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FAB 1. 10 Big Bucs Draft Questions (And Answers)

This is the last SR’s Fab 5 column before the 2020 NFL Draft, which begins on Thursday, April 23.

That happens to be my birthday, but don’t send flowers or cards (unless there is a birthday check inside) as I’m turning … 48. Ugh.

That’s getting too close to 50.

I’m definitely happy to be alive and healthy, but not happy to be … 48.

I’m getting closer in age to Mark Cook (until his next birthday), and slowly turning into a grumpy old man like him. I can feel it coming as I’m beginning to mumble phrases like “Get off my lawn!” under my breath. Soon phrases like that will become more audible – but I digress.

Not thrilled I have to work on my birthday, but the show must go on – so let’s talk about the 2020 NFL and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Some of you might be thinking, “What about next Friday? Will there be an SR’s Fab 5 on April 24?”

The answer is no.

I’m happy to report that PewterReport.com will be doing its annual Draft Videocast – presented by Edmonson Electric • AC • Security – on Thursday night (and Friday night and Saturday afternoon) and I won’t have time to do a full-fledged SR’s Fab 5.

However, I will be doing my annual Bucs Draft Insider column next Friday that will preview Day 2 and Day 3 of the draft, so be on the lookout for that. The next SR’s Fab 5 column will be published on May 1.

One more big announcement – the final PewterReport.com 2020 Bucs’ 7-Round Mock Draft will be published on Sunday, April 19. Don’t miss it!

So without further delay, let’s ask – and answer – 10 Big Bucs Draft Questions.

1. Which Offensive Tackle Do The Bucs Prefer?

The Bucs have high grades on all four of the top offensive tackles – Alabama’s Jedrick Wills, Iowa’s Tristan Wirfs, Georgia’s Andrew Thomas and Louisville’s Mekhi Becton – in this year’s draft class, and even think highly of Houston’s Josh Jones. Tampa Bay would be thrilled to see any of those four tackles make it to No. 14 in the first round, but if none done, the team could be prepared to select Jones.

Louisville OT Mekhi Becton

Louisville OT Mekhi Becton – Photo by: PewterReport.com

But which tackle do the Bucs like the most? From what I have gathered, Becton has the most intriguing upside of them all – and not just because the 6-foot-7, 364-pound behemoth ran a 5.1 at the NFL Scouting Combine. It’s because Becton is a massive people-mover in the running game in addition to being an athletic freak. He’s a better prospect than Baltimore’s giant right tackle Orlando Jones, and Tampa Bay wants to seriously upgrade its rushing attack this offseason.

In addition to being a mauler in the run game, Becton is a developing pass protector. He didn’t have many true pass sets in his three years at Louisville due to their RPO-based passing game, but his gargantuan arms and wingspan make Becton a difficult guy to simply get around even if his technique isn’t polished or perfect at this stage of his development. I believe Becton is the tackle that the Bucs covet the most.

2. Which Running Back Do The Bucs Prefer?

There are four – maybe five – running backs that carry premium draft grades, including Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor, Georgia’s D’Andre Swift, LSU’s Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Ohio State’s J.K. Dobbins. Florida State’s Cam Akers may be in that group as well, despite less than stellar production because he had to run behind an awful offensive line during his three years with the Seminoles.

Wisconsin RB Jonathan Taylor

Wisconsin RB Jonathan Taylor – Photo by: Getty Images

One of two of those backs – likely Taylor and Swift – could be drafted near the end of the first round. Dobbins and Edwards-Helaire will be second-round selections, while Akers will be drafted no later than the fourth round. I think Tampa Bay would be happy with any of those five running backs, but I think the Bucs like Taylor the most.

PewterReport.com had Taylor going to Tampa Bay in the first round in our third Bucs’ 7-Round Mock Draft, which came out after the 5-foot-10, 223-pound back blazed a 4.39 at the NFL Scouting Combine. If the Bucs do have Taylor ranked as the top running back, I wouldn’t be shocked if they draft him in the first round – perhaps with the 14th overall pick – although trading down a few spots and taking him later in the first round would make more sense.

Taylor averaged over 2,000 yards per season while at Wisconsin and is a developing receiver out of the backfield. Why he’s not considered to be an easy first-round pick the way Saquon Barkley, Leonard Fournette, Christian McCaffrey and Ezekiel Elliott were over the past few years is beyond me. If Tampa Bay doesn’t draft him at No. 14 and opts for an offensive tackle instead, I could see the Bucs try to trade back up into the first round to select Taylor.

3. What Is The Worst-Case Scenario For Tampa Bay At No. 14?

Here are 13 highly regarded draft prospects that could be drafted in the first 13 selections:

LSU QB Joe Burrow
Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa
Oregon QB Justin Herbert
Clemson LB Isaiah Simmons
Ohio State DE Chase Young
Ohio State CB Jeff Okudah
Iowa OT Tristan Wirfs
Alabama OT Jedrick Wills
Louisville OT Mekhi Becton
Georgia OT Andrew Thomas
Auburn DT Derek Brown
South Carolina DT Javon Kinlaw
Oklahoma WR CeeDee Lamb

If those 13 players are drafted prior to the Bucs being on the clock with the 14th overall pick, that means that San Francisco drafted a defensive tackle instead of a wide receiver, and the New York Jets drafted an offensive tackle instead of a wide receiver. So what would the Bucs do if all four of the top four offensive tackles were off the board?

