FAB 5. SR’s Buc Shots

• One defensive player Tampa Bay was mighty interested in at the Senior Bowl was Michigan edge rusher Josh Uche, whose stock has risen to the late first round. While Uche measured just under 6-foot-2 and 250 pounds, he has incredibly long arms at 33 and 1/4-inch. To put that in perspective, 6-foot-5 defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw has 34 and 5/8-inch arms.

Uche was one of the best pass rushers in Mobile, Ala., and recorded 19.5 tackles for loss and 15.5 sacks at Michigan with 10.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks coming last year as a senior. Uche not only had a meeting with the Tampa Bay area scout, but also with general manager Jason Licht and some members of the top Bucs’ brass.

The Bucs feel like he might have some Shaquil Barrett to his game. Barret is similarly built at 6-foot-2, 250 pounds. Here is Uche’s highlight video from 2018 in which he recorded seven sacks.

• NFL scouts don’t fault seniors with first-round grades for skipping the Senior Bowl to avoid injury and to get a jump on training for the NFL Scouting Combine. But NFL teams do love it when top-ranked seniors opt to play in the Senior Bowl and compete before the scouting community.

That was the case with Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert, South Carolina defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw and Houston tackle Josh Jones. All three are first-round-caliber players, and all three helped their draft stock with a good week in Mobile, Ala.

Herbert likely cemented his status as the No. 3 QB behind LSU’s Joe Burrow and Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, and ahead of Utah State’s Jordan Love, a junior who was also at the Senior Bowl, and Washington’s Jacob Eason. Kinlaw will battle Auburn’s Derrick Brown for the right to be the top defensive tackle in the first round, and Jones played his way into first-round draft consideration as the fifth best offensive tackle – behind Louisville’s Mekhi Becton and ahead of USC’s Austin Jackson.

Kinlaw had some tendinitis issues after the second practice and did not participate in Thursday’s practice, nor will he play in the game. But he showed enough in the first two days of practice to excite scouts.

THE DRAFT STARTS IN MOBILE, ALABAMA – That’s the Senior Bowl’s motto and Taylor Jenkins, Matt Matera and yours truly of the PewterReport.com staff were in Mobile to cover this year’s top college all-star game. It started off with the Senior Bowl preview on Monday night and ended with the Senior Bowl wrap-up, which we taped on Thursday morning before heading back to Tampa. Make sure you give both of these Pewter Nation Podcasts a listen to become the most informed Bucs draftnik around!

Pewter Nation Podcast 177: Previewing Potential Bucs’ Senior Bowl Prospects

Pewter Nation Podcast 178: Bucs’ Senior Bowl Scoop

The Pewter Reporters were also at the East-West Shrine Bowl as the 2020 NFL Draft scouting season officially kicked off. Listen to what the PR staff thought about the potential draft prospects in St. Petersburg, Fla., and also what NFL Network’s Charles Davis thought about Jameis Winston’s future in Tampa Bay and the Bucs’ chances for success in 2020. Davis’ interview is a must-listen.

Pewter Nation Podcast 176: East-West Shrine Wrap; Charles Davis Talks Winston

The Next Pewter Nation Podcast: The Pewter Report staff will tape a brand new Pewter Nation Podcast during the middle of next week with final thoughts on the Senior Bowl game as well as the latest Bucs scoop and news to report.

There is no better time to listen to a new Pewter Nation Podcast, which is presented by Chris Garrido of Westshore Financial, than on your drive home from work on Friday or early Saturday morning at the gym or running errands.

The popularity of the Pewter Nation Podcast continues to grow. In addition to listening to the Pewter Nation Podcasts on PewterReport.com you can also subscribe to the free podcasts at PodBean by clicking here and on SoundCloud by clicking here. And of course the Pewter Nation Podcast is also available on iTunes. Make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss a single episode.

• In talking to scouts and officials from other teams, there is quite a bit of envy around the league over the Bucs’ young cornerbacks. Sean Murphy-Bunting, the team’s second-round pick last year, led all rookies with three interceptions, including a pick-six, while Jamel Dean, the team’s third-rounder, was tied for seventh in the league in pass breakups with 19 to go along with his two interceptions.

