The NFL Draft continues on Friday beginning at 7 p.m. and after selecting Vernon Hargreaves with the No. 11 overall pick on Thursday night, the Buccaneers are scheduled to make two selections on Friday, night, one in the second and one in the third round. Below are some potential Bucs targets for Friday.
LINEBACKERS Myles Jack – UCLA – Junior – 6-1, 245 – 4.56 The drawback regarding Jack is a torn meniscus suffered last September, one that kept him out the rest of the year, and could need micro fracture surgery. Before the injury, he was an All-American candidate and a consensus top linebacker in all of college football. Jack also put his elite athleticism on display at UCLA, taking 28 carries for 113 yards as a running back his sophomore year. Jack, who recorded 163 tackles combined over his freshman and sophomore year, will almost certainly hear his name called in the Top 10. Jacks fell out of the first round on Friday but isn’t expected to wait long on Friday night.
Deion Jones – LSU – Senior – 6-1, 222 – 4.59 Jones was almost entirely off NFL teams’ radars before the 2015 season, after just one start in his first three years. But after leading the Tigers with 100 tackles, 13.5 for loss, and five sacks, LSU’s reigning defensive MVP figures to be a second-round pick. Due to his smaller stature, some teams see him as a linebacker/safety tweener, but his aggressive play and impressive one hit wonder will keep the Butkus Award finalist as a Day 2 selection.
Joshua Perry – Ohio State – Senior – 6-4, 254 – 4.68 Perry collected 105 tackles as a senior weak-side linebacker, en route to first-team All-Big 10 honors. He had an even better season in 2014, though, leading the National Championship team with 124 tackles and gaining a reputation as a one-speed linebacker – fast. Because Perry lacks elite size and plays himself out of position at times, he’ll likely be selected in the second or third round.
DEFENSIVE ENDS Emmanuel Ogbah – Oklahoma State – Redshirt Junior – 6-4, 273 – 4.63 Ogbah played some great football this past season, racking up 13 sacks and 17.5 tackles for loss. He won Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and played both end positions throughout the season. Ogbah is also a very big and powerful pass rusher who can truck through contact much easier than some other prospects. He was very proficient against the run, but he’ll need to add some counters to his arsenal of pass rushing moves. Ogbah could slip down to the second round and be a big grab for the Buccaneers.
Kevin Dodd – Clemson – Clemson – Redshirt Junior – 6-5, 277 – 4.86 Although Dodd was not hyped up to the extent that Shaq Lawson was in 2015, he definitely had the nation’s attention at the end of the year. Dodd totaled 12 sacks and 23.5 tackles for loss, including a three sack performance in the national championship game. Dodd doesn’t take plays off and has the size to make the transition to the NFL. He has great instincts on the field and really improved as the year went on. Dodd’s continuing improvement shows his ability to learn and that could be very enticing for the Bucs and Jay Hayes. Look for Dodd to be off the board by the end of the first round or early second round.
Noah Spence – Eastern Kentucky – Redshirt Junior – 6-2, 251 – 4.8 Spence has a great motor and his endurance is unparalleled, playing with great speed and effort through four quarters. After failing two drug tests at Ohio State and being banned from the Big Ten, Spence transferred to Eastern Kentucky to prove that he had matured off the field. Spence made 22.5 tackles for loss and produced 13.5 sacks in his final year. Spence’s off the field issues may concern some teams, but he appears to have matured and learned from his past. After standing out at the Senior Bowl and at EKU, look for Spence to be a first round pick with slight potential to fall to second round.Boise State DE Kamalei Correa
Carl Nassib – Penn State – Senior – 6-7, 277 – 4.84
Nassib worked his tail off at Penn State, rising from walk-on, to special teamer, to leading the NCAA in sacks during his senior season. Going along with his 15.5 sacks, Nassib forced six fumbles in 2015, despite playing just four snaps combined against Michigan and Michigan State due to an undisclosed injury. The Nittany Lion also tacked on 19.5 tackles for loss while winning the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year Award. Nassib may lack the experience that other pass rushers have in this draft, but his navigation, motor, hands, and natural instinct could warrant success at the next level. Watch for Nassib to be taken around the third or fourth round. Matt Judon – Grand Valley State – Senior – 6-3, 275 – 4.73 Judon was a force to be reckoned with in 2015, racking up 20 sacks, 23.5 tackles for loss, and three forced fumbles. The Division 2 standout tied for fourth at the NFL Combine with 30 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press. Judon returned for his junior season after suffering an ACL tear in 2013. He possesses a lot of strength and displayed that multiple times during his time at GVSU, tearing through opposing tackles. Judon has multiple moves he can use to rush the passer and although he’s a raw prospect right now, he possesses ability to turn into a very efficient NFL pass rusher.
