The Tampa Bay Buccaneers entered the 2013 offseason with gobs of money to spend—north of $30 million. While I was impressed with the addition of safety Dashon Goldson, the rest of the offseason has been kind of dull.
After the A+ report card I gave Mark Dominik and the Buccaneers after last year’s draft, I expect fireworks at the end of the month.
Tampa Bay needs a huge 2013 draft class, and I’m not talking size.
The Buccaneers have the No. 13 overall pick in the draft and eight total picks. Last year Dominik moved around in the first round and landed both safety Mark Barron and running back Doug Martin. He also shined with his third-round pick of linebacker Lavonte Davis.
If the Bucs’ first three picks are winners like last year’s, this team could improve quickly.
Tampa Bay has need at cornerback, offensive and defensive line. Where will the Buccaneers go early?
April 12: Ohio State safety Orhian Johnson worked out privately with the Buccaneers on Friday, according to Aaron Wilson of the Scout.com.
April 12: Connecticut linebacker Sio Moore has visited the Buccaneers, according to the Baltimore Sun.
April 11: The Buccaneers hosted Michigan State running back Le'Veon Bell for a private workout, according to Buckeye Sports Bulletin.
April 9: Connecticut cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson will visit with the Buccaneers on Wednesday, according to Tony Pauline of DraftInsider.net.
April 8: Wisconsin running back Montee Ball is in Tampa for two days visiting the Buccaneers, according to ESPN.
April 3: Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner visited with the Buccaneers on April 3, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.
April 12: According to Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk, the Jets and Buccaneers are talking about the possibility of New York sending quarterback Mark Sanchez to Tampa Bay in the Darrelle Revis deal.
April 8: Rich Cimini of ESPN reports that sources told him if the Buccaneers-Jets trade that includes cornerback Darrelle Revis as its cornerstone does happen, it won't happen until the week of the NFL draft.
April 8: The only way the New York Jets will part ways with cornerback Darrelle Revis, according to theTampa Bay Times, is if the Buccaneers include this year's first-round draft pick (No. 13 overall) in the deal.
April 8: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are growing impatient with the New York Jets in regards to the back-and-forth trade negotiations for cornerback Darrelle Revis, according to Jason Cole Yahoo! Sports. The Buccaneers need to know where they stand with Revis before the draft so they can plan accordingly.
The way the depth chart currently sits, Tampa Bay has Leonard Johnson and Eric Wright as its starting cornerbacks. For a team that gave up an NFL-worst 4,758 yards through the air last year, I don’t think the Buccaneers want to enter the 2013 season exactly as they stand now.
So how many cornerbacks will the Bucs draft?
That all depends on the New York Jets. Tampa Bay has been rumored to be the most likely destination via trade for cornerback Darrelle Revis. But trade talks have stalled and the Buccaneers are getting a bit impatient.
If the Revis trade goes through, Tampa Bay might be able to draft only one cornerback early and forgo the absolute need to grab one in the first round.
That said, if the Buccaneers don’t land Revis, they’ll be forced to use their first-round pick and likely another early- to mid-round pick on a cornerback.
If Tampa Bay lands cornerback Darrelle Revis and decides not to go with a cornerback in the first round (although the Bucs still may grab that cornerback in the first round to add to the Revis haul), where might the team look?
There are three distinct options: defensive tackle, tight end and wide receiver.
With defensive tackle Roy Miller leaving, the Buccaneers could sure use a disruptive force on the inside of the defensive line. Not only would that help two young pass-rushing ends, but it would also help the linebacker corps by clogging the run lanes and absorbing blocks.
Sheldon Richardson from Missouri is a very logical choice here as a defensive tackle to come in and help immediately.
Tampa Bay may also look to give quarterback Josh Freeman another weapon. They added Vincent Jackson last season via free agency and drafted running back Doug Martin, and both immensely helped Freeman's productivity.
This offense might really hum if general manager Mark Dominik grabs tight end Tyler Eifert from Notre Dame, wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson from Tennessee or Tavon Austin from West Virginia.
1. Kansas City Chiefs Luke Joeckel, OT - Texas A&M
2. Jacksonville Jaguars Dion Jordan, DE - Oregon
3. Oakland Raiders Shariff Floyd, DT - Florida
4. Philadelphia Eagles Geno Smith, QB - West Virginia
5. Detroit Lions Eric Fisher, OT - Central Michigan
6. Cleveland Browns Dee Milliner, CB - Alabama
7. Arizona Cardinals Lane Johnson, OT - Oklahoma
8. Buffalo Bills Matt Barkley, QB - Southern California
9. New York Jets Jarvis Jones, OLB - Georgia
10. Tennessee Titans Barkevious Mingo, OLB - LSU
11. San Diego Chargers Chance Warmack, OG - Alabama
12. Miami Dolphins Ezekiel Ansah, DE – BYU
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Xavier Rhodes, CB - Florida State
It doesn’t matter if the Buccaneers get cornerback Darrelle Revis from the Philadelphia Eagles or not, they still need another cornerback. Why not take the second-best option in the draft?
Round 2, Pick 11 (43) Zach Ertz, TE – Stanford
The bad news for Josh Freeman is that the team plans to bring in competition and 2013 could be a make or break year for the quarterback. The good news is that adding a weapon like Zach Ertz gives Freeman extra ammunition in his battle.
Ertz is a fluid route runner with good hands and speed and can contribute early in his professional career.
Round 3, Pick 11 (73) Brandon Williams, DT – Missouri Southern State
The Bucs need to bring in a tough defensive tackle and Brandon Williams could be a good fit to work next to Gerald McCoy. He’s powerful and can push offensive linemen into the backfield to disrupt plays before they have a chance to develop.
Round 4, Pick 15 (112) Landry Jones, QB – Oklahoma
General manager Mark Dominik and head coach Greg Schiano are set on the thought that brining in competition for Josh Freeman is a good idea. Landry Jones is a strong-armed option that may already be on Tampa Bay’s radar, according to the Tampa Tribune.
Round 4, Pick 29 (126) (From Patriots) William Gholston, DE – Michigan State
William Gholston is an oversized pass-rushing option that uses sheer strength to overpower blockers but can stay home and help in run support. He visited the Buccaneers on April 5, according to Scout.com.
Round 5, Pick 14 (147) Brandon McGee, CB - Miami
Brandon McGee might not be the best open-field tackler, but he’s good with his hands in coverage and takes good angles to the football and fights well in the air. McGee spent some time during the Senior Bowl with the Buccaneers’ director of college scouting, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Round 6, Pick 13 (181) Jawan Jamison, RB – Rutgers
First, there’s the whole Rutgers connection between Schiano and the school. Add that to the fact that the team is willing to rid itself of LeGarrette Blount and Jawan Jamison makes sense. Jamison is an all-purpose back that can help in many facets of Tampa Bay’s offense.
Round 6, Pick 28 (196) (From Broncos through Eagles) Keith Pough, ILB – Howard
Take away any assessment of skill and Keith Pough is the kind of leader that Schiano likes on the field. Add in the fact that Pough is an intense athlete with sound fundamentals and a high motor and the fact that the Buccaneers have already shown interest in him, according to ESPN, and Pough is a great idea here.