About the author

Scott Reynolds

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]

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34 Comments

  1. 1

    Naplesfan

    Thanks, Scott, another very good Fab5.

    I’m totally on board with drafting OJ Howard if he’s there, as well as John Ross. They provide two very important missing qualities on the offense, too bad we can’t draft both! One is a great, big, blocking and pass catching tight end who would help us immensely with both our running game, as a blocker, and our red zone game as a receiver. The other is a burner who would give us the pass-catching speed we’ve lacked for many years now, a great complement to big Mike Evans on the outside.

    As to coaching, we’re well blessed now, finally, after so many years of futility on the sidelines.

    Best improvements we can make offensively are what I described above for Howard and Ross – get better in our run blocking and red zone playmaking, and add speed and a dangerous alternative to the perennially-double teamed Mike Evans.

    Defensively, we just need the guys we have to get healthy again, and keep learning, and of course, enjoy the continuity of having Coach Smith back again.

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    1. 1.1

      Scott Reynolds

      Thank you, Naplesfan. I too like John Ross. It will be interesting to see how his medical checks out at the Combine. He had microfracture knee surgery for his torn ACL two years ago. That will determine if he’s a first- or second-rounder.

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  2. 2

    e

    I wouldn’t sleep on TE David Njoku, Scott. This kid can play and has a lot of upside.

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    1. 2.1

      Scott Reynolds

      Agreed. He’s tight end No. 2 on the Bucs’ board and a potential first-round option if O.J. Howard is off the board.

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  3. 3

    pinkstob

    Count me in as one of those who always liked Penn and didn’t want to see him go. His weight was never an issue with me. However, Penn and D. Smith have only one thing in common which is their weight. They are almost polar opposites in every other regard. First of all, Penn has great feet, always has. His quick feet have always allowed him to excel as a pass protector even though he wasn’t making the Pro Bowl. Penn went undrafted, so it takes guys like that a while who play on the O-line to get recognized as top performers. Especially when they play in markets like Tampa. D. Smith has slow feet and is a poor pass protector.
    Second of all Penn is a poor run blocker, always was. It was always difficult for Penn to make a play on guys at the second level. Penn also never possessed great strength. We never ran the ball well behind Penn. D. Smith is actually good in both of those areas. Again, nothing in common.
    Finally, Penn is a great leader, an enforcer and an almost Sapp-like verbal bully on the field. I haven’t seen any of those characteristics from D. Smith.
    In short, D. Smith is a good run blocker but he can move over to RT and do that. We need a real LT that can pass protect.

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    1. 3.1

      e

      I like the insight, Pink, and I think that if a top OT slides, the Bucs need to take a serious look.

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    2. 3.2

      Scott Reynolds

      Donovan Smith is a very good run blocker and that gives the Bucs’ offense balance being able to be left-handed and right-handed in the running game, which is a plus. He’s improving as a pass protector and is not a finished product yet. The Bucs believe in him as a left tackle.

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  4. 4

    macabee

    I’m on the same page with e!

    I’m already seeing mocks with Howard going before 19. I am not alarmed by this because this draft is loaded with weapons for Winston. Everybody just witnessed the Senior Bowl and came away with the idea that we must draft Howard.

    But he’s not the only potential monster down the seam. Get a load of this guy, David Njoku, who BTW has better numbers than Howard and is a former track star who is 6-4, 245, and runs a 4.52/40 – WR speed. The combine may change who the #1 TE is in the draft.

    When Howard took the stage at the weigh-in, folks oohed and aahed at the physical specimen. Well this guy is no slouch either. My first preference is still Howard, but would not complain one bit if Njoku was the Bucs pick. May even be able to trade down with a QB hungry team and pick up another draft pick.

    Here’s Njoku’s intro:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jonl_sEIehI

    Here’s Njoku’s highlight tape:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hs8Xq0Xm0Oc

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  5. 5

    SaskBucs

    A good read as usual. Man it gets hard to temper expectations after reading articles like this for the next 2 months. I want to take Baker in round 1 now! Last year I thought Vitale was gonna shock the league haha. It seems to me that if Williams, Davis and Howard are gone by 19, we take the best DL available. I am not sold on Ross. I am hearing about knee injuries and he just doesn’t seem like a sure fire WR2 right away.

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    1. 5.1

      Scott Reynolds

      Thank you, SaskBucs. If Mike Williams, Corey Davis and OJ Howard are gone by round 1, a player like DE Charles Harris could be a viable option for the Bucs.

