Tampa Bay Buccaneers Day 2 2014 NFL Draft Primer
One pick down, five more to go. For now.
With another crazy first round in the books, let's take a look at everything you need to know as the Bucs focus their attention on Day 2 of the 2014 NFL draft.
Day 1 Recap and Analysis
Bucs Pass on Johnny Football, Grab a Different Aggie
It turns out all that smoke that was swirling around One Buc Place regarding Johnny Manziel turned out to be lacking in actual flame.
After plenty of banter about trading in one direction or another, the Bucs stayed put at the No. 7 overall pick and took Manziel's college teammate, Mike Evans.
Evans will team up with Vincent Jackson to give Tampa Bay a pair of giant, physical receivers who could make life miserable for smaller opposing corners. Though he's not the speedy target many thought the Bucs would covet, Evans is a red-zone terror who will keep teams from being able to roll coverage toward Jackson.
Even in an extremely deep receiver class, the Bucs' new decision-makers thought enough of Evans to make him the pick at No. 7 overall.
Updated Needs for the Bucs
This might be a more gaping hole than at quarterback, but it's easier to find value with interior linemen later in the draft than with quarterbacks. The Bucs could wait until the fifth round and possibly still come out with a player who could start at guard this season.
3. Sam Linebacker
Tampa Bay will be in a lot of nickel coverages, so the Sam linebacker isn't as important as it is in other schemes. That being said, the depth at the position isn't promising, and the Bucs should add somebody to the mix later in the draft.
4. Nickel Corner
The Bucs have three solid corners in Alterraun Verner, Johnthan Banks and Mike Jenkins, but none are a particularly good fit for the slot role. Finding a smaller, quicker cover man who can make plays as a blitzer off the edge should be a priority before the draft is over.
5. Wide Receiver
Mike Evans is a great start, but don't think the Bucs won't take advantage of this year's deep crop of receivers. Whether it's on Day 2 or later, I expect Tampa Bay to add a field-stretcher at some point.
Top Day 2 Targets
1. Xavier Su'a-Filo, G, UCLA
Guard is easily the Bucs' biggest remaining need heading into Day 2, and the best prospect in this year's class is still on the board. Su'a-Filo brings an outstanding balance of power and athleticism to the table and would be a fantastic value if he falls to the Bucs at No. 38 overall.
2. Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State
Lovie Smith might be saying that Mike Glennon is the Bucs' QB of the future, but I'm not buying it just yet. Carr is very likely to come off the board before Tampa Bay's second-round pick, but if he's available, he'd be a perfect fit in Jeff Tedford's offense.
3. Joel Bitonio, OL, Nevada
If Su'a-Filo is off the board, Bitonio wouldn't be a bad consolation prize. Though he played tackle for the Wolfpack, Bitonio projects as a guard at the next level. His versatility would be a valuable asset to a Bucs offensive line that has been decimated by injuries in the past.
4. Lamarcus Joyner, DB, Florida State
Guard is a more pressing need, but if the value isn't quite there at that position, Joyner might end up being their best bet. Though undersized for a safety or a corner on the outside, Joyner would be a perfect fit as a nickel corner in the slot due to his playmaking ability and knack for being a disruptive blitzer off the edge.
5. Kareem Martin, DE, North Carolina
I don't expect Lovie Smith to be particularly enamored with Adrian Clayborn or Da'Quan Bowers. Martin is a tailor-made 4-3 end who has all the physical traits and natural tools you look for and only needs to play more consistently to be a disruptive force.
6. Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech
The Bucs brought in Brandon Myers in free agency and still have Tim Wright, but Amaro's combination of size and athleticism could merit consideration at No. 38. He has the versatility to line up in the slot or split out wide, much like Jimmy Graham, and would be another dangerous weapon in Tampa Bay's passing attack.
7. Kyle Van Noy, OLB, BYU
Sam linebacker might not be a top priority, but Van Noy's pure value should warrant consideration in the second round. He has the versatility to drop back in coverage as well as provide pressure off the edge. Spent plenty of time in opponents' backfields in 2013.
