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FAB 1. 7 First-Round Prospects The Bucs Would Love

It’s Valentine’s Day, and love is in the air at One Buccaneer Place where Tampa Bay’s front office, scouts and coaches are doing the prep work for the 337 draft prospects invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, which starts in less than 10 days.

Right now the Bucs’ brass is falling in love with dozens of players – six or seven of whom will be in Tampa Bay in late April. In the spirit of Valentine’s Day – February 14 – I’ve got 14 draft prospects that the Bucs would love to have the chance to select at No. 14. I’ll profile the first seven as potential first-rounders in Fab 1, followed by the second seven as potential second-rounders in Fab 2.

I’ve tried to make this list as plausible as possible, removing the likes of Alabama offensive tackle Jedrick Wills, Clemson defender Isaiah Simmons, Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown, Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert and other players that are expected to be drafted in the first dozen selections on April 23, the first day of the 2020 NFL Draft.

Tampa Bay currently has the 14th overall pick, so let’s take a look at the best seven options that could be available to the Bucs in the first round.

Louisville OT Mekhi Becton – Junior

The Bucs have a need at right tackle to replace 34-year old Demar Dotson, and Becton, a 6-foot-7, 369-pound behemoth that has been called a more athletic version of Orlando Brown, Jr., who plays right tackle for Baltimore. Becton played left tackle at Louisville, but is better suited on the right side. He’s a people-mover in the running game, and his massive wingspan makes him effective as a pass protector. Tampa Bay thinks very highly of this rare talent, and if Becton is there at No. 14, he’s likely wearing red and pewter in 2020 and beyond.

South Carolina DT Javon Kinlaw – Senior

Kinlaw appeared in PewterReport.com’s initial 2020 Bucs’ 7-Round Mock Draft back in January, and opinions are mixed when it comes to where the first-round defensive tackle will go. Is he a Top 10-caliber talent, or is he more likely a Top 20 prospect? At 6-foot-5, 315 pounds, Kinlaw is a rare, athletic freak with long arms that can affect both the running and the passing game of his opponents. Still raw in some areas, Kinlaw can rush the passer with an effective bull rush, and would be a great eventual replacement for either Ndamukong Suh at the three-technique defensive tackle spot or Will Gholston at defensive end in Tampa Bay’s 3-4 scheme.

Iowa OT Tristan Wirfs – Junior

At 6-foot-5, 322 pounds, Wirfs is a big man that packs a punch in the running game. While some NFL Draft analysts and scouts think he is better suited to play guard because his struggles tend to occur with deep pass sets, Wirfs has enough length and determination to fend off most outside edge attacks. Wirfs also has the footwork and quickness to get downfield on pulling plays and screens and doesn’t miss his target that often. With plenty of right tackle experience, Wirfs could be a starter in Tampa Bay in his first game as a rookie if the Bucs take him off the board at No. 14.

Georgia OT Andrew Thomas – Junior

Once thought of as the top offensive tackle in the 2020 NFL Draft, Thomas’ stock has dipped a bit, and he might be available at No. 14 for the Bucs as Alabama’s Jedrick Wills is now considered to be the best tackle prospect in this year’s draft and a lock for the Top 10. Thomas’ strength is in the running game, which is an area the Bucs are looking to improve, and while he could be moved to right tackle, Thomas has the athleticism necessary to play left tackle at the NFL level – just like he did at Georgia – and thrive. That could appeal to the Bucs as Donovan Smith has one more year of guaranteed salary remaining on his contract extension.

Houston OT Josh Jones – Senior

Jones was originally a second-round pick in PewterReport.com’s initial Bucs mock draft, but after a strong showing at the Senior Bowl, he has earned a first-round grade. There are plenty of NFL mock drafts that have Jones in the bottom of the first round, but if Wills, Becton, Wirfs and Thomas are gone by No. 14 – which is a possibility – Jones could be a legit option for the Bucs. Jones is a good athlete with four years of starting experience at left tackle. He could move to the right side in Tampa Bay during his rookie year.

