and helped lead the team to its first and only Super Bowl win in 2002, winning several games with his powerful right leg.
Bucs K Roberto Aguayo – Photo by: Florida State
Aguayo is the most accurate kicker in college football history and he’s never missed a field goal under 40 yards or a PAT. Licht, who has seen how important kickers Adam Vinatieri and Stephen Gostkowski were to the Patriots’ success in winning a combined four Super Bowls, and he feels like Aguayo is that type of weapon. How could he not? Aguayo connected on 88.4 percent of his field goals and was successful on 96.7 percent of all of his conversions (field goals and PATs).
Licht used the bonus fourth-rounder he acquired from trading down two spots with Chicago along with Tampa Bay’s own third-rounder to move up and get the Florida State kicker, who is Winston’s former teammate. If Aguayo can become another Gramatica for Tampa Bay – or even better as another Vinatieri- or Gostkowski-type kicker – this bold trade will pay off for Licht and the Bucs in a big way. With Aguayo’s sterling resume from college, it appears as if it will.
GRADE = A
ROUND 4 – NC CENTRAL DB RYAN SMITH
Smith is a big, fast defensive back capable of playing cornerback and safety in Tampa Bay. He played safety the first two years at North Carolina Central before switching to cornerback and produced 31 pass breakups and seven interceptions in 45 games with 42 starts. The Bucs will start Smith off at safety and see how he fares.
The 5-foot-11, 189-pound Smith has 4.47 speed that can be used in the secondary or on special teams where he covered kicks and punts in college, in addition to returning kicks. Smith averaged 28.1 yards per kick return in college and will compete with Kenny Bell, Bernard Reedy and others for kick and punt return duties this year.
Smith is known as a hard-hitter, and racked up 168 solo tackles at NC Central. While the Buccaneers could have used a defensive tackle in the fourth round, and Texas’ Hassan Ridgeway, Manitoba’s David Onyemata and Baylor’s Andrew Billings went a few picks later, one could make the case for the Bucs drafting Smith. Yet Tampa Bay could have had Southern Utah strong safety Miles Killebrew, who may be the hardest hitter in the draft, or West Virginia’s K.J. Dillon. Killebrew was selected three picks later by Detroit in the fourth round, while Dillon was a fifth-round pick by Houston.
GRADE = B
ROUND 5 – UCLA OT CALEB BENENOCH
A run on defensive tackles in the fourth round wiped out the talent at that position, so the Bucs used their fifth-round pick on their first offensive player in this draft class. Licht wanted to get a developmental tackle for Tampa Bay, and the 6-foot-5, 305-pound Benenoch fits the bill. Benenoch, a junior entry, has experience at right tackle and also at guard, and the Bucs love his position flexibility and versatility.
Benenoch was one of the most athletic offensive linemen at the NFL Scouting Combine, and his 4.98 speed in the 40-yard dash and 25 reps of 225 pounds were a testament to that. Bucs offensive line guru George Warhop spent time with Benenoch at UCLA working him out and loved his aggressiveness and coachability.
Benenoch could eventually battle Kevin Pamphile for the right to start at right tackle as the Bucs have two aging players there with 30-year old Demar Dotson and 31-year old Gosder Cherilus. Benenoch will need a year to develop to put himself in that position, but he offers the Bucs a developmental prospect at tackle and some depth at both tackle and guard.
GRADE = B-
ROUND 6 – OKLAHOMA LB DEVANTE BOND
There were other players I liked far better than Bond in the sixth round, including diminutive Texas Tech wide receiver Jakeem Grant, who could be a factor in the NFL as an ultra-quick slot receiver and a return specialist, or Southern Miss wide receiver Mike Thomas. But the Bucs felt like they needed to address the linebacker position and Boyd was one of the last good ones available.
Bond only has 4.7 speed, and the Bucs typically like to find linebackers that run in the 4.6-range or faster, so that was surprising. What I find troubling is that he was only a part-time starter at Oklahoma, and typically played a rush linebacker spot in a 3-4 defense. Bond had 17 sacks his sophomore year in JUCO, but only had three sacks in two years at Oklahoma.
