I didn't think it was possible to have a more uninspiring draft than last year but the Bucs managed to lower the bar even further. Two picks in particular boggle me, 2nd rounder Arron Sears and 3rd rounder Quincy Black. Both picks where at positions the Bucs had no pressing need but which could have been used on a position the Bucs had a bigger need at, tackle.

For the second straight year the Bucs selected a guard in the first two rounds, which is odd because: 1) the Bucs already have two really good guards in Joseph and Buenning and, 2) you can find quality guards in the later rounds (i.e. Buenning was drafted in the fourth). Buccaneer Harbour seems to think that Buenning can be moved to center which would kill two birds with one stone, although I believe the Bucs would have been better served to draft Justin Blalock (ot, Texas). Blalock, who went to the Falcons, has a better chance of starting at left tackle, which is the bigger need for the Bucs.

Quincy Black is another odd choice for the Bucs considering they already have two very good weakside linebackers, Brooks and Cato June, and the last thing the defense needs is a project pick. An infinitely smarter pick would have been Demarcus 'Tank' Tyler, the defensive tackle out of NC State for several reasons. First, Tank would have filled the Bucs most pressing need, defensive tackle, which the Bucs are woefully thin at. Second, it would give the Bucs another great nickname to replace Booger.

The rest of the draft was fairly uninspiring. I had hoped CJ or Joe Thomas would have fallen to the Bucs but neither did and the Bucs made the safe pick and drafted Gaines Adams, who was widely regarded as the top defensive player on the board. I would have liked to see the Bucs select Amobi Okoye at four but Braves and Birds makes an interesting point that the Falcons, who have a need for a defensive tackle as well, had a shot at drafting Okoye and passed on him. What does it say about Okoye that his college coach, Bobby Petrino, passed on Okoye to draft another defensive lineman?

I like the two defensive backs the Bucs selected, safety Sabby Piscitelli and corner Tanard Jackson. The Bucs most glaring need, after offensive and defensive tackle, was safety and Piscitelli filled the need. Plus the Bucs can now claim they have the only Italian American in the league, which is good for an untold number of Soprano's jokes. And Jackson is a great value in the fourth round for a cornerback. Jackson slipped because he didn't have ideal speed but neither did Ronde Barber and how has that worked out?

All in all, I would give the Bucs a 'C' if I where to hand out draft grades. They landed only one impact player, Gaines Adams, when they could have landed three impact players. I like that the Bucs added depth to their offensive and defensive lines, which is the quickest way to turn a team around (a la the Ravens last year). And the Bucs likely picked up a good deal of starters for the forseeable future. But the question I keep going to is what impact will any of these players have on the team next year, not five years down the line? Two years ago the Bucs drafted three impact players, Cadillac, Alex Smith and Dan Buenning, and made the playoffs largely due to the contributions of these three rookies. I don't see that level of contribution from this year's crop of rookies.


Anonymous said...

So uhh.. Remember when you said you wanted Troy Smith in the 1st round.. Moron.

Falcons had a great draft, I'm excited. Okoye is overrated and would've been a huge reach at 4 if the Bucs took him. I like Jamal Anderson better, we need DE more than DT. We drafted for the Offensive Line and Defense like I hoped. Most sites are giving the Falcons an 'A' so I'm glad we filled our needs.

Ski said...

doug, i never suggested the bucs should draft troy smith in 1st round. i did suggest they should draft him in the late second/early third which looks fairly foolish on my part. that being written smith was a great pickup by the ravens, and i have every reason to believe Smith will be a successful starter in the league. the only knock on Smith is his height, but Drew Brees is the exact same height as Smith.

and while the Falcons draft was decent, Carolina had the best draft in the division.

M. Libid said...

Arron Sears can play both tackle and guard. I believe he will be able to transition into the offensive tackle position in the NFL. Your draft wasn't that bad actually, so lighten up a bit.