Let's get to the most important news first, for the first time in a long time I liked the Bucs draft. As I mentioned at the Sticks, this was a more risk filled draft compared to last year. Last year's draft (and to a lesser degree previous drafts) featured more "safe" picks, i.e. guys who will be starters but not all-stars in the league. Which was mirrored in this year's Bucs team which was solid but lacked playmaking ability. I mentioned this multiple times last season but the Bucs offense was ranked the 10th most efficient by Football Outsiders but ranked only 18th when it came to scoring points (in the same company as the offensively inept Bears). The Bucs offensive weakness was exposed towards the end of the season when defense realized that to shut down the Bucs offense all you had to do was double team Galloway.
Now at this point the astute observer might argue, "Ski, the Bucs didn't draft any playmaking skill players on the offense this year," and those observations would be dead on accurate. I think the Bucs made a huge mistake passing on Limas Sweed in the second round and Mario Manningham in the third. That being written Dexter Jackson could develop into the guy who makes those 2 or 3 big plays a game the Bucs are looking for. I expect Jackson to be mostly used as a kick returner, a position which he could excel at as he was the fastest player timed at this year's combine. If Jackson can make the same impact on the team that Devin Harris has for the Bears or MJD has for the Jags then he was well worth a late second round pick. Jackson's value to this team is as a kick returner and it's just icing on the cake if he makes one or two deep catches a game this season as the 3rd receiver.
Moving on I liked the Aqib Talib over Mike Jenkins pick, even if it led all the Bulls fans to rise up in anger and promise they will never attend another Bucs game. Talib is rated the better prospect by most scouts, and has the ambiguous label of play-maker attached to him, which is best defined using the words of Justice Potter Stewart, "I know it when I see it." A number of scouts considered Talib as top ten prospect talent-wise but he dropped due to concerns about his character. From what I understand the Bucs talked to a number of Talib's coaches and teammates at Kansas and they all had glowing things to say about the cornerback.
Looking around the intertubes at other Bucs blogs, the reaction to the Bucs draft is more subdued. Buccaneer Harbour finds the draft average and compares it to last year (on that point we could not disagree more) and BucStats response to the draft is "meh." Which I believe is the same sound a dying giraffe makes. Even though I respect both of these guys opinion's they could not be more wrong if they had advised Miley Cyrus to do that photo shoot.
On a somewhat interesting sidenote Mel Kiper Jr.s' draft grade for the Bucs was a "B" which might be noteworthy if the guys at Fire Joe Morgan had not revealed that Kiper's draft grades carry about as much insight as a Brittney Spears Guide to Parenting. (That's two pop culture references in one post, an all time high for me. I'm the PerezHilton of Bucs blogs.) Apparently the only grades Kiper had given over the last 3 years are either a "C" or "B" with the exception of an "A" for Kansas City this year. That's some weak sauce from Kiper there.
On a related note, if you are at all interested in sports blogging as a whole it's worth your time to catch the piece on Costos Now on HBO featuring one of the guys from FJM (who also writes for the Office as well, take that blogger-living-in-his-mothers-basement stereotypes!) and Will Leitch from Deadspin. The piece began with a recored look at sports blogs which was balanced but was then followed by a live panel discussion featuring Leith, Buzz Bissinger and Braylon Edwards(?). FJM captures the essence of the panel pretty well but for those who haven't seen it Leitch was unfairly attacked as a representative of blogs. What everyone on the panel with the obvious exception of Leitch failed to grasp was that, as FJM best put it,
The argument I had tried to make in the pre-taped segment was: you can't say anything about "blogs," any more than you can say anything about any medium. There are good blogs and bad blogs. There are blogs that cover the personal lives of athletes, ones that cover only the games, ones that offer opinions, and even a few that quixotically and foolishly attempt to metacriticize the media as a whole.For better or worse I don't imagine this is a conflict which will get any better anytime soon as sports columnists for newspapers continue to misunderstand and feel threatened by a new medium.
Anyway, with the draft having passed expect me to post more often over at the Sticks with the free time I hope to find more of over the summer. Or then again maybe I'll leave all you to rot in this rat infested blog while I'm busy with other nefarious matters like tying that maiden to the train tracks.