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  6. 6

    MudManVA

    Thanks for another enjoyable fab 5 Scott!
    Agree on Howard across the board! Which ties into your fab 4 with NE & ATL! The BUCS need mo weapons on offense. The first game with ATL I believe is when they had all their weapons healthy & playing. Howard is a no brainer, but I am worried that WR picked in the 2-6 round will not be a year 1 real contributor. That is why I often cry out for a FA WR. When Shorts settled in to the offense, he began to contribute, and he was no world beater WR. Jameis needs help, surround him with weapons & depth.
    I much rather have 2 offensive weapons in rounds 1 & 2 which has us missing Baker. I believe we are 1 safety short on D, but believe the BUCS are so offensive needy on weapons to get us over the hump.
    PS-I think the BUCS offensive line is young and getting better, and is not the BUCS greatest need. The only area that needs talent improvement is center. Howley is a crafty vet and tough, but isn’t physically dominate.
    In Licht we trust, GO BUCS

    I wouldn’t mind trading back up into the 1st round to get Corey Davis & Howard, which in my mind would be year 1 starters. Then go after another RB in rounds 3-6.

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    1. 6.1

      Scott Reynolds

      Thank you, MudManVA.

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  7. 7

    Alldaway 2.0

    After watching the Bucs ignore OL issues (eg OG situation) which promoted a knee jerk trade for Mankins this seems like a repeat of what happened a couple of years ago. This time it is the OT position the Bucs need to seriously invest into.

    Dotson/Smith at OT spots put in questionable performances this past season.

    Bucs FO would be making the same mistake as they did when they assumed they would be okay with Nicks/trash OGs they were rolling out at RG.

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    1. 7.1

      Scott Reynolds

      Who do you like at OT this year? It’s not exactly a bumper crop at the position.

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  8. 8

    DrT1066

    Scott
    Are the Pundits right and games are won in the trenches and great defenses beat great offenses (Bucs/Raiders and Broncos/Panthers)?

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  9. 9

    drdneast

    I liked Donald Penn to pinksrop, but rhe lasr yea he qas here he.got pusheed around in pass protection because he got so fat and slow. I believe he led the league in sacks lallowd at the LT position.
    As for Smith having “slow feet” that was one scours opinion of him coming oit of college but I can’t rrecall many plays whDEe he has been out and out beaten by a DE. Perhaps u can cittya few examples for us unlearned types.
    If Sweezy can get on the field this year I might feel a bit better about our current OL.
    As it is, I don’t think Pamphille is the road grader at RT. To many times this season I ssw a lot of penetration from the left center of the line and overall I would give the line a C- for their play last year.
    Hawley is a great technician but lacks the bulk to move the line in short yardage situations.
    Still, he is a better center than Evan Smith who is paid to much to sit on the bench.

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    1. 9.1

      pinkstob

      E. Mack (Oakland), V. Miller (Denver) and a DE that hadn’t shown up for the Cowboys all year come to mind. I can’t even remember the 3rd guy’s name because he was a nobody, but he took over the Dallas game. He never really showed up after that game for Dallas either. As for E. Mack even though he is a household name he hadn’t really done anything in terms of sacks on the season…until he played us and got like 3 sacks.

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      1. 9.1.1

        macabee

        DE/DT David Irving 1.5 sacks against Tampa Bay.

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      2. 9.1.2

        scubog

        Pink: Did those names you listed line up against Donovan Smith? Seems to me it was Dotson and Cherilus (Dallas game) who had difficulty.

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        1. 9.1.2.1

          pinkstob

          If memory serves me correctly then yes. Cherilis also struggled in the Dallas game though. But Smith gives up pressure in every game, it just doesn’t always result in a sack.

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    2. 9.2

      GoldonAges

      If we don’t trade up, say, 5 spots, for Cook or Davis, which is tempting, and if we don’t trade down into the early 2nd rd to acquire another pick, which is also tempting, drafting OJ Howard at 19 is a no brainer.

      As much as I LOVE Cook, I think standing pat is the smartest move. One should always draft with his head, not his heart. Given the choice between Howard and Ross it would take me all of 10 seconds to decide. Howard may be a generational talent. Plus, he’s an exceptional kid. Ross is a flimsy 180lb WR with blistering speed. I prefer to draft that speed in a later round. Shelton Gibson, Stacey Coley, KD Cannon, Taywan Taylor. There is speed in this draft. I want Howard and Brate and Evans playing together.

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      1. 9.2.1

        Scott Reynolds

        Patrick, you make a good point about speed receivers. There will be plenty to choose from on Day 2 and Day 3. I personally like Shelton Gibson, Taywan Taylor and Carlos Henderson. KD Cannon had his moments, too, and would be a good developmental speed guy.

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  10. 10

    Buc 1976

    FIRST ROUND OJH PERIOD!!!

