PewterReport.com is beginning a new offseason feature, giving readers an opportunity to get their questions answered by the PR staff. Today, Mark Cook answers five questions taken from Twitter submissions using the hashtag #PRMailbag. Each week one of the questions used will earn the person who asked it a PewterReport.com T-shirt.
Question 1. @epilepi @PewterReport #PRMailbag How do you think Jacquies Smith will fit into the d-line next season? Rotational? Starter? Cut?
Answer: We had the opportunity to speak to a couple former coaches over the last month and they both said Smith has the potential to develop into a full time starter, but even with a couple years under his belt, he still needs to work on better technique. They both also thought he could be a 10-sack guy if he continues to develop, and of course if he can stay healthy and play a full season. However we also learned that won’t prevent the Bucs from looking to draft a starter if they find one in the upcoming draft they feel could step right in and provide an upgrade. And I suspect that is exactly what happens whether it be in the first round or second, but I believe the Bucs will address the position early. Of course if they decide there is a seasoned veteran in free agency that could do the same thing, then that could change things up. But I would still put my money on the Bucs looking to upgrade their defensive ends via the draft this year and do it early.
Question 2. @DanClippo88 @PewterReport Bucs fan from Hull, England! With the 9th pick in the draft who do you see the Bucs targeting?
Answer: Hey thanks so much Dan! We don’t hear from many English Bucs fans, except for a handful like our good friend Paul Stewart who runs one of my favorite sites, BucsPower.com. We believe Tampa Bay loves Florida State’s Jalen Ramsey, but barring a terrible NFL Combine this month, the Bucs would have to jump a number of teams to have a shot at him. Vernon Hargreaves is another player that possibly could be there, but he fell off a little late in the season, and word is that could affect his draft position a little. But like Ramsey, a great combine performance could even move him up higher in the Top 10. Both of those players in my opinion would be instant starters for the Bucs, and probably impact players. However it is doubtful the Bucs will have a chance on either so now it really becomes best player available. You just can’t reach based on a need with a Top 10 pick. So really it is wide open at this point. As we get closer to the draft, hopefully we will get a little more in tune in where they might be looking early, but even with a good relationship with the organization, getting anything definite is nearly impossible. And who can blame teams for not leaking that type of stuff?
Question 3. @akinsanya#PRMailbag @PewterReport With Licht, what are the chances the team draft OL in rds 1-3? Any chance of the team drafting two in by the 5th?
Answer: Nothing would surprise me to be honest. I mean with Lovie Smith as head coach, did anyone believe this team would draft only one defensive player over the previous two seasons? I certainly didn’t. As Scott Reynolds pointed out in his Monday post-Super Bowl article, Sunday night showed the importance of offensive linemen. The Broncos won that game because they got to Cam Newton and the Panthers lost because they couldn’t protect him. The same thing happened when the Broncos played the Patriots in the AFC Championship game. For all the new rules in favor of offenses in the NFL, it still comes down to who can protect and who can rush the passer the best in many games. Especially in the playoffs.
Question 4. 1vabucsfan@PewterReport What’s the prototypical DB for Smith/Hoke? You talked Hayes/Smith with larger DEs… that’s what they want in defensive backs?#prmailbag
Answer: That’s a great question and one I can only guess on. Although really when it comes to defensive backs, isn’t it about the ability to cover and then come up and tackle? Darrelle Revis at 5-11 isn’t a huge guy. Certainly no Richard Sherman type. And we all saw the success that Ronde Barber had and he was far from being confused with being a bigger cornerback. I think with DBs it will be more based on if they can cover, turn their hips and their timing on defending passes more than size. I mean any coach would love a player with those traits and are 6-3, but those are very rare. We should be getting an opportunity to meet with the new assistants in the next couple weeks and I will try and get more information on what they prefer.
Question 5. @The_Lehtonen@PewterReport Any news/ideas, how Buccaneers gonna replace Jon Robinson? #Bucs #PRMailbag
Answer: Another good question but one that hasn’t been determined yet. When we spoke to Jason Licht about it at the Senior Bowl he told us he has some ideas but wasn’t going to rush it or in a real big hurry to fill it. It could come internally or be an outside candidate. He really likes his current group of guys so it wouldn’t surprise me if it comes from in house. I would expect it to not be much longer though as draft prep has already begun and I am sure he would want this person to be involved.
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]
Jack Conklin-Michigan State at RT would be a great pick, especially if the Bucs can trade back and still get him. He’s 6’6/325 lbs and projects as a RT in the NFL. He has nasty side when run blocking and he has shut down many of the top pass rushing DE’s in the draft. The only player he had a tough time with was Baylor’s Oakman in a bowl game. He totally shut down Ohio State’s Bosa and Oregon’s Buckner. I would take him over the Notre Dame’s Stanley all day. Come back in the second round and nab Oakman and that’s a great start to the draft!
FYI-Conklin is lined up as a LT for Michigan State(#74) but projects as a RT at the next level.
BucWild02, I agree and would take Conklin over Stanley also. I’d also take Taylor Decker from Ohio State over Stanley.
Every defensive snap of DeForest Buckner vs Michigan State (2015)
Every defensive snap of Joey Bosa vs. Michigan State (2015)
Every defensive snap of Noah Spence vs. Kentucky (2015)
Every defensive snap of Baylor’s Oakman vs Michigan State (2014)
Conclusion : Conklin looked great against the guys he faced. I thought he was better against tougher competition than Noah Spence also.
Thank you for the scouting report Mr. Conklin.
lol. funny stuff scubog. it was late. looking to see which DE i liked best and found that i liked the guy blocking them more!
BTW PR, I like these Bucs Monday Mailbag articles. You’ve done a good job of selecting questions that haven’t been covered in other articles on the site and answering them thoroughly.
Thanks Pink! glad you guys like them. I enjoy doing them.
I agree, great stuff Mark!
As long as we pick up a Starting Player I’ll be happy. I sure miss the Chat Room because you could ask questions based on real time events.
Horse, what happened to the Chat Room??
I haven’t seen it the last two Friday’s.
I’ve seen many Draft seniaro’s. That Tampa could trade down example with LA Rams at #15. If Tampa did.LA would have to give #15 and a no#2 in this year draft and maybe 2017 mid-round. But the Draft is loaded with so many defensive players available. I see Tampa could fill a massive defensive linemen at no#15 plus two db’s in rd-2 a Dt in Rd-3 and so forth.What does everyone else think.Or stay put at #9.Go Bucs
George, LA would ever give up that much to move up 6 spots. If it was a reversed situation our GM would be run out of town. Maybe that would happen if we moved down to 22 or lower.
Others have said it, but I strongly feel it bears repeating. Nice article Mark! Early in I’m enjoying these a touch more than the live chats as they allow for a more nuanced response from you. Also, the questions you responded to were thoughtful. Enjoyed the read. P.S. No need to reply with “Thanks” to this comment as you did the others. I’m not gonna check back, and know your personality enough to know you’d have said it. 😉
Erp. I feel I should contribute some football commenting as well.
Mark alluded to it in #1 – but this could be a off season could be very interesting as we find ourselves with a relatively broad defensive draft, fewer glaring needs than previous years on offense, and a mixture of FA and (hopefully) poorly utilized / coached roster players to work with going forward.
Here’s hoping we knock it out of the park developing what we can on the D this off season.
I know we have many needs in this draft but I have to wonder if trading up to get that elite DE or CB would be a possibility or good move? An elite pass rusher could instantly transform this defense…..
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