Monday, November 23, 2009

Makin Moves

Several people have asked me who we should draft next April. I will say to them you what I said to them, I am not a big draft guy. I don't keep tabs on draft boards and all that and I don't even know how many picks we have in the draft next year.

Having said that, here is how I would approach the draft next year just based on watching a lot of college football games this year.

My first choice would be to trade down and pick up draft picks. We are going to have some holes that need to be filled next year no matter who is the defensive coordinator.

Failing that if we have a top 5 pick then I would go with Rolando McClain the linebacker out of Alabama. The guy is a physical specimen who is big, athletic and explosive. You can line him up all over the place and he will make plays for you. He is also big enough to take on blockers, shed them and make the play. And best of all he is a very smart player who is a student of the game. He is definitely a guy who I think will come into somebody's came next year, learn the defense backwards and forward, and end up starting and probably being a leader for that team.

But if we can trade down I would definitely go for Eric Berry the safety out of my alma mater Tennessee. I know traditionally safeties are not drafted very high in the first round but I would make an exception for this guy. The reason being is that we have Jeremy Shockey and Tony Gonzales in our division now. We need a safety who is big enough and athletic enough to come down in the box and cover those guys tough or we are going to have problems.

Also Ronde Barber for as good as he is playing can't play forever. Berry would be the perfect replacement for him at nickel back. The guy is physical and he loves to come on blitzes and blow plays up. He is a ball hawk as well who has really good hands.

If we could draft Berry we would have one of the best young safety combos in the game with him and Tanard Jackson.

If we can't get either Berry or McClain then I would go for the cover corner at Alabama Javier Arenas or Taylor Mays the safety out of USC.

As far as defensive tackle I personally would rather the Bucs go out and sign somebody in free agency. High on my list would be former FSU player and pro bowler Darnell Dockett. The guy is a load and he can pass rush from just about any position on the defensive line. I know he has had some public confrontations with management out in Arizona but his teammates and coaches love the guy and he shows up every Sunday. And lets be real here, having a player from FSU will help get some people back on that season ticket list. Im just being real about it.

I would still look for a defensive tackle in the draft but it would be in the 4th or 5th round and it would be a big guy like a nose tackle. The draft always has plenty of those kinds of guys who slip through the cracks.

I think its all but assured that Ryan Sims won't be here next year. I am not sure about Chris Hovan but if I had a vote I would say we keep him because he is still productive and he is good in the community as well as being a leader in the locker room.

Now let me repeat this for you, this isn't really my deal. I'm sure Mel Kiper might look at this post and laugh. But from what I have seen watching football this year, these are the guys who could really help us next year to get our defense back on track. It is what it is.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Steve! Thanks for addressing the draft. I understand you might not be a draft guy, but your analysis on burst, pass/run moves, and effort are usually spot on. I think us Bucs fans are just looking for something we can be optimistic about, which is what the draft is all about(the future). I think you're right about McClain and Berry, but id flop in how they'd be drafted. We could probably trade down for McClain, while Monte Kiffin has already come out and said the Bucs should take Berry #1 (which he should since he coaches him). I agree with trading down if we actually have any takers (nobody wants the #1 pick anymore because of the guaranteed money they must shell out).

    Thank you for mentioning Dockett! He is a beast! I was at FSU with him and the guy has been a stud from day one! One of the few DT's who have actually improved over the years. I wished the Bucs would've drafted him (how he fell to the 3rd round i have no idea!). Hopefully the Pats dont go after him (which they should) since he's from MD. I doubt he'd want to play for a team coming off such a poor season, but $$$ talks. Lets hope the Glazers are willing to shell it out as they showed they were willing to with Haynesworth. Thanks Steve!