Bond will start off at strongside (Sam) linebacker in Tampa Bay where he can learn from aging veteran Daryl Smith, who is 34. The 6-foot-1, 235-pound Bond will have to make his mark as a rookie on special teams where he exceled at Oklahoma, blocking a field goal against Tulsa. Licht had success with drafting another linebacker, Kwon Alexander, last year, so maybe he really knows something about Bond that we don’t. But given the other players that were available in the sixth round for Tampa Bay, this seems lack a reach and a lackluster pick.
GRADE = C-
ROUND 6 – NORTHWESTERN FB DAN VITALE
The Bucs concluded the draft by finding a fullback to replace Jorvorskie Lane in Vitale, who was a “superback” at Northwestern. The versatile Vitale lined up in the backfield as a fullback, while also playing H-back and tight end for the Wildcats.
Vitale was called a “tough Chicago kid playing fullback” and his play resembles that of former Bucs fullback Mike Alstott, although more as a receiver than a runner. The 6-foot-1, 239-pounder was a four-year starter at Northwestern where he recorded 135 receptions for 1,427 yards and 11 touchdowns, including 33 catches for 355 yards and a career-high four touchdowns last year.
Vitale needs to work on his lead-blocking ability at the next level, as he’s a better weapon in the passing game than he is as a fullback right now. But Vitale, who ran a 4.6 in the 40-yard dash, posted a 38.5-inch vertical and did 30 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press, has the athleticism, physical traits and toughness to learn the art of lead blocking at the next level, while displaying the versatility to make plays with the ball in his hands.
GRADE = B
Scott Reynolds is in his 23rd year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR’s Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds enjoys giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons’ Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]
Fair analysis… I disagree about Hargreaves. I think he is a special talent and it was a move we needed to make. I don’t think we are as thin at DT as you state. McCoy, McDonald, Spence and Gholston (on third downs) make up a nice group. I like Rankins but I did not see that situation as dire you PR did.
I agree with you @Buc45. We only had 7 picks to start with, then 8 with the trade. I was frustrated with the drafting of the kicker so high, but I’m over it. We have a lot of issues on our team and 7 or 8 picks couldn’t possibly fill every void. I think they did a good job, plus there will be cuts from other squads. Go ‘Bucs !!!
Hello all you Buc fans. This draft did not come close to any mock I saw except for Hargraves III coming off first.
Rd 1 – I was upset that the Bucs chose him. I wanted Spence in the worst way there. Grade C
Rd 2 – Love it, I think he will start off strong and be our Next great pass rusher.
Grade A That means HargravesIII now gets a B+
Rd 3 – Hated this pick at first, but after reviewing all the games we should have won last year if we had a good foot in the line up (4-5) I came around and now I like it. Not enough for an A but we will see.
Rd 4 – Seems good after checking out the player. Maybe a gem in disguise?
Rd 5 – Never heard of him before we picked him. Seems like a big strong kid with good character.
Rd 6 – Once again someone I never heard of. Seems to me to be a devlopemental guy. Stay tuned on him.
Rd 6 – Maybe the best pick in this draft after Spence. I grew up as a Big Ten watcher and never stopped. This guy is one tough SOB. Great pick.
Overall Grade B
Not a bad job by Meathead
The kicker pick deserves an F. F- perhaps. Totally asinine to waste such valuable draft capital on a kicker.
I remember many people berating Licht last year for trading up into the 2nd round for a guard fro Hobart…
The Bucs can’t afford to lose games because of lousy coaching. So Lovie is gone. Same thing with kicking. Crazy but had to be done.
Reading comments really solidifies the reason why our founding fathers created the Electoral College…
I find it amusing that people are slamming the use of a 2nd round pick on one the greatest kickers to ever come out of college! Considering the number of 2nd round busts that were spent on other positions recently and throughout team history. So far this GM has hit on all of his first and second day picks from 2014 & 2015. I say we put our faith in that he knows what he’s doing until proven otherwise.