DEFENSIVE TACKLES Andrew Billings – Baylor – Junior – 6-1, 311 – 5.05 Billings played nose tackle at Baylor and his power and physicality is considered second-to-none. Needs to improve his technique at the point of attack to take his game to another level. The Bucs do have a level of interest as he was brought in for a meeting and workout with Tampa Bay earlier this month.
Javon Hargrave – South Carolina St. – Senior – 6-1, 309 – 4.93
Hargrave exhibits the quickness and athleticism of a pass-rushing tackle and excelled at it with South Carolina State. He may still be able to hold his own against bigger, more skilled linemen, but there’s a question if he can consistently hold his ground against the run.
Austin Johnson – Penn State – RS Junior – 6-4, 314 – 5.32
Another big, physical DT, Johnson did nothing but improve while in Happy Valley. He recorded 15 tackles behind the line last season and 6.5 sacks while bull-rushing his way through offensive lines. Johnson may lack the speed to rack up sacks in the NFL but has the size and power to consistently disrupt running attacks.
Sheldon Day – Notre Dame – Senior – 6-1, 293 – 5.07
High-motor tackle with an explosive burst who can attack backfields and plays through the whistle. The biggest concern with Day, though, is his ability to avoid injuries.
Hassan Ridgeway – Texas – RS Junior – 6-3, 303 – 5.02
Ridgeway added over 50 pounds to his frame during his time in Austin, moving from the edge to the interior. He didn’t lose too much of his speed and quickness and plays well with his weight, Ridgeway’s still learning how to navigate traffic inside.
SAFETIES Vonn Bell – Ohio State – Junior – 5-11, 199 – 4.53 A pulled hamstring kept Bell out of the Combine, but an impressive two seasons at Ohio State will presumably keep him in the top two rounds. A good-sized safety with the fluidity and coverage instincts of a corner, Bell seems to be a good fit in Mike Smith’s defense.
Miles Killebrew – Southern Utah – Senior – 6-2, 217 – 4.58 A small-school standout, who impressed at the Senior Bowl, Killebrew racked up an impressive 243 tackles over two seasons, including 132 as a senior. He also had 14 pass deflections in 2015. One scout reportedly told Daniel Jeremiah that Killebrew is better out of college than Shaq Thompson, the 2015 first-round pick of the Panthers. While he’s well built, he’s been said to struggle with control and has tunnel vision at times while defending the pass. Killebrew will probably be a third- or fourth-round pick.
OFFENSIVE LINE Jason Spriggs – Indiana – Senior – 6-6, 301 – 4.94 Spriggs had an impressive career as a starter for the Hoosiers, only allowing two sacks in 431 pass attempts last season. Spriggs will need to work on aspects of his game after coming from a uptempo style offense at Indiana where he relied on quickness and angles as opposed to mauling opponents. However in Mobile at the Senior Bowl, Spriggs impressed NFL front offices with his nastiness at times and did a great job of playing a second past the whistle.
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
PewterReport.com prides itself on being the most complete, comprehensive news source covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and delivering inside scoop on the team found nowhere else.