Alabama S Xavier McKinney – Junior

Why McKinney over LSU’s Grant Delpit? Just watch the film. McKinney is a physical monster that can hit, tackle, blitz and cover. While Delpit gets all the publicity, McKinney is simply the best safety in this draft after being the best safety in the SEC last year. Todd Bowles loves physical safeties (see New York’s Pro Bowler Jamal Adams), and the Bucs could use a sure-fire starter to help make more plays in the secondary. If Kinlaw and all of the top-ranked offensive tackles are off the board, don’t be surprised to see Tampa Bay pull the trigger on McKinney.

Utah State QB Jordan Love – Junior

Yeah, the Bucs like Love, and have liked him dating back to his sophomore year at Utah State, which was a better season than the one he had as a junior in 2019. But do they love Love? He certainly has the big arm and pocket presence Arians likes in a quarterback, but a high number of interceptions (17) compared to touchdowns (20) makes it seem like he could be a Jameis Winston clone. Love becomes an option for the Bucs in the first quarter if Winston gets the one-year franchise tag or Tampa Bay signs an aging veteran like Philip Rivers on a short, two-year deal. CBSSports.com even has the Bucs trading back up into the bottom of the first round to get Love after selecting Wirfs.

If the Bucs did indeed trade up to get Love in the first round they wouldn’t have a second-round pick. But let’s take a look at seven draft prospects Tampa Bay would love to get if they stayed put in the second round with the No. 45 overall selection in Fab 2.

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Scott Reynolds is in his 24th 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 son's Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]

75 COMMENTS

  1. Glad to see the Bucs have Taylor as their top RB, Dobbins #2, and C.E.H. aka Darren Sproles 2.0 as the 3rd best, with Swift not even listed. I’ve been saying this for 2 months. It’s so obvious to anyone that watches football. Running the football is too important to the overall record of the team to wait until the 3rd round or later to grab a playmaker.

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    • HOW in the world do see C.E.H as Sproles? Maybe if you watched him play you would not be saying this. Swift will be 1st RB taken then C.E.H.

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      • Im not the only one that sees it that way. SR compared him to Sproles in the article, although you’ve been reading me write that for over a month. Lol.

        Taylor and Dobbins go before CEH and Swift. No doubt.

        Swift is tackled on first contact every time. He’s as bad/good as the FSU kid Akers.

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        • Big let’s go old school for a comparison. How about Dunn same height, Good hand’s very good running the ball.C.E.H is all these things only stronger.

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          • I loved Warrick Dunn. He exceeded everyones expectations as a football player and is damn fine example of a human being.

            I really like C.E.H., but I just don’t view him as a better RB than Taylor or Dobbins. He is a PR/KR/3rd Down Back in my opinion. I don’t think he can carry an offense with 300+ touches per year like Taylor or Dobbins.

            Dunn was a great Buccaneer and formed a great combo with Alstott(WD-40!), but the Bucs won the superbowl the year he left with Mike Pittman.

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    • I am not following you. Does this article say that the Buc’s have Swift lower than the other guys. It says 7 guys the Buc’s would pick in the 1st round (Probably before Swift, Taylor, Dobbins, CEH). Then it goes to 7 guys that the Buc’s would pick in the 2nd round. Just like in the 1st round guys like Wills, Herbert, Simmons and other guys would be gone, maybe Pewter Report is just projecting that Swift will be gone too when the Buc’s pick in the 2nd.

      Just food for thought. Not known by me but I thought you took a leap to make a point about the running backs you like for the 17th time on this site.

      I just want to ask – weren’t you on the Darrel Henderson Memphis kid train last year?

      I am a CEH fan and think he fits great in the current NFL.
      Not a fan of reaching for a running back over other positions though. Get as many good guys as you can to have as few holes as possible.

      Great draft for OT so get one of those studs in the 1st round.

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      • I’m not sure where the Bucs have Swift ranked, but I was glad to see him omitted from the article. He put up numbers, but when I watch him, I don’t see tough running. He seems to get tackled on first contact in every game or highlight video I watch. I think of him like RoJo only not as good.

        Regarding Darrell Henderson, I thought Bruce Arians would draft a RB last year because I wasnt a big believer in Barber and RoJo had an awful rookie season. I projected/bet Henderson(or possibly another RB) to the Bucs in the 5th round. Shocked he was drafted by Rams in the 3rd, and they even traded up to get him I think.

        Just goes to show, this notion that you can draft any RB in the later rounds and expect to hit pay dirt is unreliable at best.

