Bucs GM Jason Licht and head coach Dirk Koetter - Photo courtesy of the Buccaneers
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SR’s Fab 5 is a collection of inside scoop, analysis and insight from yours truly, PewterReport.com publisher and Bucs beat writer Scott Reynolds. Here are a few things that caught my attention this week at One Buc Place and around the NFL.
There have been several reports about Buffalo wanting to trade up into the Top 10 – possibly the Top 5 – to select a franchise quarterback this year. Denver, which has the fifth overall pick, and Tampa Bay, which picks seventh overall, seem to bethe most likely trade partners.
I don’t think the Bucs will trade down, especially with the Bills, who have two first-round picks – No. 21 and 22 overall – because moving down 14 spots means Tampa Bay will be passing up some premium players and taking a chance on some of the players that general manager Jason Licht might be targeting not being available at No. 21. Licht has done more trading up – notably for guard Ali Marpet in the second round in 2015, for kicker Roberto Aguayo in the second round in 2016 and for linebacker Kendell Beckwith in the third round in 2017 – than he has trading down.
In fact, the only time Licht has traded down on the first two days of the draft came in 2016 when he slid down two spots from the ninth overall pick to the 11th overall selection to take cornerback Vernon Hargreaves. Licht picked up Chicago’s fourth-round pick and packaged it with Tampa Bay’s third-rounder in an ill-fated trade to get Aguayo.
But, let’s play a little fantasy football and suggest that Denver stays put at No. 5 and that Licht strikes a deal with Buffalo for the Bills’ two first-round picks, all while understanding a few things.
First, the Bucs have to think that North Carolina State defensive end Bradley Chubb will be drafted third overall by Indianapolis, or at the very least, that he will be gone by the time Tampa Bay is on the clock with the seventh overall draft choice.
Second, there is also a decent chance that Denver might select Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson and that he wouldn’t be available to the Bucs, either.
Third, let’s also suppose that Tampa Bay suspects it doesn’t have a shot at Penn State running back Saquon Barkley, either, as he could very well go to Cleveland with the fourth overall pick.
The Bucs also might have Alabama’s Minkah Fitzpatrick evaluated as a safety and not a cornerback, which I think is the case, and lowers his value outside of the top 10, and although Tampa Bay likes Washington defensive tackle Vita Vea, let’s suggest that they view him as a mid-round pick, which I don’t know is true, and might receive better value trading down with Buffalo and getting an extra first-round pick.
All of these assumptions have to be made for Licht to pull the trigger on a trade, as I see it, and these assumptions have to be premeditated as Buffalo might not want to wait until draft day to make this trade. The Bills might be fine moving up to No. 7 in a quarterback-rich draft prior to April 28 because they know that Chubb, Nelson and Barkley – and possibly Fitzpatrick, too – are gone in the first six picks, and that will leave two or three of the top quarterbacks left for Buffalo to take.
Bills QB Tyrod Taylor –Photo by: Getty Images
The Bills, who are looking to move on from Tyrod Taylor, also know that one of more of the quarterback-needy teams ahead of the Bucs in the draft, including the Browns, the Giants, the Broncos and the Jets, will address the QB position in free agency with the likes of Kirk Cousins, A.J. McCarron, Case Keenum or Teddy Bridgewater.
There is no consensus in this year’s quarterback class as it is a “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” crop that includes likely first-rounders in USC’s Sam Darnold, UCLA’s Josh Rosen, Wyoming’s Josh Allen, Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield and Louisville’s Lamar Jackson. Because there is a chance that all five of those signal callers could be taken in the first 20 picks and that Buffalo could be left out without trading up.
The NFL draft trade chart shows that the seventh overall pick is worth 1,500 points, while the 21st and 22nd picks represent 800 and 780 points, respectively.
There is a newer, updated draft trade chart that the league is using similar to the one that PatsPulpit.com has created. In this chart, the Bucs’ first-round pick is valued at 425.5 points and the Bills’ two first-rounders are worth 260.82 and 252.71 points. Added together, Buffalo’s picks total 513.53 points.