Alabama WR Henry Ruggs III

Alabama WR Henry Ruggs III – Photo by: Getty Images

The Bucs could draft Houston tackle Josh Jones, Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor or one of the top receivers – Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy or Henry Ruggs III – left on the board. So this worst-case scenario really isn’t that bad.

And there is actually a decent chance that the 49ers take a wide receiver, which could make Kinlaw available, and if the Jets draft a wide receiver one of the top tackles likely falls to Tampa Bay at No. 14.

4. Who Would The Surprise Pick In The First Round Be?

I think the surprise pick in the first round would be Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor, although it wouldn’t surprise us at PewterReport.com. He’s the best pure running back in this draft, the most productive runner in college, and the fastest back in this class. In many ways, Taylor is a generational talent that the NFL Draft community seems to be sleeping on.

Wisconsin RB Jonathan Taylor

Wisconsin RB Jonathan Taylor – Photo by: Getty Images

Tampa Bay wants to upgrade its rushing attack in this draft and that means drafting a right tackle and a running back – but it doesn’t mean that it has to happen in that order. If the Bucs were to select Taylor in the first round they could come back and draft a right tackle in the second round. Players like St. John’s Ben Bartch, Louisiana-Layfayette’s Robert Hunt, Georgia’s Isaiah Wilson or UConn’s Matthew Peart could be Day 2 candidates at right tackle.

5. Who Would The Surprise Pick In The Second Round Be?

While many would be surprised if Tampa Bay drafted a guard in the second round instead of a running back, especially if the team came away with an offensive tackle in the first round, the bigger shock would be a quarterback. Finding an heir apparent to Tom Brady at the QB position is one of the team’s goals, and they may draft a quarterback on Day 3 to try to achieve that objective.

Utah State QB Jordan Love

Utah State QB Jordan Love – Photo by: Getty Images

But if Utah State’s Jordan Love, who has first-round talent, somehow slides down to the second round and is available at No. 45 he might be too tempting to pass up from a value standpoint. Love leapt on to the Bucs’ radar during his sophomore year where he had 32 touchdowns and just six interceptions while leading a talented Aggies team to a No. 22 ranking in 2018. Most of that talent left due to graduation or the NFL Draft, and last year saw Love trying to do too much, throwing an FBS-high 17 interceptions with just 20 touchdowns.

Love has a rocket arm, ideal size and mobility in and out of the pocket. He would be an ideal fit for Bruce Arians’ vertical passing offense, and give the Bucs a long-term succession plan at quarterback – even though he wouldn’t be able to help the team win right away.

6. If Licht Should Flood One Position It Should Be …

Offensive line. The Bucs need to upgrade the talent across the board along the O-line and improve the team’s depth, as versatile veteran interior lineman Earl Watford was not re-signed in free agency. Tampa Bay wants to get some competition for newly signed right tackle Joe Haeg, in addition to right guard Alex Cappa, who is entering his second season as a starter. The Bucs had formal interviews with several tackles at the NFL Scouting Combine, including Austin Jackson, Thomas, Jones, Bartch and Hunt, in addition to LSU guard Damien Lewis. The team had informal interviews with Clemson guard John Simpson and Mississippi State guard Darryl Williams.

LSU G Damien Lewis

LSU G Damien Lewis – Photo by: Getty Images

Left tackle Donovan Smith is entering a contract year in that his 2021 salary is not guaranteed, which means the team could part ways with him without any dead salary cap money after this season if it wants to. The same is true for center Ryan Jensen, and the Bucs had formal interviews with LSU center Lloyd Cushenberry III and Washington center Nick Harris at the Combine.

This year’s draft is deep along the offensive line, and drafting at least two – perhaps three – offensive linemen makes sense for Licht and Arians.

7. Who Is The Most Likely Bucs Veteran To Be Traded?

Tampa Bay really likes its 2020 roster, and I’m not anticipating Licht parting ways with anyone via a trade next week. But if there is one veteran that could be moved on draft day it could be tight end O.J. Howard, who had a disappointing season in Arians’ first year in Tampa Bay with several drops and just one touchdown.

Bucs TE O.J. Howard - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Bucs TE O.J. Howard – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Howard is entering a contract year, and the team has yet to pick up his fifth-year option, although it likely will soon. The Bucs aren’t opposed to keeping Howard, but he does have the most trade value out of anyone the team could part ways with – certainly more than fellow tight end Cameron Brate, who wouldn’t fetch more than a late-round pick.

The Bucs’ tight end position is deep with Howard, Brate, Anthony Auclair, Tanner Hudson, Codey McElroy and Jordan Leggett, so the team could part ways with Howard without missing him too much, especially if Arians opts for more three-receiver sets than two-tight end sets as he did a year ago. If the Bucs could land a second-round pick for Howard it could help them address a bigger area of need, and they could always circle back around and draft another tight end late on Day 3 to replenish the position from a numbers standpoint.