The problem is this could have been used on 2 players one in the 3rd and one in the 4th. This was a deep draft and using 2 picks on a kicker is something teams that are on the verge of a super bowl do. Not teams with tons of holes like we have. It would have been a great pick for the Patriots, but not us. You don’t have to believe me, go read some non BUC biased analysis. Some are calling this the worst draft pick in the history of the NFL
kickers are players too!! #KickerLivesMatter
I believe that the draft could have been more Interesting If Kicker was their for the taking with 3rd Rd picked. But sometimes you make that decisions. Some are Good and some are bad. I know If They had that 206 pick Tampa I believe could move up in the fourth to get that wr from Germany not minnsota and Tampa could give up there 2nd 6th Rd Pick, and may have picked still picked up CB with 108. The draft was really amazing espically from Tenn and Cleve. They will Improve in 2016-2017.Go Bucs
Scott, you did a flip flop? Hargraves is small, but Spence isn’t? At least Hargraves played in the SEC and E. Kentucky was in a lower level conference. Georgehick’s, Aguayo would have been drafted by the time we drafted in the 3rd round.
No one was going to draft Aguayo in the next 20 picks. We could have stayed put and drafted him. then uses our 2 forth rounders to move back into the 3rd and grab one the the DTs Hargaves, Day, or Billings.
Also, Spence played for The Ohio State Buckeyes for 2 years prior to E. Kentucky.
For a draft that was supposedly “deep” at the DT position, I think the Bucs missed an opportunity to create some needed depth there. Even if the Bucs move Glennon for a 4th round pick, they could have gotten a guy like Baylor’s Billings at DT. So instead, they have 4 QB’s, 8 CB’s(6 who are 5’10), 9 DE’s(8 who are 238-275lbs and not capable at DT), and 3 Kickers(is Barth a weirdo or smelly?). I just don’t get it. I like Licht. I like Koetter. I just don’t get this draft. Another CB, DE, and K that are just like other players on the current roster doesn’t make sense. I hear the argument that these top 3 picks are arguably the best in the draft at their positions, but so what? If (and when)McCoy, McDonald, and/or Spence goes down with a season ending injury, the saints, falcons, and panthers all had top ten rushing attacks last year. The passing game wont matter if you cna’t stop the run. Devonta Freeman, Mark Ingram, and Jonathan Stewart will run ALL OVER the Bucs!
You can’t sack the other teams QB or even play nickle defense if they can hand it off 35-40 times per game. That’s what I would do if I was the Saints(Ingram), Panthers(Stewart/Cam), Falcons(Freeman/Coleman), Cards(Johnson/Elligton), Rams(Gurley), Cowboys(Elliot/McFadden), Bears(Langford), Chargers(Gordon/Woodhead), Chiefs(Charles), Broncos(Anderson), Seahawks(Rawls/Prosise/Collins/Lynch), and 49ers(Hyde). I am glad the rookie CB is a willing tackler. He should get a lot of opportunities to show that part of his game!
Can we please stop discussing Glennon? He will play out his contract and go somewhere else, maybe, but he will be a back up. This got confirmed last year and again this year by 31 other teams.
Bro relax! We don’t need to be thinking about what we need just yet! We have yet to see what the players we have can do in this new defense! The scheme last year made us look like college against the pros talent wise. I think the players we had were not able to be peppers, urlacher, and tillman! If we’re going to b aggressive blitzing we won’t see our best players getting doubled a lot like last year! Would love to see gerold destroy teams just by the extra activity
You’re making a lotta sense Wildman. I don’t get it either.
Bucwild we played well against the run last year so I don’t c really what your real concern is! Who did we lose to make you think we would fall off?
Im just irritated that the Bucs signed a couple of CBs(Grimes and Robinson) and a DE(Ayers) in free agency and then took two more CBs and another undersized DE in the draft while telling holdovers at CB(Banks, Verner, Adjei-Barimah) and DE(Gholston, Smith, Johnson, and Jones) that there is a clean slate with the new more aggressive scheme. I don’t think that having 9 defensive ends solves the pass rush problem, it confuses it. Same with CB. If you have 7 corners who are competing to start, do you even have 2 worth starting?