Either way, the Bucs should give up a later pick to the Bills to make up for the discrepancy, but if I’m Licht I drive a hard bargain. Forget the 80 or 90 points and don’t give up another draft pick, which likely would be in the fourth round.
It’s called leverage, and the Bucs have it and need to use it, in this scenario. If the Bills desperately want to move into the Top 10 to acquire a quarterback they need to pay a premium price, and that means giving up both first-rounders and the Bucs not giving up a mid- or late-round pick in return.
Boston College DE Harold Landry – Photo by: Getty Images
So, now that the parameters of this hypothetical trade are set, let’s take a look at what players the Bucs might be targeting in a trade-down scenario. As I’ve stated before several times on PewterReport.com, NFL teams have pools of players from different positions that they target in each round – not just a singular player.
With the Bucs’ primary team needs being defensive end, defensive tackle, guard, cornerback and running back, there are a lot of different directions Tampa Bay can go with the 21st and 22nd picks, especially considering that the team picks again early in the second round with the 38th overall pick. Based on some of the mock drafts I’ve seen, here are some players that could or should be available.
UTSA DE Marcus Davenport
Boston College DE Harold Landry
Alabama DT Da’Ron Payne
Virginia Tech DT Tim Settle
Florida DT Taven Bryan
Stanford DT Harrison Phillips
Washington State DE Hercules Mataafa
Oklahoma DE Ogbonnia Okoronkwo
G Isaiah Wynn
G Will Hernandez
Ohio State C Billy Price
Nevada G Austin Corbett
Florida State S Derwin James
Iowa CB Josh Jackson
Auburn CB Carlton Davis
UCF CB Mike Hughes
Colorado CB Isaiah Oliver
LSU CB Donte Jackson
Alabama S Ronnie Harrison
LSU RB Derrius Guice
Georgia RB Sony Michel
USC RB Ronald Jones II
San Diego State RB Rashaad Penny
Auburn RB Kerryon Johnson
Georgia RB Nick Chubb
Georgia RB Sony Michel – Photo by: Getty Images
That’s 25 prospects in what are deemed to be need positions, and some of those players won’t be there at No. 21, but a good deal of them well be. That’s because there aren’t any quarterbacks, wide receivers, tight ends, offensive tackles or linebackers in those groups, and other teams that draft from seventh to 20 and from 23 to 37 will draft from those positions. That means that a good amount of the players in that pool will not only be available in the first round, but also when Tampa Bay picks in the second round, too.
The Bucs could end up with a guard like Wynn, a defensive tackle like Settle and a running back like Michel, or a defensive end like Landry, a cornerback like Davis and a running back like Guice. Would that be as enticing as drafting a top-10 player like Nelson and a running back like Penny, or selecting a top-10 player like Vea and a cornerback like Oliver?
I think Tampa Bay is fine either way. Whether or not the possible trade between the Bucs and the Bills occurs, I think the talent in the pool listed above shows that there are enough players for Licht to move down if he wants to and still come away with three very good players of need in the top 40.
Scott Reynolds is in his 23rd 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 enjoys 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: [email protected]
LIcht has stated multiple times he likes how certain guys are “wired” (Aguayo, Baker and Folk come to mind as recent ones). Hoping he’s learned he’s not an electrical mentalist and tweaks his style of evaluating a bit. He has hit on some solid draft picks though, hoping this draft produces 4 or 5 as well.
Like the new Point Chart as well, along with their idea that “trading down on day three and picking up veterans is the smart move”. Believe this is NE’s alternative to signing free agents, which has worked out fairly well for them, especially when they’re only giving up 4th-7th round picks typically.
Sam Hubbard needs to be on the list of players in that second pool.
The Bucs should give up an additional pick for the Bills picks? No way. I say the Bills should toss in some additional picks. What the charts don’t reflect is that with the number of QBs being drafted the Bucs are essentially giving up a number three pick,not a seven, as far as the players that interest Tampa.
I don’t care what the official charts say. The charts are wrong.