8. When Will The Bucs Make Their First Trade?

I don’t see Licht trading up into the first round for an offensive tackle. I’m sure he’s done his due diligence, and if it’s for a negligible bounty, such as a Day 3 pick, he might move up a couple spots – although he’s never traded up in Round 1 since becoming the team’s general manager in 2014.

Bucs GM Jason Licht

Bucs GM Jason Licht – Photo by: PewterReport.com

Instead, I could see Licht trade up in the second round, which is something he’s done before – in 2015 to select guard Ali Marpet and again in 2016 with the drafting of kicker Roberto Aguayo. Tampa Bay has the 45th overall pick, and I could see Licht move up from their to try to get one of the top running backs near the top of the second round, or I could see Licht trade the Bucs’ third-round pick and a Day 3 selection to move back up into Round 2 for another second-rounder.

9. The One Position Licht Won’t Draft (Besides Kicker And Punter) Is …

Tight end. Assuming Licht doesn’t trade Howard, the Bucs are well stocked at the tight end position with Brate, Auclair, Hudson, McElroy and Leggett. This year’s crop of tight ends isn’t that great to begin with, so I don’t think the Bucs will even be tempted to draft one on Day 3.

10. Are The Bucs Better Prepared Or Less Prepared For This Draft?

I think Licht is more prepared for the draft this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has closed the team’s AdventHealth Training Center headquarters. Like all of the team’s coaches and front office personnel, Licht has been working from home for the last month where he has had more time to watch game film from this year’s draft prospects than perhaps ever before.

Bucs director of college scouting Mike Biehl, GM Jason Licht and director of player personnel John Spytek - Photo by: PewterReport.com

Bucs director of college scouting Mike Biehl, GM Jason Licht and director of player personnel John Spytek – Photo by: PewterReport.com

Licht confided in me years ago, suggesting that he was interrupted more during the 2016 draft preparation than he ever was before, and that led to his worst draft class as the team’s general manager. The next year, Licht put his foot down, limited interruptions and his outside appearances on behalf of the organization during the offseason and the Bucs rebounded with a much better draft in 2017. The 2018 draft was good, followed by what appears to be a stellar draft class last year.

Game film makes up about 90 percent of player evaluation leading up to the draft and Licht has been pouring more time into this area than ever. The result could be another significant haul of talented players next week that could put the Bucs over the top in their quest for the playoffs and another NFC South division championship.

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About the Author: Scott Reynolds

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: sr@pewterreport.com
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BigSombrero
1 year ago

Glad to hear the inside scoop that my favorite RB and OT are in alignment with the Bucs. Becton has the size and nastiness you can’t teach. Jon Taylor is the best RB in the class, bar none.

Finding a way to draft both guys would make my day.

BadgerW4
Reply to  BigSombrero
1 year ago

Re: Taylor, you mean other than the fact he can’t catch and can’t pass protect, and our biggest need at RB is one who can do both, right?

Dave
Reply to  BadgerW4
1 year ago

Lol so true BadgerW4

BigSombrero
Reply to  BadgerW4
1 year ago

I find it funny when fans say Taylor can’t catch, then say how great Cam Akers will be catching the ball. Akers had 4 more catches last year than Taylor, but for less yards and less touchdowns. CEH is worlds slower, and plays that way. His longest run was 18 yards. CEH is worth a 3rd. Akers worth a 4th. Taylor is a true #1 RB. He won’t need excuses about offensive linemen like Cam Akers.

DonkeyHunter
1 year ago

It was pretty clear that Bruce and Todd had the say in last year’s draft. So, hopefully with that being the case, they don’t do something stupid like taking a RB or WR in the 1st.

Perhaps there’s a chance Tua slides to #14, and we can trade back (while still getting Jones) and acquire an additional 2nd or 3rd.

Would allow us to still address OL, DL, and then RB with premium picks.

Trade OJ for a possible 2nd or 3rd, and then we’d be looking at 5 picks in the Top – 100.

magoobee
Reply to  DonkeyHunter
1 year ago

Hard to trade back and get Jones because if Miami has pick 18. If they get Tua at 5, OL makes a lot of sense for them at 18.

magoobee
Reply to  DonkeyHunter
1 year ago

A more logical trade down would be with the Cowboys assuming they want to jump Denver for a WR. This way the Bucs would get 17 and 82 and give up 14 & 161. This way the Bucs get Jones plus an additional 3rd which could be a G/C (lots of good ones will be there in round 3). —This is assuming the Top 4 OL are gone at 14.

danielob
1 year ago

I think Jonathan taylor would be a major mistake in the first round, especially considering the depth at the position. Taylor is not a polished receiver, doesn’t move well laterally and ran behind a dominant offensive line at Wisconson, which is not the case with the Bucs. He also fumbled 18 times in his college career, he just doesn’t warrant a first round grade, maybe late in the first but certainly not 14. If Kinlaw or Ruggs is there we should ponce on the pick. We can pick up Prince Tega Wanogho from Auburn ( War Eagle!) in the second… Read more »

ScottC543
Reply to  danielob
1 year ago

I’m going to agree with your assesment of Taylor. His highlight video is full of him blowing through huge holes untouched. There won’t be nearly as many huge holes for him next year, and we need a proven good receiver out of the backfield, not someone with the potential to be that.