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  2. Bucs and Jason Licht might remain true to their past draft history and trade down in the 1st.

    A team like Miami who wants to draft an offensive lineman makes sense. If they trade down from 14 to 18, the could pick up the Dolphins 3rd round pick based on the trade value chart. They could also move OJ Howard for a player or draft pick. I’ve speculated that Indy makes a lot of sense. They have a poor fit with FS Malik Hooker in their zone defense and have an opening after losing TE Eric Ebron this year. Malik Hooker would look good in Pewter and Red and bolster a position of need. Classic Win-Win.

    Sorry to sound like a broken record but I have been hoping the Bucs come away with DE Gross-Matos, RB Jonathan Taylor, OT Lucas Niang, and RB C.E.H. in the first 3 rounds, with FS Makik Hooker coming to the Bucs via trade.

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  3. I like the OT RD1 options, and although I’m not a fan of taking a RB that high, if Jonathan Taylor is there, can’t see passing him up – agree with BigSom he may be the best TB in the draft.

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  4. As of this writing, the Bucs have the most cap space going into 2020 season according to Spotrac with $85 million.

    Franchising Winston is off the table, regardless of the cap situation. Here’s why:

    The franchise tag cost is the average of the top 5 paid players at the position in 2020, not 2019. There are expected to be some very large deals signed this offseason with the looming CBA being redone after 2020. If Mahomes and Prescott sign new deals, they are expected to be around $35 million per year, maybe more. As it stands with current deals, it breaks down to this…
    1. Wilson – $35M
    2. Rothlisberger – $34M
    3. Rodgers – $33.5M
    4. Goff – $33.5M
    5. Wentz – $32M

    That totals up to $168M and when divided by 5 equals $33.6M. If Prescott and Mahomes break the bank to the tune of $40M each, the number climbs even higher to $36.5M.

    There is no way the Bucs will pay Winston that kind of money, nor should they. I am all for the Bucs signing Winston to a 4 year deal, but it would have to be for $25-$28M per season for 4 seasons with 2-3 years guaranteed and cash incentives for playoffs, giveaways, etc.

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    • https://overthecap.com/position/quarterback/

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      • Pretty sure it’s based on the cap hit in each year, not the overall salary average, which makes sense when looking at the 2019 tag amount and prior years. The QB tag in 2019 was $24.864M, and historically rises $2M or so each year. It is not going up $10M in one year, no matter how badly you want Winston to get paid. 🙂 https://overthecap.com/position/quarterback/2020/

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        • After looking at your link, its the same numbers I put up yesterday when we discussed. I went back today and there were new figures. That being said, I think there is some validity to the franchise tag formula that Im not factoring or we aren’t finding. I was reading something on one of the normal sites like NFL.com or ESPN and they were saying it could be $34 million this year. I just parrotted it and found the salary chart to verify how it made sense. Anyway, I hope the tag is more reasonable like you say.

          And for the record, I don’t care how much or how little any player makes, even Winston. I only bring it up because it’s a limiting factor on bringing in other good players like Taylor Lewan, Jadeveon Clowney, JPP, Suh, etc.

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          • Understood. After re-reading what I typed realized I was off base with what I said about you and Winston. There’s no damn edit option on here or I would’ve corrected it lol.

            QB decision aside, do think we have enough $$ to resign most of our priority guys and still grab a couple quality FA’s. Due to the fact that 3 of the top 5 cap hits in 2020 right now are OL’men (all making $10M+), hard to see Lewan becoming the 4th though. Like Lewan, but that would be a extremely poor allotment of the the resources we have. Gonna be fun though for the next couple month or so for sure.

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          • If we don’t sign Winston and we make the HORRIBLE decision to bring in Rivers, we will be spending that same amount and will have the same detrimental impact.

            None of the scenarios look good…

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    • This is crazy, we are talking about MILLIONS. Giving so much money to one man for playing a game not to mention one position, like handing out monopoly money- it’s just paper..I know there is the business side to it but geez..

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      • Just think of what the owners make and they don’t even get hit!

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        • I bet!

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      • Dude the franchise makes BILLIONS sitting what are you talking about really? You don’t get the business side at all actually.

