Thursday, February 11, 2010

On The Bucs Drafting Eric Berry At Number 3

As I hear the draftniks going into full swing since the NFL season is now officially over I have heard a lot of chatter about who the Buccaneers should pick at #3. Now I know one guy threw a total curveball saying the Bucs would take USF defensive end Jason Paul-Pierre, but that is pretty much unfathomable. In fact, while I like JPP's potential I personally would say the whole scouting department should be fired if they draft him that high. He had a pretty good year this year, but he had only one year as a starter. And while he was good you couldn't make the argument that he was dominant without getting laughed out of the room. I think if there is an established team out there that doesn't have a lot of teams (they are usually towards the bottom of the first round because of their success) then perhaps you can get a guy like JPP as a project for a few years down the road. But the Bucs need a guy who can contribute right away. A homerun so to speak.

That brings me to the guy I have said they should pick all along and that is Eric Berry. Now I know the hype behind Ndamukong Suh and Gerald McCoy is such that they would HAVE to draft one of those guys if they fell to them. I get that much. But if not I think Berry is overwhelmingly the logical choice. He would fill an area of need. He would give us a very dynamic safety tandem with Tanard Jackson. And he is so versatile that he could begin the transition of Ronde Barber retiring by taking over some of his duties as a nickel blitzer.

The thing of it is, I haven't really heard anyone, not one single person, argue that Berry isn't talented enough to be taken at #3. The knock seems to always be that Saftey is a position that just isn't traditionally drafed that high. And you know what, they are right! But I wanted to do a thought experiment for those fans who believe that just because it isn't traditionally done, that we shouldn't do it.

Here are a couple of lists I want you to check out and then I will explain afterwards.

1. Charles Rogers, Dewayne Robertson, Byron Leftwich, Michael Haynes, and Jerome McDougle.

2. David Carr, Joey Harrington, Mike Williams, Wendell Bryant, William Green, Phillip Buchannan, TJ Duckett, Ashley Lelie, Javon Walker.

3. Robert Gallery, DeAngelo Hall, Reggie Williams, Michael Clayton, J.P. Losman, Marcus Tubbs, Chris Perry, Kevin Jones, Rashaun Woods, Teddy Lehman.

The first list is guys drafted before Troy Palomalu, the second list is guys drafted before Ed Reed, and the third list is guys drafted before Bob Sanders.

Now I know all three have had some injury issues during their career, but 2 out of the 3 have been voted Defensive Player of the Year, and 2 of the 3 have won a Superbowl. Now ask yourself a question, do you really believe the GMs for the teams that drafted before they were taken wouldn't go back now and pick them instead?

I know that hindsight is 20/20 but by all accounts Eric Berry looks to be in the same class of athlete as all three of those guys. If he runs a good time which at this point I would think would be the only question left, I really can't see how drafting him at 3 would be a bad move.

Now there are no guarantees in life, and definitely not in the NFL draft, but I have seen enough to convince me that Eric Berry would be a solid pick at #3. It is what it is.

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