Give me Swift or CEH over Taylor any day.

Spitfire
Reply to  ScottC543
1 year ago

That’s the way Taylor’s tape looked to
Me too. He looked like a solid back but those holes the Oline made for him were gigantic! I was more impressed with Wisconsin’s Oline than him Haha.

Dave
Reply to  Spitfire
1 year ago

Exactly spitfire. Wisconsin only brought back 1 OLineman from last year. And they still dominated. They have the best line in fbs

Dave
Reply to  ScottC543
1 year ago

ScottC543. Oh 100%. Massive holes. He’d get 3 or 4 yards on every carry before he was even touched. He’s nowhere near a generational talent worthy of a top 14 pick. It’s insane that it’s even a consideration. A generational talent is a Zeke, or a CMC that can be on the field for all 3 downs, and be great at running, receiving, and blocking. Putting up a great forty time, or looking like a great receiver in shorts doesn’t count. He’s nowhere near as fast as his 40 time suggests. And he’s not a good receiver when defenders are… Read more »

Dave
Reply to  danielob
1 year ago

Danielob. I legit stopped reading at the point where he said he’s a generational talent and picking him at 14 isn’t a bad idea. I’m speechless. He is so far from a generational talent it’s not even funny. Has this guy even watched him play? Taking him at 14 would be a monumental mistake. I’d rather take Dobbins CEH or Akers in the 2nd or 3rd than reaching 25 picks for a back that can’t catch, can’t block, and can’t stop fumbling the ball, all while gifted the best line in fbs. Good god man. And also I hate that… Read more »

liquidmuse3
Reply to  Dave
1 year ago

The minute I saw Becton as a prospect you knew Jason was gonna slobber all over him. This is minor league Vita over Derwin territory, Becton over Thomas.

BadgerW4
Reply to  liquidmuse3
1 year ago

Um, Vita Vea was the better pick, so that’s not really convincing.

Dave
Reply to  BadgerW4
1 year ago

If we could do it over, id take Vea again. Vea is looking like a pro bowler in the making. After the rookie year, it was looking like we made a big mistake. Derwin looked pretty damn good, and Vea struggled to get on the field. But last year, I thought Vea was the much better player. Even though PFF doesn’t agree. I think James was bad last year in the 5 games he did play. He’s looked bad in man coverage, has had almost zero ball skills or play making ability. I think we absolutely got it right in… Read more »

SenileSenior
Reply to  Dave
1 year ago

I saw Vita Vea as a generational DT. I was not as convinced that Derwin James was also “generational” at his position. A couple more years and we should really know.

As a fan and not any kind of qualified scout all I can do is look at what I see and guess.

magoobee
Reply to  danielob
1 year ago

While agree with your Taylor comment, Ruggs makes no sense if Jeudy is there. Ruggs is fast, Jeudy is polished. People say Ruggs can be Tryke Hill but more likely he is Ted Ginn.

BigSombrero
1 year ago

Taking any QB in the first 3 rounds would be an irresponsible use of draft capital. They would be guaranteed to sit behind Brady for minimum 2 or 3 years. Pointless. Plus I don’t see the Bucs carrying 4 QB’s on the roster. Barrett, Godwin, Suh, Haeg and David essentially have a 1 year deal. Smith, Jensen, Gholston, Minter, and Howard could be cut without a cap hit after this season. RB, OT, DE/OLB, DT, IOL should be the clear priority in 2020. In 2021, the Bucs can draft Grif and Gabbert’s replacement to carry a clipboard for a year… Read more »

liquidmuse3
Reply to  BigSombrero
1 year ago

Don’t the Bucs not do cap hits? They guarantee the first couple years in lieu of a cap-hitting bonus I thought.

BigSombrero
Reply to  liquidmuse3
1 year ago

Exactly correct. The players listed are still on the guaranteed years. Donovan Smith is the best example. He has two years remaining on his deal. 2020 is guaranteed. 2021 is not.

Only Mike Evans has the bonus prorated from his restructures.

Dman
Reply to  BigSombrero
1 year ago

Completely agree. How about safety? I’d love to see us grab Ashtyn Davis from California or J R Reed from Georgia around RD4.

Dave
Reply to  Dman
1 year ago

Love Davis but we’d probably have to take him in the 3rd. He won’t be there at 4

danielob
1 year ago

I do like Scott’s trade down scenario with Miami, we would be able to get alot of later round diamonds in the rough’s, the later rounds have alot of depth, although I would take Pittman early in the third if he is there, I see alot of Godwin in his game. Van Jefferson from Florida is a later round option as well.

FLBoy84
Reply to  danielob
1 year ago

Have become more of a proponent of a trade down over the last month or so after realizing 14 starters have contracts expiring in the next year or two, and depth behind those spots is scary/non-existent. Only concern is Licht’s ability to hit on later round guys. To be fair, he has improved over the last 2 years, just not confident yet in his ability to keep it going. Excited the draft is next week regardless.

