The Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2017 draft is in the books. Now it’s time to analyze it. The PewterReport.com staff offers up its draft insight over the next three pages.
THE BUCS’ PICK I LIKED THE BEST SCOTT REYNOLDS: “Contrary to what fans think, good general managers aren’t measured by the amount of gems they find in the later rounds. General managers are measured by their success in hitting on first-round picks. So far, Tampa Bay G.M. Jason Licht is hitting 100 percent when it comes to his first-rounders. In 2014 he selected Pro Bowl wide receiver Mike Evans with his first-ever draft pick as a G.M., and followed that up with picking a franchise quarterback in Jameis Winston with the first overall pick in 2015. Licht drafted cornerback Vernon Hargreaves last year at No. 11 and this year was jumping for joy when tight end O.J. Howard, a top 10 talent, fell into his lap at No. 19. So Licht’s draft has already been a success because Howard is one of those can’t-miss prospects. He’s a perfect fit in Dirk Koetter’s offense because he can catch and block, and this clearly Tampa Bay’s best selection of the draft.”
Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter, TE O.J. Howard, G.M. Jason Licht – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
MARK COOK: “I obviously have a tremendous amount of respect for what Jason Licht has been able to do as the Bucs general manager since taking over for Mark Dominik in 2014. Mike Evans, Jameis Winston and Vernon Hargreaves were all terrific picks, and ones where there were legitimate options, whether it was Johnny Manziel instead of Evans, or Marcus Mariota instead of Winston. Bottom line is, Licht and his staff got them right, and early indications are Hargreaves is on the same path. But as good as Licht has been, even Hugh Culverhouse and Phil Kruger wouldn’t have screwed up the O.J. Howard pick. To have a nearly consensus Top 10 talent drop from the heavens at No. 19, you can’t go wrong. Howard allows Dirk Koetter’s playbook to expand, and having him on the same field with Cam Brate, DeSean Jackson and Mike Evans will create some sleepless nights for opposing defensive coordinators.”
TREVOR SIKKEMA: “Overall I thought the the Buccaneers draft was good. It’s hard to not say the O.J. Howard pick isn’t the best. Howard was most likely a consensus Top 10 player on most teams’ Big Boards, so for him to fall as far as 19 was quite the shock. However, for one of the late picks, I’ve come to really like the signing of running back Jeremy McNichols as well. The team needed running back help somewhere. We thought it was going to come in the form of a Top 50 player with so many good ones available, but when the team passed on the opportunity to draft or trade up for the likes of Dalvin Cook and Joe Mixon, plus their decision to stay put and watch backs like Kareem Hunt and Samaje Perine go in the later rounds, that told us they were more sold on Doug Martin than we thought. McNichols, as a runner and pass catcher, offers more than both Peyton Barber and Charles Sims. For that, he’s a sneaky good pick, to me.”
CLICK PAGE 2 FOR THE BUCS’ PICK THE PEWTER REPORTERS WOULD SWAP OUT
Scott Reynolds is in his 25th 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 spent six years 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@example.com
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