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    • The exclusive Franchise Tag is About 33 mio, the non-exclusiv About 27mio.
      Nobody Pays 2 First rounder for Winston so the Bucs will use the non-exclusive. And if so, i’m still fine

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      • Thanks for the info on the distinction between the two! Makes more sense. Tagging system is a confusing. I knew I heard someone of note say it was approaching $34M, I just didn’t remember the “exclusive” distinction!

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  5. Scott made a good point about Jon Gruden taking Cadillac Williams over DeMarcus Ware. Gruden has always been a terrible talent evaluator and still is. So unless Ezekiel Elliott is in the board when we pick I am passing on RB.
    Now that huge LSU OG Damien Lewis that’s a nasty pick right there. You want to get me excited pick Kinlaw in the 1st and OG Lewis in 2nd then call me when we’re in the Playoffs.

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    • Dobbins rushed for more yards than Zeke. Dobbins is the all time leading rusher at Ohio State.

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      • Yeah but Zeke is special the passing game. Also Zeke is excellent in pass protection, Dobbins is a 2 Down Back in Arians System.

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        • Dobbins is also very good in the passing game.

          Elliott was a better prospect no doubt but not for the reasons you’re coming up with

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        • Dobbins is a better side to side runner than Zeke. He is going to be special.

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      • While I am an OSU alum and very partial to Dobbins Taylor would also be a great pick. It always amazes me than fans who surely remember Mike Allstot, Barry Sanders, Hershell Walker, Walter Payton, Eric Dickerson, Emmitt Smith, O.J., Jim Brown to mention a few have this illusion that a team doesn’t need a top running back. While some teams ground it out with a good OL there are still many examples of teams that a top RB can put the team on his back. I have NO problem drafting one in RD1.

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        • I couldn’t agree more. Get a 3 down stud who is highly coveted and don’t look back. It helps the QB, it helps the defense, it helps keep opposing defenses honest, it helps the coaches by opening up the playbook.

          If Kansas City, San Fran, Baltimore, Tennessee, or Seattle get the chance, they will ABSOLUTELY draft Taylor and Dobbins. They know how important it is to continue succeeding.

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          • Amen!

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        • I accept your opinion. I just think this is a better draft for offensive tackles than running backs.

          We also need to invest more in the defense not just the offense. Can’t fix all the weaknesses in one season.

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    • Caddy was a heck of a back and if not for bizarre patellar tendon tears in both knees was off to a promising career. His cleats are in the HOF as the first rookie RB to rush for three consecutive 100 yard games and most yards in first three weeks by a rookie. Despite missing two games, he was Offensive Rookie of the Year leading all rookie RB’s with 1,178 yards – ahead of Ronnie Brown and Cedric Benson, the backs selected ahead of him. Now, you might have preferred Demarcus Ware – and I get that. But to say Gruden missed on talent isn’t quite right. And again, if not for the bizarre knee injuries was the best of the backs in that draft.

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    • Gruden has spent more high picks on linemen in his first two years back with the Raiders than Jason Bust Licht has during his entire, soon to be extinguished, career.

      Gruden understands it’s not fantasy football unlike JBL who seems to think the NFL is a version of fantasy football where field goals count for six points and INTs don’t count.

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  6. It is my hope that (in the Draft) we could come away with: 1)DT Javon Kinlaw, 2) S Kyle Duggar, 3) OT Ben Bartch and 4) WR Collin Johnson

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    • Appreciate your independent thought process CrackerBall. I up voted you. You have to go with how the draft plays out and maybe the top 4 OL guys are gone at 14 and the running backs you like are gone in the 2nd round.

      Don’t over reach at any position. Get good value and guys that can play in this league. See nothing wrong with your mock.

      Thanks.

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  7. My dream scenerio is mekhi in the first ,gross in the second ,and akers or swift in the third. That way you get 3 positions of need with 3 good players. Which means well probably draft a safety in the first. Which would just piss me off.

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    • Like your top three picks. Hope we don’t draft Mark Barron again…..

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      • Or Da’Quan Bowers. Not saying Kinlaw is Bowers, but nobody thought Bowers would end up like Bowers when we drafted him either. Physical specimen talk always worries me a bit. Can sometimes get guy enamored with themselves instead of developing as players. Trev Albert, Mike Mamula, Tony Mandarich, etc. come to mind.