SenileSenior
Reply to  FLBoy84
1 year ago

Jason Licht picks are a collaboration between him and his head coach. I think Bruce Arians’ coaching brain trust is a much better meld with Licht’s scouting brain trust than any that preceded BA’s arrival.

Bradenton BucFan
1 year ago

Adams @-- safety would be nice for right price. We should still draft a free safety with range & instincts like Davis. Trading back in 1st rd could work out well for us. I think we will come away with 2 to 4 future pro bowlers. This draft is deep on offense. Jason has found solid players on day 2 & 3. Also undrafted FA’s. Jason is surrounded with some of the best football minds in front office & coaches(including Brady) . The Glazers have made it almost impossible for him to reach too far due to team need. Win… Read more »

twspin
1 year ago

LMAO here Scott. Not at you. But the fact..You are a youngster at 48 compared to me…I hate to tell you this Butt..wait till you hit 55..Time flies then! Enjoy them 40’s. Great article here and there is quite a bit to digest. Just hope we get it right.

Spitfire
1 year ago

I think I’d rather have Hurts than Love.
Especially if you can get Hurts in the 3rd. It sounds like Love was hoping New England would draft him to replace Brady Haha. No more Interception or Fumble probe players please. Any QB that turns it over won’t have as much upside as Winston had, so if he couldn’t make it work then someone like Love probably won’t. We need players that can keep the ball safe.

DT25
1 year ago

Drafting Taylor in the 1st round would be embarrassing. 18 fumbles, 16 lost. 5 drops on 30 targets. An absurd number of carries during his college career. He’s a great pure runner. That’s not all we need. And most certainly not with our 1st round pick. That would be a disastrous move with the other needs this team has.

BigSombrero
Reply to  DT25
1 year ago

Your stats aren’t accurate. His fumble rate is 1.54%. With 25 touches per game, that’s a fumble about every 4 games if it stays the same. The drop rate is silly. The QB was not accurate. His career completion rate is 59%.

Dave
Reply to  BigSombrero
1 year ago

Nope his stats are correct

Dave
Reply to  Dave
1 year ago

18 fumbles in 41 games. And 8 drops on 50 CATCHABLE balls

BigSombrero
Reply to  Dave
1 year ago

15 LOST fumbles on 986 touches.

If we put those numbers on RoJo, Barber, Dare, Logan, Godwin, Evans, Brate, or OJ then TAYLOR would be head and shoulders better at ball security.

Dave
Reply to  BigSombrero
1 year ago

Half the players you just listed are complete scrubs or backups. What’s your point. That Taylor is better than Barber, Dare, or Logan? Lol tough feat

BigSombrero
Reply to  Dave
1 year ago

Also better ball security than Chris Godwin. Lol. Godwin fumbles 2.22% of his touches. 4 lost on 180 touches.

Face it. You’re a homer for Akers who is a 4th round running back and likely to be nothing in the NFL.

Dave
Reply to  BigSombrero
1 year ago

You sound so ridiculous. If Taylor ended up being 1/2 the player Chris Godwin is he should thank his lucky stars. And the point of Akers isn’t that he’s guaranteed to be better. He’ll be close enough to justify waiting 2 rounds to get him instead of reaching 25 picks for a 2 down back. Taylor is completely overrated, and most people agree

Dave
Reply to  DT25
1 year ago

Like x 100. You said it perfectly dude. I legit laughed out loud when I read “Taylor is a generational talent” lmao thank god Scott isn’t our GM because we’d be doomed

Naplesfan
1 year ago

And yet, NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah reports that Licht has been calling around the other teams ahead of the Bucs inquiring on the cost of moving up. Could be silly season stuff, but maybe not. Jeremiah says the most likely trade partner is Jacksonville at no. 9. That would ensure that the Bucs will have at least one and as many as three of the top four OTs in the draft, given that Chase Young and three quarterbacks are likely to make up the top four picks in the draft.

We’ll see in six days.

DT25
1 year ago

I really hope Reynolds reads this

“Ware’s spider graph screams “Pro Bowler” while Williams’ spider graph screams “average running back.”

So I looked at Jonathan Taylor’s spider graph…literally 2nd player comparison: Carnell Williams.

Dave
Reply to  DT25
1 year ago

It wound be the perfect comp. except at least Cadillac got on the field. Between not being able to catch, not being able to block, and not being able to protect the ball, I have no idea how Taylor will ever see the field. His best case scenario in the first 2 years in the league would be a 2 down back that gets 1st and 2nd down with no goal line work. Yeah that’s worth the 14th pick lol

BadgerW4
1 year ago

“Taylor is a developing receiver out of the backfield”

You mean developing drops? 8 in 50 catchable balls? Or developing sacks for Brady? 5 pressures in 60 pass blocking downs? Or developing fumbles? 17 in 3 years according to PFF. All I hear from other places is how Licht really prizes a pass catching back, and Taylor is the worst name there is in the draft at doing that. With CEH and Antonio Gibson both available much later, trading up to take Taylor would be moronic.