I have a lot of respect for you SR and agree with most of what you wrote. I have two disagreements. I think Hargreaves has the potential to be great and my bet is that Banks will effectively cover the big receivers we face, see the Calvin Johnson tape and the rest of our guys will be in your face press guys. On the kicker, NO ONE outside of TAMPA thinks this was ANYTHING but a HUGE debacle. Go search the draft sights. Walter Football is comparing it to the bone headed moves Matt Millen used to make. I think you are drinking too much of the Licht cool aid.
Aguayo, won games for FSU; just ask Winston. Many times his field goals allowed FSU to crawl back into the game after a Winston interception, including some excellent onside kicks. I watched a lot of other football games besides FSU, and I don’t remember many announcers raving about any other Kicker, but Aguayo.
Horse- I am sure the he did. The point is that we gave up two potential starters on a team with not that much talent. Trading up for and drafting a kicker that high is something that teams in Super Bowl contention do. This reminds of the Raiders drafting Janakowski. Great kicker but no talent around him. Horrible pick IMO
We only gave up 1 pick a fourth round pick not 2 picks. Our third round pick became a second round pick for the kicker who will not only be a starter but an all pro for many years.
I am not sure I understand your criticizing the lack of pass rush help in the first round and ignoring what we could have drafted with the 3rd and 4th that we spent on a KICKER????
okay, I’m sorry if it sounded like criticizing. I am basing my thoughts about Aguayo on trust that Licht and his staff know more than us? I believe they feel good about Smith, Gholston, Ayres, Howard. it doesn’t matter anyway because it’s in the past now and lets support the decisions taken by qualified scouts, stats, coaches, GM.
T believe rating the draft, at this point, is as inane as all the mock drafts we had to endure!!
Right there with you, dictate! … With the past injuries, though, I hope they pick up another DT soon for depth
Im happy with all 3 Licht drafts. Until he proves otherwise, Ill trust his judgement. The first game we win by a field goal, people will change their tune. How quickly we forget Brindza…
People please quit getting hung up on us drafting a kicker. This is a kicking league now. Y’all are right a kicker is t drafted in the 2nd round typically but extra points weren’t 30 yards either so having a reliable kicker is important. Case in point see the Washington game, the NY game, or any time we marched down the field scored a TD only to have the extra point missed, or a FG missed that would have given us momentum.
People keep saying “we use a high pick when he would’ve been their in the 3rd”. When did y’all start being able to see into the future?
As far as the other picks go, when it comes to VH3 watching Gator games and being a fan of theirs like I am I’ll say when a big play was needed he was the one coming through.
I watched the game tape of Vitale against Duke and I’ve gotta say I’m impressed. He falls forward and he’s got soft hands. His lead blocking does need improvement but he’s got the tools to be used in the passing game. Another weapon for Winston is a good thing.
Agree on all points Knight. Rules have changed with kickers, kickoffs, extra points – with rule changes come changes in ideology about kickers and kicking game. Who cares what the rest of the non Buc Nation thinks, I could care less. If they were impressed they wouldn’t dare say so.
Anyone not sold on VH3 has not watched him play in ALL of the Gators big games the last 3 seasons. He was outstanding if not dominant. I like the Bucs draft, I think the B grade is fair Scott and Co
I don’t see Hargreaves being a big upgrade over verner..both have the similar skillsets. I thought DE spence was a great pick in the 2nd – he seems humbled and ready to play. You’ll have a hard time convincing me that Aguayo wouldnt have been there for us had we not traded up but we needed a kicker…bad.
Time will tell with the Aguayo pick. As their 3rd pick and hitting need areas pretty well, I’m ok w/ it. No guarantee both alternative picks would’ve even made the team. If you feel they would, then maybe you trust Licht & co’s draft process.
The Bucs accomplished their major goal…to get 4 new starters. They did with Hargreaves, Spence, Aguayo and Vitale.
The goal was to get 4 starters? Says who? The goal is to get the best players available and hopefully address weakness too. Who says any of them will start. Don’t get ahead of yourselves.