But it was Carlton Davis, a physical cornerback drafted in the second round in 2018, who really had scouts buzzing at the Senior Bowl when I brought up his name. Davis got his first career interception last year and broke up a career-high 20 pass breakups, which was tied for fourth in the league. Davis really showed improvement as the season went on and shut down Houston wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, holding the Pro Bowler to a season-low 23 yards on five catches.

Bucs CB Carlton Davis
Bucs CB Carlton Davis – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

I would be surprised if Tampa Bay brings in a veteran cornerback for two reasons.

First, because paying just an average veteran cornerback would cost between $7 million to $9 million per year isn’t part of the financial offseason plan as the Bucs are interested in spending their cap room to re-sign its own players like outside linebackers Shaquil Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul, in addition to defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.

Second, signing a veteran cornerback means the Bucs would be dedicated to starting that player, and that would come at the expense of either Davis, Dean or Murphy-Bunting. One of those players would have their development stunted as a result. With three young cornerbacks on the rise while playing under rookie deals, Tampa Bay has a real bargain in the secondary for the next few years. Instead of bringing in a veteran, I could see the Bucs drafting a cornerback on Day 3 to add depth to the position.

FOLLOW PEWTER REPORT ON SOCIAL MEDIA We appreciate the 34,000 Twitter followers we have on the @PewterReport Twitter account and passed that big milestone at the end of 2019. Now we’re on our way to reaching 35,000 in 2020. So if you don’t follow us on Twitter please take the time to do so, Bucs fans.

Also, make sure you follow PewterReport.com on all social media platforms this offseason as we cover the NFL Scouting Combine next month and the NFL Owners Meeting in March, plus any breaking Bucs news or press conferences.

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• The second PewterReport.com 2020 Bucs’ 7-Round Mock Draft will be published next Tuesday. Big changes from the first one. Stay tuned!

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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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Wausa

If what you are saying is accurate then the Bucs should adjust their offense to a more balanced attack, put the transition tag on Jamies and draft a developmental QB in the middle rounds of the draft.

If the Bucs do not sign or tag Jamies it is fairly obvious he will be signed quickly by another franchise if he hits the open market.

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matador

Hopefully someone within our division. That would help our DB’s stats more than a strong pash rush

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BigSombrero

If the Bucs cut bait with Jameis, I hope they bring in a smart veteran who has a strong accurate arm. Maybe they can trade for Ben Rothlisberger. He’s played in a Bruce Arians offense. If the Bucs draft the 4th best tackle in the 1st round with plans to switch him from left to right tackle and the 4th or 5th best RB in the 2nd, who here expects the running game to turn the corner? I say take the pick and use it on a guy who immediately improves the W/L column. The Bucs can get the #1… Read more »

BigSombrero

I value production over projection. Specific players I favor for the Bucs at 14 are #2 DE Gross-Matos, #1 RB J.Taylor, #2 DT Kinlaw, and #1 S Grant Delpit in that order.

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tbb345

IF a large chunk of Arians decision on Jameis is based off of one play in a meaningless game where his top 2 targets were missing (let alone the fact that he was showing toughness by playing through a thumb injury) then this franchise has very, very serious problems with its evaluation process.

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matador

What if it’s based on five years of killing his team’s chances with blockheaded turnovers? Then what would you think?

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CrackerBall

I think 72 games is a large enough sample size…

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awwdembucs

Alot of guessing here. I think we as fan’s will know more after we see what the Bucs do in FA.

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Badtimes

I think Arians started having misgivings about Winston well before the last game.

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Brandonges

After three straight years of drafting Safety, please bring in a vet. There are a lot of free agents available who should come relatively cheap. This draft should be all about getting younger and cheaper in both of the trenches.

Also, as a homer, surprised Cam Akers isn’t generating more buzz. He carried the FSU offense behind a garbage line. He has good hands and looks like a 3 down back built for today’s NFL.

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CrackerBall

Agreed… I think we have drafted enough S, and DBs in general, over the last few years – so sign a F/A if you feel the need. Gotta try and make’em work. Save that valuable draft capital for OL, DL, QB, etc.