Dave
Reply to  BadgerW4
1 year ago

He’s the most overrated RB to come out of college in a long time. He’s got career 2 down back written all over him. He won’t get holes in the NFL like he did at Wisconsin lol that I can tell ya. And the second he fumbles, drops a pass, or missed a block(which will be every other play at his college rate), right to the bench he’ll go. I really hope Licht isn’t that stupid to take him at 14. Give me Dobbins or CEH in the 2nd or Akers in the 3rd any day of the week

Spitfire
Reply to  BadgerW4
1 year ago

I don’t thinks it’s even in the realm of possibilities of trading up for Taylor unless it’s like they said maybe back into the bottom of the first or a few spots up in the 2nd. After watching Taylor’s tape I am not impressed at all. The holes he had to run through were enormous and despite his 40 he looks slow off the jump which is terrible for a RB. I would rather see us get CEH in the 2nd or Ackers in the 3rd or trading back up into the bottom of the 2nd if there’s a run… Read more »

Dave
Reply to  Spitfire
1 year ago

Oh absolutely! He doesn’t play anywhere near as fast as his 40 time suggests.

BigSombrero
Reply to  Dave
1 year ago

As he’s running away from defenders with 955 yards after contact last year alone.

Dave
Reply to  BigSombrero
1 year ago

Again your arguments are ridiculous, and you sound ridiculous. What does that have to do with Anything that was just said. Oh yay, he can outrun 2nd level college LB’s and DB’s. Good for him. Doesn’t change that he doesn’t play anywhere near as fast as his 40 time suggests

thegeebo
1 year ago

Your “trade down” mock draft is terrible. The analytics do not support a first round RB, especially in this deep RB class, when we need a starting RT. Plus, Taylor has fumbling issues. Draft the best RT available of the top FIVE (Josh Jones being 5) at 14. Draft best available RB with the 2nd pick. After that, go BPA, hoping to pick up a top 12 WR in the class, a safety, a DL, and another OL.

Dave
Reply to  thegeebo
1 year ago

Exactly. Taylor at 14 would be the worst pick we ever made. Even trading down and taking him at 26 would be a bad move. He’s projected as a mid-late 2nd rounder. Such a horrible move that would be

scubog
Reply to  Dave
1 year ago

Dave: I don’t know how long you’ve been following this team, but I can assure you that Jonathan Taylor couldn’t possibly be the “worst pick we ever made”. One need only to go look at the Bucs Draft history to realize we’ve had some real doozies. Of course there are also years when the Bucs traded their top pick for guys like Jack Thompson, Chris Chandler and who can forget trading the next years # 1 to draft Booker Reese, if those can be counted. It’s hard to top the Bo Jackson debacle which has to be one of the… Read more »

Dave
Reply to  scubog
1 year ago

Scubog, I was being over dramatic lol. As much as I would absolutely hate that pick, I’m aware that it wouldn’t be the worst pick we ever made. If I’m being dead serious, the worst pick I’ve seen in a long time was the trade up to get Aguayo in round 2. My mouth hit the floor when that pick was made

BigSombrero
Reply to  Dave
1 year ago

You? Overly dramatic? Lol.

jb
jb
1 year ago

like the idea of trading down to late 1st/early 2nd. I would draft Winfield at 26, and Bartch and a RB Swift, Edwards-Helaire, or Akers with the 2 seconds, depending on who was there, and then another lineman/G with the next pick.

Hockey Duckie
1 year ago

It’s because Becton is a massive people-mover in the running game in addition to being an athletic freak. He’s a better prospect than Baltimore’s giant right tackle Orlando Jones, and Tampa Bay wants to seriously upgrade its rushing attack this offseason. To improve the Bucs’ rushing attack, we need to improve at RT? That is Pewter Report’s stance. Football Outsider, Run occurrence Left end = 6% Left tackle = 9% Mid/Guard = 70% Right tackle = 12% Right end = 4% Unless Becton plays OG, the Bucs won’t “seriously upgrade its rushing attack this offseason” by upgrading the RT position.… Read more »

Dave
Reply to  Hockey Duckie
1 year ago

Becton and Wirfs are the high ceiling low floor guys. And Wills and Thomas are the high floor lower ceiling guys. Give me Wills or Thomas any day over Becton and Wirfs

liquidmuse3
Reply to  Hockey Duckie
1 year ago

They purposefully avoided Dotson’s side. But you’re right, give me Andrew Thomas. Heck, move him to LT next year with Smith on the right.

Dave
Reply to  liquidmuse3
1 year ago

Absolutely! He’s a technician. He can play R or L

BigSombrero
Reply to  liquidmuse3
1 year ago

Thomas is very similar to Smith, only not quite as good in my opinion. If the Bucs take him, he’s a good player that can help keep the Bucs competitive.