I can agree in some way. Being politically correct you have to go with what he wrote about.
I don’t think that we should give up another pick for the Bills to move up. The trade chart placed in the article is close to accurate with the last years QB trades but there was about a 100 point variance and with the Bills likely desperate need for a QB (thanks to the coach starting Petterman for that one game) Jason Licht should be able to pull it off. Have all the faith in him!
The one good thing about trading down for the Bills picks is that the Bills will undoubtedly pay too much for he number seven pick. I’m not opposed to the idea, but think pewter’s numbers are off.
90% agree with you, and 10% need to add an extra point that wasn’t mentioned.
Competitors drive the price up regardless of the value on the draft chart. I’ve heard a lot of word on the street from the Cardinals’ fans that they’re dying to land Lamar Jackson. If SF can convince CHI that they’ll trade down so another team takes Trubisky, which is a very likely scenario this year for QB’s as well, then we sure as heck can fleece our favorite deal from BUF or ARI.
Organizations also add value to QBs that are “their guy”. They won’t accept substitutes. Trust me, trade talks might start at equal trade chart value, but the price only goes up from there.
Yeah I’d be okay with both of the Bills picks. I honestly think it could happen too. As a new coach in Buffalo, I’d be going all in on a quarterback this offseason if I’m McDermott.
Tampa has more needs than draft picks and since we’re not going to get one of the three elite players in the draft then we should drop back.
Some of those needs are going to be filled by FA’s Cody, but agree that with the FA QB’s that are going to be available (Cousins, Keenum, Bridgewater, Bradford and McCarron), there’s a good chance the top targets the Bucs favor may be gone by #7. If that’s the case, then a trade down would probably be wise.
Don’t be satisfied with two 1’s. We can get so much more! This is a QB we’re talking about and BUF is going to have to fight a lot of teams to get one. Especially if, of the 5 likely to go in the first round, they only like 1-3 of them.
Thanks for doing the hypothetical Bills and Bucs trade!
With that said where on your Big Board are these players? Also, are the players being mentioned for day one through the end of day two picks?
Just have seen at other places Penny going in the third round and know that you have more insight into how the Bucs might be seeing things.
Also, are any of these players good fits for DE with us?
-Duke Ejiofor from Wake Forest. I know his grown a lot as a player and feel he has a lot of growth left in him.
-Dorance Armstrong from Kansas.
How about for RB and taking the place of Simms (in case he isn’t resigned), any thoughts on Akrum Wadley from Iowa or Martez Carter from Grambling?
Last one (for now), what about the small school tackles;
-Brandon Parker from North Carolina A&T
-Desmond Harrison from West Georgia
-Greg Senat from Wagner
Not advocating this, but if it happens, I like Luke Easterling’s trade chart better. Just for fun here’s a different cut at it.
Maybe I missed it, but in that link to the draft with trades, what did Bucs give up for the two Bills picks?
Read at pick 7. Bucs only gave up 7, got 21 and 22 plus a 2nd rounder. By the standard draft chart that would be an even trade. Bucs have to get something for doing that. That would be hard to turn down. lol.
In a strange way, the less QBs picked in front of us, the more valuable our #7 pick becomes. Don’t be surprised if the trade macabee listed, WITH a potential later year pick, happens on draft day.
Can you guys make your own Bucs Big Board over at PR? I think that would be more fun than a mock draft.
Settle looks very Sapp like. If we were going to take Vea at seven, we’d be better off trading down with Buffalo drafting Settle, while gaining another #1, maybe more.
If Chubb, Barkley, and Nelson are off the board by pick #7 I think the best case scenario would be to trade with the Bills for their 2 first rounders. I would even prefer that over taking Fitzpatrick at #7. Theres just too many holes to fill and there will be some very good talent in the early 20s. Other then the 3 I mentioned I don’t see anyone worthy of the 7th overall pick that fits our needs.
I’d be happy with a Bucs/Bills trade where the Bucs pick up Billy Price & Deron Payne. Build dem lines!