It was a pretty good draft. I don’t think it was as good as last years. Time will tell. Just being honest. Taking the kicker in 3rd rd would been ok with me. Using that 3rd and a 4th was stupid. Pure and simple. We were frigging blown out so many games because this defense sucked and had no pass rush. We got one pass rusher that is risky, but has talent. You want to say taking that kicker was great people whatever. What good does an extra point or FG make when your defense sucks? We aren’t a great defense like Minnesota last year when they missed the kick in the playoffs. Also you don’t think he can miss when it’s -20 degrees? Lol. What ever. Saw that scenario being touted as why we need him elsewhere. It starts up front and I just don’t think we did enough to address D line. Just pray McCoy, and J. smith stay healthy. Only 2 that have actually acheived some sacks for us. Ayers never had more than 5 sacks until last year. Hope he’s not the next Michael Johnson.
I think the problem may have been more scheme and coaching than talent. I think Ayers wants to be in Tampa, Johnson didn’t.
Thing is , you’re arguing the known vs. the unknown. We know Robert is a good kicker, we have no idea what our defense will look like with the players from last year. Last years number mean nothing when you’re playing an entirely different scheme.
I mean , if they thought tackle was that much of a need, they would’ve addressed it in the 4th as there was still talent there, and they went back to the secondary.
As for pressure, I can guarantee you we will see more linebacker blitzes this year. Our scheme last year was a huge reason for the lack of production as much as anything.
I’m thinking the bucs may be a lot better than we think. We lost several games last year because of bad kicking and very bad in game coaching. The level of bonehead coaching that defense received should be a capital offense. Well, bone head is gone and meathead stayed. Maybe the coaches think we’er better than we fans do.
Grading Drafts is like grading a term paper for which there are no correct answers…..only opinion. Look, I wasn’t sold on Hargreaves because of the few games I watched at the end of the season. After a Gator fan told me he had a hamstring issue, I reserved judgement. His “length” doesn’t bother me in the least. There are plenty of successful CB’s shorter than that. Here we called Ryan Smith “big” yet he is 15 pounds lighter and only an inch taller than VH3. I rejoiced at the Aguayo choice (for our 3rd rounder)because I for one am sick of losing games where routine FG’s are missed and the team and fans are demoralized. Chances are, with the new PAT and kickoff rules, this kicker will have a greater impact than a part-time 3rd round rotational DT would have. Anxious to see the FB who was a player I thought might become a Buc since we had no FB on the roster.
I find it so amusing that most folks and Draft analysts preach taking the best players available, yet when evaluating a Draft’s success or failure, they revert back to seeing if a perceived need was met. A look back in history shows that what a Draft appears like now may not be what it looks like in five years. I remember that Bowers pick looking like a steal. I suppose it’s like marrying the pretty Prom Queen who puts on 50 pounds after landing her man orrrrrrr, that cute chubby girl who trims down to please her hubby. You never know.
Scu…..once again you find the correct words for this draft. Whatever it is, 3…4…years from now will tell.
Well said Scu as always.
I never know what point Scubog is making until he gives me his analogies then I’m like “Ohhh now I get it” like taking out the prom queen then she gets fat or she trims down etc now I see the point you were making ha. kidding of course what would I do without your analogies, Macabees cut and paste posts, Drdneast Stocker Fan Club arguments, Cg’s FSU Best Bets for the Bucs posts- You are all entertaining in your own ways and its what keeps me coming back.