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        • Exactly, that’s why I’d rather not Draft anyone anymore based off of Measurements and “Ceiling” when they take plays off and have terrible footwork etc. I want guys that worked hard, produced, play smart and had a non-stop motor against good competition.

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      • Barron was a very good talent that fit a specific scheme – Schiano’s defense. Barron was utilized in many different situations in Schiano’s defensive scheme.

        If you like S Derwin James, then how do you hate on S Mark Barron when their usage was virtually the same?

        The unfortunate part for Barron was a coaching change that included a defensive scheme change as well. Do you recall who that new coach was? Lovie Smith. Lovie took Schiano’s team, had a fire sale to get his own players, and concluded with the 1st overall pick in 2015.

        How can you do worse than a rookie HC in Schiano? When you look at Football Outsider’s DVOA on the Bucs defense during Schiano’s era, then you’ll realize he improved the defense in his two seasons with the Bucs and Lovie just failed at improving the team.

        Part of the reason we didn’t draft S Derwin James was because Mike Smith’s defense doesn’t utilize James’ versatility and we drafted NT Vita Vea instead.

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        • Don’t hate Barron, just don’t think he was worth a first round pick.

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          • Hindsight is 20/20.

            Guess you can say the same about any first round player that didn’t work out, including the 1st overall pick in 2015, who was Jameis Winston.

            Easy to say that now, but not so when he was drafted.

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        • Good post HD

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        • Didn’t like the pick then, haven’t changed my mind, nothing 20/20 about it. Glad you liked the player, and yeah, almost every draft pick can be hit or miss. But back in 2012 I was pulling for us to draft Luke Kuechly. And I was a draft supporter for Vita Vea over Derwin James, so shoot me.

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          • I liked the pick as it was made to counter the TEs in our division.

            FBO Defensive rankings
            2012: Rush = 3rd, Pass = 26th
            2013: Rush = 8th, Pass = 11th

            The numbers don’t lie. Barron was a part of that passing defense.

            Luke would have been a great get, but why do people not give LVD that same respect? Schiano was most happiest at the drafting of LVD in 2012.

            Regime changes suck because they set back franchises years. Coaches want to implement their system and want players to fit their system. Adapting to players’ traits is a lie.

            We’re fortunate such that with Arians, his offense is still a vertical offense like Koetter’s. It’s that defense that needs a bit of changing… or rather a lot of changing from a 4-3 to a 3-4.

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    • Why would you be pissed if we drafted a Safety? One of our biggest needs is a Playmaker at Safety. You put an Earl Thomas type on this defense then we’re set for the next 10 years.

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      • I only say that because offensive line and defensive line are bigger needs and both impact the game much more than a safety. Heck even derwin James dropped to the middle of the first because the value of a safety is so low compared to other positions. And the offensive line absolutely has to be addressed.

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        • PFF did a youtube debate a year or two ago on which is important, the pass rush or the pass defense?

          The statistical analysis revealed that pass defense was more important. In fact, the pattern showed that top end QBs relish when a defense is blitzing because that means there is one less player in the secondary and that is where the QB can exploit. If the QB knows his pre-snap as well as post-snap analysis, then he will know where the open receiver will be.

          If your DBs are weak, then a good QB and pick apart the secondary. With today’s technology, opposing offenses will dissect obvious weaknesses. That is where the QB will want to exploit. Most defenses will attack with four defensive linemen, regardless of 4-3 or 3-4 design. If a 3-4 rushes with both OLBs, then that leaves six players in defensive coverage and a receiver (or TE) will be in 1v1 situation or the defense is playing zone.

          Last year, the Bucs were able to sack the QB often with 47 total sacks (7th overall), but their adjusted sack rate (FBO stat) ranked a paltry 20th at 6.7%. This means despite having the 7th most sacks, the Bucs’ defense was in passing situations a lot and could not sack the QB (or force a throw away). How is this proven? Simple, our passing defense ranked 30th overall in yards allowed through the air. I repeat our PASS DEFENSE RANKED 30th in the league last year.

          Our raw sack total is that high because teams we faced were usually in passing situations. It is that lack of context that people don’t see because that context details the efficiency of the pass rush.

          With the recent news that Arians wants to keep his FA defensive guys, then that means our pass rush will still be mediocre. By adding another DL in the first two rounds is not going to change the fact our secondary is still being torched.