Yeah ,I’d take the Bills 21 and 22, but would also consider the Cardinals 15 and 47 if they’re QB hunting. Much more likely to get a Vea or Payne at 15 than at 21. Chargers, Lions, Redskins will have grabbed those guys up by then. If Wynn or Michel falls to us at 38, then grab one. At 47 look at S DeShon Elliott/Jessie Bates/Justin Reid, and then at 69 look at CB Quenton Meeks/Holton Hill. Grab DE Ejiofor at the top of the 4th (he’ll drop due to no combine or pro day due to surgery, the way Beckwith did for us), and then Either OT Brandon Parker, DE Jaylon Ferguson, or RB Nyheim Hines in the 5th. Will Clapp and Jojo Wicker in the 6th.
Use this chart for trade values (much nicer):
From what I hear, Vea is not going to get past the Chargers. Trading with ARI is the only real potential spot atm where we can trade down and still have a decent shot at Vea. No guarantee, but possible. I like your thinking.
Depending on who is available at #7, I’m all for trading down with Buffalo. Whether that’s for the 21st and 22nd picks, or their 21st and both of their 2nd round picks (possible 2019 2nd too.) We have so many holes to fill on defense (thanks to that dreadful 2016 draft) and the OL that we need multiple good players. Having 3-4 picks in the first 60 selections is greater than 2 and staying in the top 10, imo.
A draft like these two would make the team better AND address areas of needs.
#21) Derwin S
#22) Price C
#38) Hubbard DE
#21) Payne DT
#38) Wynn G
#53) D. Jackson CB
#56) Chubb RB
I have been encouraging this trade for a while now. If we choose too, we could trade down the 22nd spot and pick up more draft picks in the 2nd/3rd rounds. This would really solve a lot of issues and we would be more competitive in the NFC South this season.
Yeah, that 21/22 spot is a bit of a dead zone for us, especially if Vea, Payne, James, etc are gone. Landry, Price, Hubbard there? No, I’ll pass. Wouldn’t mind trading both 21 & 22 (w/ CLE & NYJ) and getting 8 good players between rounds 2-5. So, basically, if we can pull two additional second & third round picks for our #7, that would be fine.
Outstanding article as usual, Scott. I have even said I would prefer they fire Licht for not building our trenches and his losing record while he has been here and hire you as their GM. However, if you look at other teams that succeed, they all use first round picks for LT. Using a second round pick for LT and spending three years for Smith to develop has been a failure for the Bucs and has endangered our QB to injury and has upped the QB’s turnovers and resulted in too many holding penalties by Smith because of his lack of skill in pass blocking. I favor moving down in the first round and taking LT Orlando Brown or one of the other projected four first round LTs and moving Smith to LG where he will be a real star. Use Buffalo’s other first pick for Penny who gives us both a breakaway RB as well as a run back specialist who has run back kicks for touchdowns and a good change of pace back for RB Barber and hire Crowell from the Browns as the other RB. At Center our GM can hire Jensen from Baltimore or in the third round either take Arkansas’s Center or Ohio State’s Center or Michigan State’s Center and move Marpet back to RG and Dotson at RT, with Pamphile to back up the Tackle position (having been a basketball player in college like Dotson), Benenoch to back up both Guard positions, and Hawley C/G to backup the Center, and we would have a championship line. With Buckner’s Coaching I think Sevie T will be able to hold down the NT position and McCoy and Gholston or McDonald at DE, use the second round pick for one of five 250 lb DEs in the draft that can be converted to OLB or use Noah Spence there on one side and David on the other or Beckwith and Alexander and Bullough as ILBs, resign Grimes and hire the other CB with Justin Evans at Safety and a punishing tackler hired at the other Safety position.and Pinero as place kicker in the draft 5th pick or lower–only missed one kick all year and kicked an 87 yarder in practice and kicked deep on kick offs. The fourth pick could be used for a second 250 pound DE who can play OLB for the bucs.
Let’s keep focused how bad our pass rush was. Whether we go to a 3-4 or stay with the 4-3 the present defensive ends are not the answer. Why do we talk so much about the offense when we have this defensive problem?