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Horse

Good Fab 5 Scott. Is it possible all the pewterreport staff when discussing players, who are not Buccaneers, be consistent in listing their height and weight?.

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The Wall

Top four needs; right tackle, right guard, running back, then safety.

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EastEndBoy

1) “Licht shouldn’t have re-signed him at all”…another Licht gaff. 2) Safety??…good grief, how many swings at the plate is Licht going to get before he’s called out. 3) “move Donovan Smith to RT”…he couldn’t do worse than at LT, but $14.5m for a RT is insane. Licht has backed us into a corner with this problem. 4) and finally, why is the conclusion that a team can’t win with a young QB? Why do we have to bring in a veteran if we don’t want Winston? Goff as a rookie won 9 games (and in year 2 went to… Read more »

Horse

EastEndBoy, so agree with you.

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Brandonges

Agree, especially on the last point. Lamar Jackson is probably going to win MVP in his second season. Plenty of teams have found success with young QBs.

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DonkeyHunter

Agree with all this.

And, can we PLEASE stop with this “move Smith to RT” nonsense?

It’s about as ridiculous as the “Draft a RB in the 1st Round” nonsense.

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FinkleisEinhorn

#2: I agree with the comment above. Very surprised at the lack of chatter on Cam Akers, especially considering PR’s ties to FSU. This guy is a monster and was FSU’s entire offense. If he had played for LSU, he’d be talked about as a 1st round pick. Grab him the 3rd and don’t look back.

#3: The thing I’m most impressed with Dugger? He actually specified his weaknesses when asked. Shows maturity, humility and self-awareness.

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Horse

I agree about Cam Akers, but he’s going to be picked up in the second round not the third.

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Horse

Those of you who voted negatives I didn’t watch FSU games like I did reminds me of many other successful running backs that have played in the NFL. He’s strong quick and fast and can catch a ball. I hope he stays under the radar so we can grab him. FSU has not had a good offensive line these last 3 years and he still did good; think about that as it’s similar to the Bucs.

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awwdembucs

Horse Akers can play, he’s tough as nails and can catch well also. The thing is nobody seems to know what round to draft him.

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Alldaway 2.0

Bucs are better off re-signing AA then drafting another green safety that will not start next season and will ride the pine.

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Buc-Up

When I was at FSU I took a Seminole Conditioning Class by the team’s strength coach in Soring ’91. I worked out with both Casey Weldon and Brad Johnson. I was way underwhelmed by Casey’s spare tire and lack of physique. He was in no way intimidating and seemed like an asshat! Brad was tall and built like a brick house, plus a very nice guy!

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Horse

After NFL, Weldon was a Head Coach for one of the High Schools in Tallahassee; because of anger issues had to be let go. He knows football but back then he hadn’t dealt with his anger issues yet. I hope he addressed it. Mark Cook do you know?

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MIArmysoldier

Scott- I remember Casey Weldon comming to my scool in Bradenton in ’96. I remember him being extremely cocky and arrogant. He was supposed to be there to give a talk on self motivation and being a team player. It basically was him talking about absolutely nothing nothing, he threw a few passes to couple of people and ended with him takung a few pics for our yearbook. The only time he really even smiled was when those pics were taken- but no guys were in the pics- it was him surrounded by a group of teenage girls a giggly… Read more »

awwdembucs

I watched the east west game. The QB Morgan looked good. Strong arm can run if need be. If he is still on the board 5th or 6th. The Bucs might want to think about him. He needs some good coaching but stranger things have happened. Just a Thought

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owlykat

Get a first round LT. Moving D. Smith to RT would be a disaster since speed rushers would have as much of a hay day on the right side as they presently do from the left side. Move him to RG and let Cappa start at RT.

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Bucsfan1983

Wirfs, Dobbins, Dugger, are my first 3 picks for the Bucs. I would be beyond thrilled for these three.

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David DeLeon

Bucs higher up need to have their poker face on. “Winston we are not sure we want you” wait till close to deadline and try to hustle on the price tag.

Instead of 30 million we sign him for 26-28 million.

Everyone is happy

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