I wont get off into grades bc its too early to know with any certainty how these guys will work out. My upfront opinion is that we missed an opportunity to help McCoy by adding a DT even if it was Billings late another young body wouldve helped. As a Gators Fan I wasn’t in love with the Hargreaves pick as I saw him get burned deep a lot and saw him often struggle with larger receivers which our division is loaded with. Not sure if he was being over aggressive since Muschamp couldnt produce points and maybe he gambled a little more than needed but that must be shored up on the next level if he wants to be productive. Being in position is going to be a requirement since he’s already going to be smaller than most of the guys we will be covering. Technically sound but def would’ve rather saw us select Rankins with that pick and Fuller with the pick we used on Aguayo. Also not a fan of selecting a kicker that high but if he turns into the next Martin Automatica then I guess its worth it. Now that the draft is over I would really like to see the Bucs pursue Muhammed Wilkerson. If we can now package Glennon and maybe a 2nd next year that would help us tremendously. I dont want to see Spence or Smith starting as they are smaller guys and are better off staying fresh for passing downs. Starting Ayers, McDonald, McCoy and Wilkerson would be ideal in the base defense then kick Wilkerson inside and bring in the young boys to get after it on the edge in passing situations. Everybody has a role and Wilkerson can spell McCoy on a few series to keep him fresh. Adding another talented DL with the ability to slide inside has to be the focus heading into camp. Decent draft dont love it but I will trust Licht given the draft he had last year. Random but I do like the footage of Ryan Smith that I saw he will be an interesting safety for us potentially this year or next if the transition goes well.
People please help is a dependable kicker he is going to be kicking for more than one year love the pick there isn’t to many holes on Tampa roster anymore
Stillbucsfan you can’t “package” Glennon nobody has interest. Move on. Jets got their guy in draft. He will finish his contract here and we have a very good backup for one more year. The end.
The Jets have drafted 3 QBs since 2013 so I’m not sure how the one they selected this year is “their guy” just seems like another guy they hope can develop. Hackenberg has shown nothing at Penn St that would suggest he’s even remotely ready to play and with the veterans on that team thats what they need. In fact that had 2nd year QB Geno Smith last year, while they drafted Petty and still signed Fitzpatrick. My scenario is def a long shot bc I know we value our high draft picks but I surely dont think the Jets will be turning down any calls for upgrades at the QB position.
Licht & his team nailed it again, VH III is really good, SR had Spence as our 1st round pick in his earliest mock, and the kicker is a once in a decade positional player. The kicking game broke the BUCS back in 2015, just as it did the gators. We needed Aguayo like we need D players. Like all drafts let’s see how the players pan out. Scu- love the cubby girl analogy!
JL was able to drop back two spots and still get Hargreaves. He was able to stay put and still pick Spence who everyone thought would go higher. So JL knows something we dont. So if he moved up to get Aguayo he must of new there was a team ahead of him that was going to pick him. He wouldn’t be there for our third pick.
When your kicker goes 3-3 and kicks the winning field goal with a few seconds remaining you will see the value in getting a great kicker ask Minnesota ha
There’s a lot of traffic with this article and all bases seemed to have been pretty well covered so I’ll keep this brief. I would have been fine with Rankins but we’re fine without him at DT. If we lose McCoy we’ll be no more or less screwed than if we lose our LT, QB or Z receiver. You need everyone to have a chance at winning. Like I said in another article I’d give this draft a B overall. I just hope Aguayo’s five missed kicks from last season were an anomaly. He only kicked for about 80% last season and I didn’t know that prior to the draft. I knew he missed more than he normally did but if that’s his floor it’s still pretty good.
Brace yourself Buc fans. The Aguayo pick is going to be forever etched into Buc lore. Good or bad it will be recounted at every Buc’s game and will place a tremendous responsibility on Aguayo to never miss a kick and we know that all kickers do!
Jason licht is a good GM and should get a mulligan for this but the NFL is not a kind place and he will be remembered as genius or goat for making such a bold and costly move. Did he have knowledge that some team was about to pounce on Aguayo or did he panic and spend unnecessary capital on a player that would have been there in the 3rd round? This we may never know, but the question will be asked ad infinitum.
Making this selection even more controversial than the fact a kicker was taken in Round 2 is the fact the Buccaneers traded up to do it. Tampa traded third- and fourth-round picks to get back into Round 2 for Aguayo. Players the Bucs reportedly coveted were still on the board like FS Vonn Bell. The NFL talking heads are not going to let us forget about that for a while.
The draft is a crapshoot anyway. It’s hard to know if Aguayo will even make a drastic improvement to Tampa’s kicking game. Connor Barth made 82.1 percent of his field goals with the Buccaneers last season. Aguayo made 80.8 percent of his field goals last year with the Seminoles. He has also made just 14 of 22 field-goal attempts of 40-plus yards over the past two seasons. Those are irrelevant stats now, the pick is in and Barth has been released.
