Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2012 Draft: Debunking the Myth of LaMichael James

Tom EdringtonSenior Writer IApril 10, 2012

Just say "no" to LaMichael James!!
Just say "no" to LaMichael James!!Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

LaMichael James this, LaMichael James that, LaMichael James in the third round.

LaMichael James as a Buccaneer? Forgetaboutit!

We're here today to wash this James stuff out of your minds. Fact is, although projected in the third or fourth round, the Buccaneers simply have other needs, greater needs with their third round pick and they have no fourth round pick.

Let's say it again, loud and clear—no LaMichael James in the third round!

You want LaMichael James, we'll give you LaMichael James—Florida style.

Let's take a close look at speedster Chris Rainey from the University of Florida and how he compares to James.

Chris Rainey:  5-8, 174.

LMJ:  5-9, 185.

Now let's compare NFL Combine results

The 40:                Rainey:    4.45                James:  4.45

Bench Press:      Rainey:     16                   James:  15

Vertical:               Rainey:     36.5               James:   35

3-Cone:               Rainey:     6.5 sec.          James:  6.18 sec.

20 shuttle:           Rainey:      3.93               James:  4.2

60 shuttle:           Rainey:     11.06              James:  no time

Broad Jump:       Rainey:      10-0               James:   10-3

Both players were very productive in college. Both mirror one another.

Both are the same size, same speed and have the same skill set.

So why the heck do you want to take James in the third round when, if a team truly wants a returner/third down back/pass catcher/guy who can operate in space-type then simply take a guy like Rainey in the sixth round?

Here's the deal: the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as they sit have no depth at running back. Neither Rainey nor James is going to run between the tackles and neither breaks tackles. They are open field guys, guys who need space. The Bucs need a true runner who can shed tacklers, churn, get yardage, kinda like Blount, kinda like Trent Richardson. 

If, and I say "if" the Bucs happen to get a shot at Richardson and do indeed take him, well, that settles that debate. They can go corner-linebacker or linebacker-corner in rounds two and three.

Fact is, it's not a huge task to find smaller, faster backs in the late rounds of the draft. They get drafted late because, well, they are small and they're at least fast enough to warrant consideration.

Now, if you want fast, you can also look at former Gator Jeff Demps. Problem with Demps is he's set his sights on making the 2012 Olympic track team, which means he has no focus on football. Maybe that's the cue to sign him as a free agent if he goes undrafted and hope he doesn't make the Olympic team.

As for James, the Bucs simply don't need a return man and a specialty back at the third slot in the draft.

That's what common sense dictates.

And it's time for these Buccaneers to serve a huge portion of that.


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