Dave
Reply to  BigSombrero
1 year ago

Donovan Smith? Not even close. They couldn’t be further apart if they tried. Smith is wildly inconsistent. Thomas is consistent as they come. You know what you’ll be getting from Thomas day 1. Half the time you never know which Smith is gonna show up. Plus Thomas is a fundamentally sound technician. Smith relies on talent over technique. Thomas never beats himself or commits penalties, Smith gets sloppy, replies on talent over technique which in turn results in a lot of penalties. I do agree that Thomas will really help us immediately though

BigSombrero
Reply to  Dave
1 year ago

Interesting assessment. Why is Thomas considered the 4th or 5th best tackle then? He’s actually behind Wirfs, who is flat awful at pass pro!

Im a huge fan of Donovan Smith. Smith’s game is VERY similar to Thomas and that’s WHY I like Thomas. Not overwhelming, but a solid player who can pass block the best DE’s in the game. And penalties??????? Smith had 2 false starts and 2 holding penalties last year. Thats it sir.

Dave
Reply to  BigSombrero
1 year ago

Out of approximately 230 mock drafts and player rankings, ZERO of them have had him as the 5th best tackle. And he’s considered the 4th best tackle by some because there’s 3 other good ones that are considered top 12 locks. And I’ve seen plenty of mock drafts that have Thomas going 2nd or 3rd among the big 4. How come so many mock drafts, experts, and analysts have had Swift, CEH, Dobbins, and Akers ahead of Taylor?

Dave
Reply to  BigSombrero
1 year ago

Incorrect. He had 9 penalties last year. 2015,16, and 17 he was top 10 in most penalties by an OL. Only once in his career has he been held to under 9 penalties in a season

Dave
1 year ago

Yeah you lost me at Taylor being a generational talent, and that picking him at 14 isn’t a bad idea. Nobody else in the football world thinks he’s a generational talent. 4 out of every 5 mock drafts have him outside the 1st round. Yet you think it’s ok to take him at 14. Good thing Licht is our GM not you. If we took Taylor at 14, I would not be a happy fan

BigSombrero
Reply to  Dave
1 year ago

Many observers think he’s generational. Most yards after contact in college football last year. Last year alone he had 955 yards after contact. His feet are so sweet, it makes it look like he’s floating. He makes this line look much better because he has the vision to run to daylight.

Also, he’s durable. NO INJURIES with all those carries. CEH and Akers both missed time with injuries every year.

Dave
Reply to  BigSombrero
1 year ago

Incorrect. Links of these “many” people that said that. Because I legit haven’t read that anywhere at all until now

BigSombrero
Reply to  Dave
1 year ago

On this site alone, Scott Reynolds and Mark Cook have Taylor #1.

I could research others that think the same thing, but no matter what, you’ll think you’re smarter than everyone.

Dave
Reply to  BigSombrero
1 year ago

Nope, just calling bs. Don’t say “everyone is saying it” when nobody has said it. And I didn’t ask who had him #1. I said who else called him a generational talent. There’s a world of difference between a great player, #1 player, pro bowl player, etc, versus a generational talent. You can’t find it because there isn’t any. Maybe 1 other person has said that if you’re lucky. He’s projected at going 38th overall. That’s not a generational talent. That’s a solid RB who has the potential to be well above average

BigSombrero
Reply to  Dave
1 year ago

Don’t put words in my mouth jackass. I said MANY OBSERVERS. On this site alone, the two biggest voices say Taylor is generational. FOOL.

Dave
Reply to  BigSombrero
1 year ago

And do you need me to copy and paste your words smart a$$? Because I will. “Many observers think he’s generational” I said send me some links of people saying that. And naturally, because you’re completely full of sh*t, there aren’t any links. Play yourself, don’t play me

Dave
Reply to  BigSombrero
1 year ago

Akers missed 3 games in 3 years. Lol anything else?

BigSombrero
Reply to  Dave
1 year ago

Lol. Taylor missed 0 in 3 years and carried it 400 more times. Some people are soooooo dumb.

Dave
Reply to  BigSombrero
1 year ago

Yeah you, you’re a clown. And your analysis and made up bs is a joke

Dave
Reply to  BigSombrero
1 year ago

Oh no! 3 missed games versus 0. Well take em off your draft boards folks. Lol Akers is a huge injury risk with those 3 missed games in 3 years

Buccorona
1 year ago

Happy Birthday Scott, and many more. Thanks for giving us the birthday gift of your insights and analysis. Good work. I wish that I was 48, you lucky boy. Enjoy every year.

rrsrq
1 year ago

Sounds crazy, but I would give up a 2nd this year, a 1st next year and O.J. to see if the Jets take a bite for Jamal Adams. If Kinlaw is there at 14, I take him. It would be like Sapp said, just give the defense 17 points and Brady w/weapons, this team should be good. Sign Jason Peters (T) and Chris Thompson (RB), rest of draft is depth 3rd round tackle, 4th round WR/TE and RB

magoobee
Reply to  rrsrq
1 year ago

You do realize there is a salary cap in the NFL.