It’s going to be difficult for the Buccaneers to justify this pick and I don’t really see a need to. We made the pick and good or bad we own it. Yes, kickers are important to team success, but this pick should not be the centerpiece of discussion. It’s a kicker for crying out loud, it should be our franchise QB. That is why I say never look back. What’s done is done and can’t be changed. There will be no cognitive dissonance from me and after this post, I have no desire to ever discuss it again. But rest assured we will hear about it again. Probably every Sunday!
See point 2 in the link!
I feel like I watched a different draft Scott. You seem a little harsh on 2 guys I like – VHIII and Smith – and a little too happy with a kicker.
I, honestly, am at the acceptance stage with Aguyao (he’s our kicker now, so Go Bucs and all)…but if all the FSU fans keep calling this guy “the most accurate kicker in history”, when he’s actually the most accurate kicker on sub-40 yard kicks in history (he’s 72% career on 40+ kicks), all you’re doing is SETTING HIM UP FOR THE BIG FALL…he will miss some kicks this year folks, he is very unlikely to turn in a materially better percentage than the guy he’s replacing…especially on 40+…so all the talk of how many more close games we’re going to win because of him, is again just setting everyone up for THE BIG DISAPPOINTMENT. I’m sure he’ll be fine, but please refrain from calling for his head when he misses half of his long field goals and turns in a few clunkers…just like Barth would have.
The Bucs also have Clinton McDonald and Akeem Spence at defensive tackle. Not too worried about that position. I saw Aguayo ranked 69th and the Bucs took him at 59, which is not much of a reach. Sometimes you have to take the offers you can get when you’re trying to trade up. No biggie. I just hope fans aren’t expecting perfection from him. Even Janakowski, Gostkowski, and Vinatieri miss several field goals per season and fail to get touchbacks. I think that, like any second rounder, they thought he’d be good enough to start right away. I do think the Bucs have less confidence in Pamphile than they let on in the past. Each time they’ve penciled him in as an heir apparent, they’ve drafted someone or signed a big money free agent to play that position. Vitale’s size and receiving ability remind me of James Wilder than Mike Alstot or, say, Lorenzo Neal. He may be more of a tall, versatile big back than a lead blocking fullback.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see them move VItale to part time TE. The dude has got some damn good hands.
Its hard to beat Stockers 60 yds production last yr, and the fact Stocker from what I’m told is like having Anthony Munoz at TE out there
Haha- as soon as they drafted Vitale, I knew that a JG/Stocker post was on its way… EEB, I like the “acceptance stage”. As a PMurray fan, I think I will be using it
scubog and macabee, I loved your comments and insight. I am in sync with most of what you had to say.
Please help me with your second point/ questions, macabee. Let keep prodding Scott, Mark and staff to investigate these questions.
This is part of what I mean when I say I am hoping and relying on PR to keep digging and then giving us “insider info” whenever they can.
I am truly excited with the Bucs this year.
The Jets will likely get Fitz deal done since they are good defense and close to playoff team. The QB in draft was for future. Even if they don’t get Fitz signed if they thought Glennon was the answer, a deal would been done before the draft. I don’t think Glennon is better than Geno Smoth either. Both are backups and the rest of the NFL just confirmed that by not wanting him.
Fair analysis. I am not following how Ryan Smith is considered “big” but Hargreaves is undersized? they are similar size.
Why are you pretending Gholston doesn’t exist? The Bucs have 5 tackles, 1 of which is premier with 3 others fine-to-good. Their corners DO NOT have their McCoy back there, and now they probably do. And in since when is it iron-clad that the first tackle is better than the 3rd corner?
Same thing with Evans. They drafted their McCoy there, for now and the future. So last year you’d want Donald and McCoy and Dye and Humphries?
And what transgressions? Why is ecstasy bad in and of itself? We’re ok with sending these young men crashing into each other and giving them addictive opioids to numb the pain, but take a substance that is now seen as having even medicinal uses and simply makes you happier at a dance party, and he’s guilty of doing a bad thing?
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