          We have enough young CBs on the roster, but what we are lacking are talented safeties. Justin Evans is a talented safety, but he’s been out of the line up for two seasons due to injuries. No one should expect Evans to return to his top form after missing two seasons. We are left with Whitehead, a strong safety, and I have no idea who plays free safety. Was it rookie Mike Edwards? uh… Adams? That’s a significant problem that we have no one of note at free safety.

          Tampa should be going by “BPA (best player available) + need” to do their draft board. If a safety is ranked higher than the fourth OL or the third DL, then you take that safety!

          There are two choices at safety: Alabama McKinney, a jack of all trades safety with speed or LSU’s Delpit, a free safety with coverage instincts.

          I rate Delpit higher, but this is based on his 2018 performance and that he was playing injured in 2019. That’s my preference. When I was doing video research on Devin White last off-season, I kept seeing Delpit always involved making a tackle, pass defense, or interception.

          This does not mean I am dead set on safety, but rather if “BPA + need” has safety as our highest rated prospect when our pick comes along, then I won’t be upset. I would gladly grab a top OL and we need to see who re-sign during the FA period, but I am not opposed to grabbing a safety in the first round.

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          • Yes our defense was 30th in passing but according to dvoa ,our defense was a top 10 defense the second half of the season. Those stats are slightly skewed as we had three rookies and Hargreaves back there defending. Our sack totals are higher because our rushing defense was so good, so teams passed agaisnt us a lot more.
            Not many qbs will tell you they like to get blitzed. Even the great tom brady will get ratteled once he starts getting hit. You could have 3 revis islands back there and they can still only cover for so long. Getting to the qb or making them rush their decisions is much more important than a safety.
            Im van agree with you when ut comes to bpa and need ofcourse. But im merely stating the value of a safety is much lower. Thats why lineman go in the first 5 picks and safetys in the teens and 20s.

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          • Great points HD. Being that we had the #1 rushing D in the league, teams really had no other option than to pass if they wanted to move the ball down the field though.

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          • @cgmaster27

            We had #1 rushing defense, which is great. So that forced the other team to thrown. Eventually, it was easier to throw the ball because we couldn’t stop anyone. That’s the significant and sad part.

            Now, here’s another sad identification.

            First 8 games: We faced 5 winning teams.

            Last 8 games: We faced 2 winning teams.

            If you aren’t going to take into account Strength of Schedule, then you’re also like Licht. You’re being oblivious to our weaknesses just like Licht was being oblivious that Winston had very little flaws and it was Koetter’s coaching that was bad.

            We had a high number of sacks because many teams simply elected to throw more often rather than try to run consistently at us b/c our run defense was stout, but our pass defense was deplorable. With far more opportunities to sack the QB, we posted a paltry 6.8% sack rate, which ranks 20th overall in the league.

            The number of sacks we earned was due to volume, not efficiency. And because we weren’t efficient at sacking the QB on passing downs, the opposing offenses made our secondary pay dearly. Again, we ranked 30th against the pass.

            I want the Bucs to be better, but if we’re not going to acknowledge our weaknesses, then how are we going to improve? Licht doesn’t acknowledge weaknesses properly. Will you follow suit?

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          • I feel it is a top priority in free agency for us to find that veteran Safety that can play Bowles scheme well.

            Karl Joseph, Justin Simmons, Anthony Harris, Jimmie Ward, Adrian Phillips and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix are in that pool. Surely one of these guys would fit.

            Freed from worry about Safety in the early rounds we could focus on OT, RB and DL.
            _________________
            Go Bucs!!!

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  8. Biggest Bucs needs (at this point) are:

    OT
    RB
    S/IDL
    Pass Rusher
    WR Depth

    I think Scott pretty much nailed the 7 prospects that the Bucs will be realistically looking at. My only change would be subbing out Jordan Love for K’Lavon Chiasson.

    IMO, the clear top 4 on the board are (in order): Becton, Kinlaw, Wirfs, Thomas. If those 4 are gone it will be very disappointing. Honestly, in this scenario, I think the best option would be to move back 4-7 spots and take Josh Jones or McKinney. I like both players but I just don’t think either of them is worth the 14th pick

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  9. Passing on Gross-Matos in the 2nd for a RB would be such a Licht move.

