Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2012 Draft Is a Must-Win for the Team and Mark Dominik

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2012 Draft Is a Must-Win for the Team and Mark Dominik
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images
Adrian Clayborn has proven his value as a first-rounder.

Let's call it the way it really is—this week's 2012 NFL draft is a must-win for the Buccaneers and especially for their general manager, Mark Dominik.

Let's amend that slightly—this draft needs to be a "huge win."

It needs to be huge, it needs to be a win, because after three drafts under Dominik—well, let's be reasonable here and take a long look at what the Bucs have reaped from three years of Dominik drafting.

 

2009 Draft

Josh Freeman

The 17th pick of first round, this one was pushed hard by then-coach Raheem Morris. Freeman's shown flashes, but after a superb 2010 performance, he totally regressed last season. He's going into his fourth year, and this one could tell the tale.

Verdict:  Jury's still out.

 

Roy Miller

A third-round pick, Miller has failed to become a starter and is basically a serviceable backup.

Verdict:  Flop.

 

Kyle Moore

The defensive end from Southern Cal was selected in fourth round. And released.

Verdict: Total flop.

What overall grade would you give Dominik's three drafts?

Submit Vote vote to see results

 

Xavier Fulton

Offensive tackle from Illinois. Taken in fifth round. Released.

Verdict: Total flop.

 

E.J. Biggers

Corner from Western Michigan taken in seventh round. Serviceable backup.

Verdict: Okay, he's played well at times.

 

Sammie Stroughter

Wide receiver from Oregon State taken in seventh round. Serviceable backup.

Verdict: Has surpassed expectations for a seventh-rounder. Good pick.

 

2010 Draft

Gerald McCoy

Third overall pick in draft, defensive tackle from Oklahoma. Hasn't finished a 16-game season.

The third overall pick should be one of the faces of the franchise, but he's a popular face on Injured Reserve.

Verdict: Jury's still out.

 

Brian Price

Second-round pick, defensive tackle from UCLA. Has spent more time on Injured Reserve than on the field. McCoy's twin.

Verdict: Jury's still out, and that's generous.

Is this a critical draft for the Buccaneers?

Submit Vote vote to see results

 

Arrelious Benn

Second-round pick, wide receiver from Illinois. Again, he's a card-carrying member of the Injury Club along with McCoy and Price. Hasn't done anything meaningful.

Verdict: Jury's still out, needs to see more evidence.

 

Myron Lewis

Third-round pick, corner from Vanderbilt. Hasn't done anything to prove that this wasn't a waste of a third-round pick.

Verdict: If it look like a flop and smells like a flop, it's a flop.

 

Mike Williams

Fourth-round pick, wide receiver out of Syracuse. He looked like the steal of the entire draft in the 2010 season. Disappeared in 2011.

Verdict: Jury's still out.

 

Brent Bowden

Sixth-round pick, punter, Virginia Tech. Poster boy for why you don't draft punters. Released.

Verdict: Total flop.

 

Cody Grimm

Seventh-round pick, Virginia Tech. Really nice starter at strong safety when healthy, needs to cut up his membership card from the Injury Club. A super selection, perhaps, if he'll lose the card.

Verdict: Jury's still out.

Who was the best pick out of all of these drafts?

Submit Vote vote to see results

 

Dekoda Watson

Seventh-round pick, linebacker, FSU. Decent backup, good special teams contributor. That's how seventh-rounders blossom.

Verdict: Okay pick.

 

Erik Lorig

Seventh-round pick, played defensive end at Stanford. Nice contributor, versatile, can play more than one position. It's what a seventh-round success story looks like.

Verdict: Good pick.

 

 

2011 Draft

Adrian Clayborn

First-round pick (20th), defensive end from Iowa. This guy has the motor you expect and the endurance, and his play last season gave every indication that he will be a success story and live up to the expectations of a first-rounder.

Verdict: Really nice pick so far.

 

Da'Quan Bowers

Second-round pick, defensive end, Clemson. Should have had enough time to recover from the knee problems.

For a guy who was being talked about as the first overall pick for a while last year, it's time for him to step out of the shadows so people can replace the word "potential" with the word "production."

Verdict: Jury's still out.

Will Da'Quan Bowers have a breakout season in 2012?

Submit Vote vote to see results

 

Mason Foster

Third-round pick, linebacker, Washington. Was put in a "no-win" situation last year, first-year guy surrounded by clueless linebackers and a horrible defensive coordinator.

His best spot may be outside linebacker. Head coach Greg Schiano is trying to make that determination.

Verdict: Jury's still out but looking like a solid starter.

 

Luke Stocker

Fourth-round pick, tight end, Tennessee. Is he the next Myron Lewis? Hasn't done much or proven anything but needs to step up this year.

Verdict: Potential flop.

 

Ahmad Black

Fifth-round pick, safety, Florida. With the situation at safety, this is Black's chance to show that he was a good pick.

Verdict: Jury's out.

 

Allen Bradford

Sixth-round pick, running back, Southern Cal. Released.

Verdict: Total flop.

 

Anthony Gaitor

Seventh-round pick, corner, Florida International. Serviceable backup.

Verdict: May have trouble making this year's roster.

 

Daniel Hardy

Seventh-round pick, tight end, Idaho. Had a good chance because there wasn't much in front of him. Released.

Will McCoy and Price finally overcome their injuries?

Submit Vote vote to see results

Verdict: Flop.

 

There you have them, 23 players drafted. And here's the big question: has any player from the 2009 or 2010 draft had back-to-back good seasons?

Answer: No.

Who has shown major improvement?

Who has managed to play in 16 games a year?

Did this team and these picks suffer because they weren't being "coached up?"

The strength of the Schiano staff is teaching, and that's why 2012 is a big opportunity for the guys from these three drafts who are still on the roster.

But the fact is that Dominik's drafts as an entire body of work haven't been anything to write home about.

That is why come Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the Bucs need more than a win.

They need a huge win.

It's that simple.

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