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  11. 11

    surferdudes

    Not fond of using a 2nd round pick on a safety, the last line of defense. Not as bad as using our first pick on Barron, who supposedly was the best at his position that year. Baker to me is to small for safety in the NFL, and we already as you said Scott have enough DB’s if we had to move him to the nickle. My guess is he can be had in the 3rd round. Don’t care how hard he hits, that just might get him hurt going against NFL talent. I know Barber was small too, but he was a true nickle, and totally sucked when moved to safety.

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    1. 11.1

      Scott Reynolds

      In Ronde Barber’s defense, he was 37 (I think) when he moved to free safety and didn’t have the speed to play single high safety.

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  12. 12

    Tassonedna

    As always the SR’s FAB 5 is my favorite read of the week. Truly the best Bucs insight anywhere. I’m feeling really confident there is going to be some awesome offensive talent on the board at 19 for the Bucs. One of the following will be available at 19 IMO Dalvin Cook, Leonard Fournette, Mike Williams, Corey Davis, OJ Howard or John Ross. One of these guys will be there and I believe one of these guys will be a Buccaneer! I absolutely think the main focus this offseason for Licht and Koetter is to get players that will make explosive offensive plays!!

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  13. 13

    scubog

    Sure seemed like this version of the Fab 5 had a lot of previously written information and quotes. Still entertaining though.

    Since Horse is on vacation I’ll serve as his proxy and make a comment that he would appreciate. “We need a new center. Hawley is too small. Why not give Gotschalk a chance?”

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    1. 13.1

      Naplesfan

      Well, scubog, if you’re going to sub for Horse, then let me sub for you:

      “Horse, why do you keep finding a way to bring up your fave Gotschalk in virtually every thread here at PR?

      🙂

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      1. 13.1.1

        scubog

        Funny! Yes, I might have said something like that.

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  14. 14

    Javier SP

    “Despite having playmaker Aaron Hernandez on the roster the Patriots drafted Gronkowski, a player who had first-round ability, but back surgery in college forced him to miss his junior year and his stock slipped to the second round as a result.”

    This beginning of this line is incorrect. Gronkowski and Hernandez were both drafted in the same year 2010. Gronkowski was drafted first (second round) and Hernandez second (fourth round).

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  15. 15

    Brandonges

    Great Fab 5 as always SR. I especially enjoyed the piece about Javancy Jones. You’ve certainly made me a fan and I hope the Bucs call his name on draft day.

    I’m so hesitant about taking any Tight End in the first round. The recent history of first round Tight Ends is really bad. It might be a luxury pick that Tampa can’t afford. I get that Howard tests better than a lot of the recent guys, but it still feels like such a gamble on a guy who maxed out at 600 yards/season. My hope is that WR Corey Davis is still on the board at 19, but even if he isn’t, this is a very deep draft for Defensive End and Safety and I think Tampa would get more value going in that direction and coming back to TE later in the draft.

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  16. 16

    drdneast

    Sorry about all those typos but I was writing on my phone.
    Yes, David Irving got all of those sacks in the second half and also caused an INT against Cherilus “after” he suffered a groin pull and could barely move. Still, I don’t think we should bring Cherilus back. He is getting old and slow.
    Pinkstob, u could say the same thing about every OT in the league giving up “pressures.” Sometimes it give the QB an opportunity to step up in the pocket and made a toss downfield as well.
    As it is, I think I trust Licht’s evaluation and my critical eye over yours. If I thought he was a crummy pass blocker, I have no dog in this fight, I would say so.
    Scubog, I hate to admit it but I agree with your assessment of Hawley because I like his personna. I like his nasty attitude and he is also a great technician, but yes, he seems to be a little light, Perhaps more fast food should be included in his diet. If we are going to cut a veteran center, I would prefer them get rid of Evans.
    Although not as bad as most of Lovie Smith’s FA pickups, he hasn’t been able to win back the starting centers job since Hawley got here.
    I am beginning to warm up to the idea of the Alabama TE since he can both block and catch the ball. As it is now, no team is really afraid of Luke Stocker as a receiver and Brate is still a little to light to be an effective blocker in the running game.

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  17. 17

    GoldsonAges

    Jeremy Sprinkle is just as good a blocker as Howard. He should not be lumped in with the other one dimensional TEs.

    I also want to raise the subject of OL. I agree with their assessment of Dotson. But DSmith is not performing. He lacks tenacity. He quits on plays and he is our blindside protection for our franchise QB. I would like to see them address the issue but we are probably stuck with him for 2 more years, much to the detriment of our growing offense.

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  18. 18

    GoldsonAges

    BTW, I love the 1st 2 picks. Baker is the best safety in this draft IMO

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