    If this scenario happens, I hope Bowles drop kicks Jason and hands in the card with Matos’s name on it.

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    • Gross-Matos is awesome. He has a bunch of moves and counters. Okwara reminds me of Spence with one move-speed rush, although Okwara is a willing tackler unlike Spence.

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      • Spence was willing to tackle, but his shoulder was disassociated with that process. ba da bump tshhhhhhhhhhhh

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        • lol

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  10. Fab 4:
    It is great to have you sharing some of your personal background.  Just as I want to know the human side of various players that I love it is great to learn the human side of reporters and media people.

    I want to commend you as a professional for guiding PR to a new high in quality as a source for Buccaneer “insider” info.  Since I see a turnaround  happening and a new era dawning rapidly for the Bucs the timing is perfect here in 2020. 

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  11. How could none of you not have QB as a top need? Ya’ll keep forgetting Jameis is a free agent, so is Gabbert, who knows, or cares what Griffins status is. So as of now we have no QB under contract, I’d say that’s a need. Unless Winston gets a long term deal, drafting a QB would be a must in the first, or second round. Maybe moving back into the first. I don’t think Winston gets a long term deal, nor should he. My guess is still Rivers, and drafting Eason might be the way they go.

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    • I can answer this one!
      Because Everybody Knows @surferdudes that Arians won’t start a rookie next year. He has no tolerance or patience for one at this stage of his career. Right, Wrong or indifferent that’s the truth and unless Tua or Borrow fall we’re not drafting a project.

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    • He is a free agent but he can’t get away from being franchise tagged still. The Bucs will not let winston go unless they find another plan.

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    • Arians was asked this week about the high number of QBs that will be available and he said he would be “shocked” if the total is really more than 2. I think the writing is on the wall @surferdudes.

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  12. Perfect- if it can happen. Becton in the first and Taylor or Edwards Helaire in the second. Sign me up!

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  13. I would never ever pay the kind of money Winston can receive for meeting a 15 intersection goal. I can manipulate math too. My math says for 25 million + he better have 10 interceptions or less.
    How desperate are we?

    Coach has given us his answer; his focus is to keep the defense intack which makes sense to me.

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  14. Im not a college expert but after reading the recent PR article on Georgia OT Thomas it seemed that he wasn’t a good fit for us…not athletic and struggles in pass protection whereas It was said OT Jones of Houston is described by PR as very athletic and great in pass protection.

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  15. Once again all of the Draft speculation focuses on “NEED” and not who the BPA options might be at #14 and who might be available if we trade slightly up or slightly back. I just can’t see a “run” on four OT’s in the top 15. If one of those is graded high enough, I have no issue taking one of them, but please don’t pass on a far superior player at another position. If the player you covet at 14 isn’t worthy of that spot, trade down, get a bit of Draft capital and then pick your guy at a point where it is deserved.

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    • Question is: what do the Bucs need?

      Most fans and media think its a RT. Some think its a QB. Some think its a RB. Some think its a DT. Some think its a DE. Some think its a S. I’ve even seen some people mock a CB to Tampa in round 1.

      Most of those positions of need will be filled through free agency and not the draft, but which ones? The Bucs will surely solve the QB question with a veteran. That is the only thing I think any of us can take for granted.

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      • Bucs free agency focus could look like this…

        I would imagine Dot will be retained for 1 more year, but maybe longer. RT problem solved temporarily. No need to overdraft a RT in round 1-2 if this is the case. Taylor Lewan is another rumored possibility.

        Safety room is full of returning players who are young and liked. D. Dixon and J. Evans can’t be relied on, but can’t be counted out either. This position is likely to be bolstered with a mid level veteran in my opinion, not another young inexperienced player in the draft. Rule out safety in rounds 1-3.

        Bucs have used so much draft capital on CBs in recent years. I can’t see them adding any more CB’s early in the draft or in free agency.

        DT is a big question mark with Suh, Nunes-Roches, and Allen set to hit free agency. Thats a starter and all his depth. All 3 are affordable and could be re-signed for a total of about $13M.

        DE/OLB is equally as big a question mark with Barrett, JPP, and Nassib hitting FA. I think the Bucs can only afford one of these guys and that is going to be Barrett.