What Are the Experts Saying?
Matt Miller: UCLA G Xavier Su'a-Filo (38th overall), Montana OLB Jordan Tripp (69th overall)
I'm a huge fan of both of these picks. Su'a-Filo is the top guard in this draft and fills the Bucs' biggest remaining need, while Tripp has the athleticism and nose for the ball that would make him a perfect fit in the Tampa 2 defense.
Peter Schrager: Notre Dame NT Louis Nix (38th overall), Mississippi State G Gabe Jackson (69th overall)
I can't get on board with Nix here. He's a massive, true nose tackle who is much better suited to man the middle in a 3-4 defense. I do love the idea of getting Jackson at No. 69, though, as he would be a steal at a position of need at that point.
Scott Reynolds: Mississippi WR Donte' Moncrief (38th overall), Wisconsin ILB Chris Borland (69th overall)
Even after taking Mike Evans at No. 7 overall, I wouldn't mind the Bucs doubling up at receiver with Moncrief at No. 38. His combination of size and speed would help turn a weakness into a strength. I'm not a huge fan of Borland here, though. I'm confident in Mason Foster as the middle linebacker, and Borland has shoulder issues that worry me greatly.
Four Predictions for Day 2
1. Bucs Don't Take a Quarterback
Lovie Smith said shortly after the Bucs drafted Mike Evans that Mike Glennon is their quarterback of the future. I don't take Lovie as the kind of guy who would say that and then spend a premium pick at that position, so I don't see the Bucs taking a QB on Day 2.
2. Consider Moving Back from No. 38 Overall
If the Bucs indeed keep Glennon instead of trading him for a mid-round pick, it would make plenty of sense for them to try and gain an extra pick by moving down from 38th overall. If they could end up with an extra pick in either the fourth of fifth round by trading down a few slots, it would be a win for the Bucs.
3. Wait on a Guard, Double-Dip at WR
If the team thinks that Carl Nicks will be healthy and Jamon Meredith can hold down the other starting spot, the Bucs might not prioritize the guard position at the top of this draft. At the same time, Tampa Bay could take advantage of the depth at receiver in this year's class and grab a speedy target to pair with Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans.
4. Lovie Goes Defense
I'll be shocked if Lovie Smith goes three rounds without getting himself a defensive toy to play with. With possible additions that make sense at every level of the unit, combined with Lovie's affinity for the defensive side of the ball, I wouldn't be shocked to see them go after a perfect scheme fit like Kareem Martin or Lamarcus Joyner.
Updated Bucs Mock Draft
38th overall: Lamarcus Joyner, DB, Florida State
The Bucs have bigger needs here, but I like this fit way too much. Joyner would be the perfect slot/nickel corner in the Tampa 2, with his knack for the big play as both a cover man and a blitzer should remind Lovie Smith of Ronde Barber. Lovie wants takeaways, and Joyner is a master at creating them.
69th overall: Billy Turner, OL, North Dakota State
Even if they wait until the third round to address the need at guard, Tampa Bay could come away with an immediate starter. Turner played tackle exclusively for the Bison, but he projects better inside at the next level and would be a fantastic value here.
143rd overall: Lamin Barrow, LB, LSU
Another pick I'm sticking with, Barrow is exactly the type of linebacker Lovie Smith needs in the Tampa 2. His natural athleticism and ability to play either inside or out would make him a perfect fit at this pick, and the Bucs met with him at both the Senior Bowl and the combine.
185th overall (from BUF): Zach Kerr, DT, Delaware
With a solid rotation of Gerald McCoy, Clinton McDonald and Akeem Spence, defensive tackle might not seem like a huge need for the Bucs. But in the event of an injury, depth at the position will be vital. Kerr is a massive mover from a smaller program who shouldn't be overlooked.
221st overall: Albert Wilson, WR, Georgia State
Jeff Tedford wants "speed in space" for his offense, and Wilson definitely brings that to the table. A gifted, experienced return man, as well, Thomas met with the Bucs during the predraft process and would be well worth their last selection.