Spitfire
Reply to  rrsrq
1 year ago

You’d give up all that for a Safety that’s gonna cost you $15mil? No chance no way

Devasher
1 year ago

“Licht confided in me years ago, suggesting that he was interrupted more during the 2016 draft preparation than he ever was before, and that led to his worst draft class as the team’s general manager.” So…the reason Jason Licht oversaw arguably the worst draft in franchise history, and coincidentally the first one without Jon Robinson in the room, was because he was interrupted too much during the pre-draft process? That’s why he started with a top 10 pick in every round and failed to find even one league average starter? What do the Glazers pay the scouts for if it… Read more »

captain ahab
1 year ago

Yes we need another running back or two, specifically one that is a weapon in the passing game. I don’t agree that Ronald Jones need competition to PUSH him, I think Jones will do just fine if the Bucs upgrade the O’line. Jim Brown would struggle to achieve success behind last seasons line. Short yardage situations and stuffed, backs consistently hit behind the line of scrimmage.

Dave
Reply to  captain ahab
1 year ago

Captain ahab. Totally agree. We don’t need anything more than a pass catching back(which we can get in FA) and a tandem back to help spell RJ. RJ was not the problem on this team last year. Only giving RJ 170 carries and wasting 150 on Peyton Barber was the problem. As well as the mediocre run blocking. I especially found the comment in this article funny when Scott said RJ isn’t a 1000 yard RB, not yet. Well with only 170 carries I would sure hope not. Unless he’s seriously expecting him to average 5.8 ypc. If they didn’t… Read more »

magoobee
Reply to  captain ahab
1 year ago

ROJO was a poor 2nd round pick. He is just a straight line runner. Any of the 5 RBs will take his place as the #1 back in 2021.

Naplesfan
1 year ago

Over at si.com this morning, Kevin Hanson (former Tampa sportscaster), rated at the most accurate mock drafter over the last five years by Hudle Report, mocks the following for the Bucs. I’d say it looks pretty good:

1 – Andrew Thomas, OT
2 – JK Dobbins, RB
3 – Jacob Eason, QB
4 (#117) – Brandon Jones, S
4 (#139) – John Hightower, WR
5 – Benito JOnes, IDL
6 – Cameron Clark, OT

magoobee
Reply to  Naplesfan
1 year ago

Like 1,4(1st),5,6…Dobbins is ok but not great. Eason would be a total waste pick. There are many better WRs that will be around at that pick and even at the 5th rd pick.

Naplesfan
Reply to  magoobee
1 year ago

The NFL world for the most part disagrees with you on Eason. NFL dot com draft tracker assigns Eason a draft grade of 6.25, which in their ranking system means “Will be starter within first two seasons”. That is a score that is perfectly suited to a second or third round draft pick. As for other opinions of Eason in the major media draft rankers, they range from a likely second round pick to fourth round pick. Draft Kings has him at #47 (mid second round), Scott Hanson at #69 (early third round – ahead of the Bucs pick), so… Read more »

jb
jb
1 year ago

Indy might be a good trading partner as well with picks 34 and 44

magoobee
Reply to  jb
1 year ago

Would be bizarre for Indy that traded out of pick 13 just to trade back to 14. But if they did, they would actually have to sweeten the deal a bit more to make the pick trade value equal. Like including their 3rd and we would then give them our 2 4ths.

magoobee
1 year ago

1. The worse case draft you mentioned is not preferred but not bad. Because Godwin is also in a contract year, Jeudy would contribute immediately and replace Godwin next year. Because he will probably command and get $20m per year contract and get it. Jeudy is a perfect WR for Brady because he is the best route runner I have seen in many years. 2. I would hate to see the Bucs move up to get a RB because it appears Cam Akers will fall to them in round 3. 3. Moving up in round 1 would cost the Bucs… Read more »

liquidmuse3
1 year ago

Love couldn’t fit the ball in tight windows? Got destroyed vs LSU? Turnover-prone? WTF, Scott.

liquidmuse3
1 year ago

The Ware kid looked like he was running in slow motion with two peg legs. This whole column was not some of Scott’s best work.

Dave
Reply to  liquidmuse3
1 year ago

I just went back and read the entire thing, and wow dude seriously! His worst article by a long shot. I don’t agree with anything he’s saying. None of it. Good to know I’m not alone there. The second he said Taylor is a generational talent and taking him at 14 wouldn’t be a bad move, the article was a fail for me. And that’s without the rest of it.

Spitfire
1 year ago

Becton had a drug test flagged at the Combine along with another few players. He’s never failed one before and if he’s good for 60 days it will be like he never had to sea with the drug program. So he should be good to go but maybe this will make him slip a little bit down to us!

76Buc
1 year ago

Scott, don’t worry about 50. It’s the new 30. It’s when men begin to gain wisdom and insight. Physically, some areas improve as well. I don’t remember my 50th year very well, but I ran my first ultra marathon at 50 (50 at 50I called it). I earned my first black belt at 50 and beat up a 29 year old hot shot at 50 (don’t worry-I was gentle). I don’t yell about my lawn (we don’t have one at the retirement home I live at), but I do yell at the White House press corp during briefings.

Benjamin
1 year ago

Do you not remember how may runs Jones had called back because of someone messing up as he broke off a decent to very good run? it happened many many times. He would have had at least 4 100 yard games last season had people just done their job and not messed up.

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