        RB is the last big question mark. Barber is a free agent. Ogunbawale and TJ Logan will not count against the cap if they are replaced. The best free agents available will be expensive. Derrick Henry and Melvin Gordon headline the list. Trade candidates Johnson, Gurley, and maybe even Fournette are also fairly expensive.

        If the Bucs solve many of the needs laid out here, then it would appear that the best avaiable player at a position of need will be two or three positions where a rookie can really help immediately: DE/OLB, RB, DT

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        • I believe mostly in the BPA theory but don’t pass on need if you have a couple of players real close.

          Just a little point. NE spends early draft capital every year on defensive backs. Look it up. They spend less draft capital on rush defensive ends. They play a 3-4 defense.

          Green Bay spends early draft capital every year on defensive backs.

          Bucs clearly need a 4th corner on this team (you cannot survive with only 3 – we have seen how bad our pass defense does in the past). Still l believe that we should take BPA but don’t be shocked if their BPA is a corner in an early round and they take him.

          And everyone David Johnson’s salary cap makes it impossible for Arizona to trade him or for Arizona to cut him. Arizona would likely have to GIVE someone a 3rd or 4th round pick to take on that horrible contract and salary cap.

          And the additional problem is that it is not only bad this year but bad next year automatically as well. His contract for next year becomes mostly guaranteed in MARCH THIS YEAR. He also has a 12 million cap hit NEXT YEAR.

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    • Scubog; always good points.

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      • Thanks Horse. I usually try to inject a little humor and perhaps a bit of sarcasm.

        It just puzzles me how every Draft season the projected fan and media choices are so overly based on need. I contend that needs can change with one off-season car accident, legal issue, trip playing basketball or even going off the deep end. We’ve had all of those happen.

        What I want to know isn’t who the last remaining OT is at # 14, but which group of players are worthy of being selected at that point. Of course there would be a lean toward the greatest need if the prospects carry similar grades.

        To me it’s like the “stool fool” sitting at the bar who “needs” a conjugal visit, waits too long to make his move and “reaches” out his hand to the woman who is has passed out.

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        • BPA, if possible. Signing our 3- 4 DL again will allow other doors to open .

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  16. Most drafted safeties are not sure fire starters. Edwards and J. Evans are good examples of this.

    The safety position is way more about discipline and cerebral play. I think the PR staff has fallen into the trap believing the Bucs need an impact player at safety with size and speed. But what they fail to miss is that Whitehead, J. Evans and Edwards are incredibly gifted athletes with more NFL experience than a green rookie.

    Unless the Bucs burn a 1st round pick on a safety I do not see no rookie safety coming in and beating out Dixon, Evans,Edwards and a veteran safety that Bowles will want (eg T. Jefferson).

    Most likely the Bucs sign T. Jefferson and end the draft a safety shenanigans that the PR staff is on lately haha. 🙂

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  17. Hoping we get best RT available period in first Rd as long as deemed worthy of the pick and can plug and play now. I am so frigging tired of watching this team fail to be able to run the ball with any consistency.

    So Winston’s magic int. number To make playoffs is 15 int.? Yes, Arians already said this beginning of last year. He said 1 per game which I can do Simple math and conclude it is 16int. He already has thrown 15 or fewer 3 years , but now In his second year in this offense, with the right coach and hopefully average run game and defense finally, it’s now time to move on because he can’t throw 16int. Or less? Doesn’t make sense to me. Rivers or Love will throw 20 plus with less production. Brady ain’t coming here.

    Arians also said at end of day he doubts more than 1 or 2 QB’s will even be available which is what I figured.

    So I’m fine with them kicking tires on old free agents nobody else wants. Fine waiting to see just don’t buy a new car that’s worse than the old one please. Waiting also gives them leverage with Winston’s contract I think….will see how plays out.

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  18. I hate drafting another safety now or any secondary pick again, but Evans is starting to look like the next Beckwith that never gets healthy again. That sucks for him and Bucs fans for sure

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  19. If we just run the ball sorta like his rookie year as you hinted at he will then throw for the fewest INTs in a 16 game season we’ve neglected it each year after. Throwing fewer than 12 INTs isn’t the formula to the Superbowl nor does it happen without the other parts of the team being efficient.

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