Re: Fab 1
The first article that I saw regarding this “trade down scenario” was from DraftWire.
Just in case you’re interested.
Whoops! macabbeeMac had it covered already.
macabee, that is … (clunky typing and a bit of creeping senility)
How the heck do you guys have Gholston as definitely coming back? We overpaid this guy last offseason, and he did absolutely nothing to help our defense last year. Unless we restructure his deal, he is a total waste of cap space. RESTRUCTURE OR RELEASE! I also think we should move him over to DT or 3-4 DE. Even restructured, he is not good at 4-3 DE.
Re: Fab 2 … Buckner
Enjoyed the info and analysis. Looks like the Bucs got lucky when Bruce Arians retired. Kinda like when Howard fell to us in the draft last year. The football gods don’t all frown on us!
Since we’re just throwin’ things against the wall (old spaghetti trick) lately I’ve been seeing mocks that have Chubb, Barkley, and Nelson off the board. If that’s the case, I’m really starting to like OLB Tremaine Edmunds/Virginia Tech. If we were to say trade down with the Raiders at 10 and pick up a 3rd or the Cardinals at 15 and pick up a 2nd, I would have no problem with selecting Edmunds.
OLB Tremaine Edmunds is a 6-5 250lb instinctive rushing/tackling machine that is a coupla burgers and a bag of fries away from a 260lb DE. He could make a nice book-end to Noah Spence in 3-4 sets. No serious inclination yet, just thinking out loud. Go Bucs!
Who do you think the raiders would trade up to take?
His an amazing talent as is his brother. My own opinion i think the raiders could really use a guy like that or like smith from Georgia.
Is a great idea!
Sorry taking a minute to get back to you but I have searched all over for the mock where I saw the Raiders trade and I can’t find it. It may have been a trade where RB Barkley was still on the board (which I would not do). Arizona has made no secret that they would like to trade up for a QB, But I think Edmunds will be gone. I have read that with a good combine, he has a chance to be a top ten pick. Hope you get your guy. Go Bucs!
I agree macabee:
Tremaine Edmunds has great production, is only 19 and is freak athlete. I expect big things from him.
Edmunds, Saquan Barkley and Derwin James will most likely come out of the combine looking like the three most freak athletes in the draft.
What does everything think about them adding cordy glenn to the trade?
Also ince the rams just acquired marcus peters do you see us trading for a veteran? It worked for us and mankins.
Guessing they made that trade to replace Trumaine Johnson, who’s a FA. Smart move as long as Peters keeps his head on straight. Johnson would be a solid addition to our DB room, though he won’t come cheap as there’s going to be a ton of interest in him.
This could be a very interesting draft this year.
We can discuss the draft alot but I am waiting to see what the Bucs do in FA. Go Bucs
I’m so sick and tired of analysts and reporters talking about “attitude” like it actually matters and is the reason people are successful. We spend so little time talking about the amazing results Buckner has delivered in ARI and then immediately undermine it when we talk about how the attitude is the reason for his success. F*ck that! Give the man his real due.
The title should be “Buckner’s Results Make Him The Right Fit for Tampa”. I couldn’t give less of a sh*t if he was a happy-go-lucky surfer dude and the entire crew of players cried a lot and did ballet. As long as he can show the DLine how to take up gaps, get to the quarterback and stuff RBs that’s all that needs to be said.
TB needs to stop living under the shadow of irrelevant players and old-boy thinking of how people need “bad-ass mentality” when all they really need is to be able to do the damn job.
I gave your remarks a thumbs up. Your points are well made.
Your tone has some of the same attitude, however. Football is ever a violent sport. The players are humans. They are “men playing a man’s game” at the highest level there is. They have to function like machines to some degree and try to remain overgrown “young boys at heart” at the same time.
The “bad-ass mentality” is just one of the “intangibles” that sports writers use frequently. Cliches reflect the street slang and war analogies of the times.
