For this weekend’s Pewter Report Roundtable, the crew tackles another tough question. This week’s prompt: Which pick by the Bucs is your favorite from the 2022 NFL Draft?
Scott Reynolds: It’s Hard To Pick Just One From This Draft Class
Table of Contents
I’m really quite fond of a lot of the players that Tampa Bay general manager Jason Licht and head coach Todd Bowles selected in this year’s draft. Pewter Report had running back Rachaad White in our first and final Bucs mock drafts. We had defensive tackle Logan Hall in our last two mock drafts, and we had cornerback Zyon McCollum in our third mock draft. Hall and tight end Cade Otton were Pewter Report’s Bucs’ Best Bets. So I was really familiar with a lot of the team’s draft picks from the start.
Bucs RB Rachaad White – Photo by: USA Today
I love good defensive line play, and I love good running backs. So it’s almost a toss-up between Hall and White for me. I’ll give the edge to White because he’s from Kansas City. So he and I can talk about some good K.C. BBQ joints in the locker room this year. I’m also excited to see if he can do more than just help out on special teams as a rookie. Don’t be shocked if White beats out Ke’Shawn Vaughn for playing time behind Leonard Fournette on first and second downs. He’s got much better hands, too. If he can gain the trust of the coaching staff and Tom Brady, he could factor in on third downs and steal reps from Giovani Bernard, too.
I’ve written before that running back has been a blind spot for Licht in the draft. His first running back draft pick was Charles Sims in the third round in 2014. Then it was Jeremy McNichols in 2017, followed by Vaughn in 2020. Sims was just a guy, and Vaughn seems to be average at best. McNichols, a fifth-round pick, didn’t even make the team. I think White is already Licht’s best pick just based on his potential and skill set. We’ll see if that’s true in the coming years.
Matt Matera: White Adds New Dimension To Bucs’ Backfield
I like the pick of Rachaad White in the third round for the Bucs because he brings something a little different to Tampa Bay’s backfield. As general manager Jason Licht described, White is a “smooth” runner when going through each play. White brings patience and vision that should be welcomed in this offense, especially if they want to upgrade their production in the run game.
Bucs RB Rachaad White – Photo by: USA Today
Probably the biggest impact White will immediately have is his contributions in the passing game. He’s very comfortable catching the ball and moving it up the field. White is quicker than he might look with more of a deceptive speed. These are steep comparisons, but some have compared to the likes of Eric Dickerson and Marcus Allen. He’s a willing pass blocker as well, which is a necessity in the Bucs offense.
White has a great opportunity in front of him to compete for the second running back role. Leonard Fournette will start and Gio Bernard gets to handle third down. But White can see time on the field if he can beat out Ke’Shawn Vaughn. He knows how to make plays, having scored 16 total touchdowns last season with Arizona State. All but one were rushing touchdowns, but he’s efficient in both areas. You have Fournette for three more years. That doesn’t mean White can’t be utilized or eventually become the starting back later on.
J.C. Allen: Bucs Top Pick Is Mine As Well
It’s been no secret how high I’ve been on Logan Hall. I had the Bucs selecting him in my mock in our Bucs Battle Plan series at pick No. 44. That was still when most of the consensus big boards had him ranked as a late second- early third-round selection. Though due to an unforeseen trade, I had to switch my original trade partner and move back a few spots. As his buzz started to swell, I thought he was a sure bet to go in the end of the first round. So I was thrilled when the Bucs were able to trade back, pick up assets, and still select him.
Bucs DT Logan Hall – Photo courtesy of Houston
What I like so much about Hall is his versatility. He can play the 5-tech, he can play the 4i, he’ll settle in at the 3-tech, but want to stand him up a few plays a game? No problem. His ability to play all over the line and bring much needed depth and athleticism is what drew me to him as a perfect Bucs fit. Hall has a great initial burst off the line, utilizing an array of rush moves to get to the quarterback. That will fit well with with what the Bucs are trying to do in getting more speed off the defensive line.
At 6-foot-6 283 pounds, Hall ran 4.88 40-yard dash and posted a 1.68 10-yard split at the NFL Scouting Combine. Impressive numbers for his player his size. On top of that, Hall also posted the best shuttle score and tied for the best three-cone time among defensive linemen. Those athletic traits, along with his production and a glowing review from the coaching staff in Houston, is what ultimately led the Bucs to selecting Hall at No. 33 overall. With the uncertainty revolving around Ndamukong Suh’s future, Hall may be able to display why he’s my favorite pick sooner than later.
Josh Queipo: McCollum Has The Highest Ceiling
As with any draft, each player the Bucs selected has both a floor and a ceiling. I believe most of this year’s draft picks for the team are high floor guys. Logan Hall should be a good nickel rusher. Luke Goedeke should provide good run blocking and adequate pass protection. Rachaad White should be a solid third down pass catching option. Jake Camarda should provide league average punting. Even Ko Kieft should be a useful TE3.
Bucs CB Zyon McCollum – Photo courtesy of Sam Houston
But I love a great ceiling over a good floor. And Zyon McCollum has the highest ceiling of any pick in this this Bucs draft class. His measurables are elite. He has the physical tools to become one of the best in the game. And his tape was good in college, albeit at a lower level of competition. And that will be what it all comes down to for McCollum. If he can translate his game to a level that is several magnitudes greater than the competition he has faced to date, he will be the best pick of this draft.
McCollum’s game needs some refining. He still doesn’t use his hands at the line of scrimmage as well as he should, and he takes too many unnecessary risks to this point. However, the tools are all there for McCollum to help make the transition for this secondary that is coming as soon as next year a much more palatable experience.
Bailey Adams: Going With The “Glass Eater”
It really is difficult to pick just one favorite out of a draft class full of intriguing players with outstanding stories. So, when in doubt, I’ll side with the big man on the offensive line. How can you not instantly feel drawn to Luke Goedeke? His story is one of the best, as he went from zero-star high school recruit to walk-on tight end at Division III Wisconsin-Stevens Point before making his way to Central Michigan, where he transitioned to right tackle. Now, he’s a second-round draft pick who has a real shot at earning the starting right guard job on a team two seasons removed from winning the Super Bowl.
Bucs LG Luke Goedeke – Photo courtesy of CMU
It’s not just about his story, though. Goedeke is a bruiser on the field, and you can clearly tell he loves that part of the game. Mere minutes removed from getting the call from the Bucs – surely one of the biggest moments of his life – he was telling the Tampa media about how he’s “always looking to bury guys and just put fear into their eyes” on the field. That’s what you want out of your offensive linemen, and that mentality makes him an excellent fit in Tampa Bay. When you consider the fact that he might end up playing next to another brawler in Ryan Jensen, you have to feel downright giddy.
As for the value of where he was drafted, who am I to question Jason Licht and his evaluations of offensive linemen? His track record is phenomenal. In 2015, he selected Ali Marpet out of Hobart. Marpet flawlessly transitioned from Division III right tackle to guard in the NFL – and even stepped in seamlessly at center when needed. Licht did it again in 2017 when he drafted Humboldt State tackle Alex Cappa, who developed into a solid right guard in Tampa Bay before signing a four-year, $40 million contract with the Bengals in March. I love Goedeke’s playing style and his personality. And I really love his chances of blossoming into the next great success story on the Bucs’ offensive line.