1) trade down, why not…we’ve tried everything else
2) he sounds good, but if we plan to rush max-4 again (whether that’s out of a 3-4 or 4-3) and expect to get pressure we’re in for another long season
3) maybe, maybe but I have seen far too many late round picks touted as future stars on our team…I’ll believe it when I see it
4) just take someone in the trenches….please for once.
First time ever posting. Lifetime fan from Cincy, OH
As far as free agency goes, with the thought process of shifting to 3-4 front
RB Isaiah Crowell-CLE
C Ryan Jansen-BAL
DE Sheldon Richardson-SEA (cut or renegotiate Gholston)
CB Trumaine Johnson -LA
Draft, make the trade with buffalo. Our first for 21,22 and their 2nd.
1.1- Vea if available or Settle
1.2- Darwin James if available or best corner
2.1- best guard ( Hernandez-UTEP or Wynn-UGA)
2.2-best safety/corner depending on first round (Harrison-Bama or Alexander-UL)
3- Best RB available (Penny-SDSU, Ballage-ASU or Freeman-ORE
4-7 get rotationional players on d-line and developmental linebacker
This scenario provides us with three capable running backs. An interior O-Line of Wynn Jansen Marpet( finally back at guard). D-Line McCoy Vea/Settle Richardson with Spence and David as OLB and kwon and KBeck in the middle. Johnson and rookie CB on outside, more time for Ryan Smith to develop and VHIII in slot. Evans and rookie/conte at safety.
Welcome to the forum Brian.
This time of year is always so much fun reading all of the player evaluations and predicted and/or proposed Draft scenarios. Folks toss out so many, some are bound to hit and they can pound their chests like King Kong. Me, I just sit back and enjoy.
With regards to trading down with the Bills, I have a simple analogy type question. Do you want to go to the Prom with the head cheerleader (7th pick) or two girls from the flute section (21st and 22nd picks)? Both options have some benefits. Many believe more is better. I typically prefer quality over quantity. I’d usually rather have one BMW than two Kias.
In this case, I’m not so sure the quality I’d want will be there at #7. Thus, a Horse-trade down for the Bill’s 21 and 22 is a bit more palatable; especially if yet another later Draft pick is put into the booty.
No matter what happens there will be fans rejoicing and fans threatening to cancel their season pass membership. Me, I take a wait and see approach and refrain from jumping to a conclusion like it’s an Olympic event.
“The Bills might be fine moving up to No. 7 in a quarterback-rich draft prior to April 28 because they know that Chubb, Nelson and Barkley – and possibly Fitzpatrick, too – are gone in the first six picks, and that will leave two or three of the top quarterbacks left for Buffalo to take.”
Why would Licht trade up BEFORE the Bucs are on the clock? That’s ridiculous. Sure, work the deal out ahead of time with Buffalo if they’re truly interested, but you certainly don’t make anything official ahead of time. Licht would look like an idiot if Chubb, Barkley, or Nelson were available and he’d already taken a deal to move down. You only ever see pre-draft trades for picks if it’s the first or second overall.
I still haven’t read a valid argument for WHY Buffalo would even want the 7th pick. If they’re trading up ahead of the draft they want to pick #1 or #2 to get their top rated QB. Not the 4th one off the board at #7.
If Buffalo’s guy somehow IS available at #7 who are they trading up to get in front of? All 5 of the teams drafting after the Bucs already have QB’s. The Bills can afford to wait, spend less draft capital, and move in front of Arizona or Washington later in the top 12 if they want to move up on draft day.
If we’re truly going to hope for a trade down a more realistic one is with a team in the teens wanting to take their top WR in front of Chicago and SF. Maybe one of the WR prospects can elevate themselves to being worthy of that kind of move.
This is real simple, and I said it 4 years ago: Blount was better. I know he’s not 100% a starter, but he is a starter, and he was ALWAYS a little bit better than Martin, so there was no reason to even draft Doug. Thanks, Greg.
I would do the trade with the Bills if we got 21, 22 and their 2nd round pick 53 for 7.
Then give me, Da’Ron Payne, Sony Michel, Duke Ejiofor and Mike Hughes.
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