Well, I've noticed a certain tendency among fans recently to rate draft picks for the Bucs next year. Being one part college football fan and one part pro ball fan, I'd like to hazard my guesses at what the Bucs should consider for next season. Go on past the jump...(edited on November 8)
Most Buc fans will likely agree with me in saying that one of the primary problems this season has been quarterback-receiver connections. It's one of the focal points of an explosive offense, and the Buccaneers have not had it this season. Whether it be Leftwich or Johnson (and shoot, why should Freeman be any better? Any reasons to believe he's better?) there is just no chemistry apparent in the Bucs offense so far. However, this is often shelved, due to a glaring problem. Tampa's defense. We've seen it since the first regular season game. Although the Bucs haven't faced a mass number of solid offensive units, there have been a lot of torch runs for touchdowns, both through the air and on the ground. So, which should the Bucs focus on? Fact is, it's not so simple. But, we can look at some possibilities.
First and foremost that come to mind are the likes of Tim Tebow, Colt McCoy, Brandon Spikes, and the outside possibility of Sam Bradford, who, due to injury troubles, plans on entering the draft in April. These four are the most immediately apparent not only for their abilities on the field, but also for their on- and off-field leadership, something the Buccaneers sorely lack. If we're going to base a first-round pick simply based on leadership off the field, Tebow seems to be the immediate choice. But there are defense concerns. Here would be my top three picks.
#1: Ndamukong Suh (DT, Nebraska)
The Bucs lack a pass rush, and Suh would probably be the best shot at providing a pass rush. His power is what most fans focus on, but he does have fairly good speed for a DT. He could be the next Lee Roy Selmon if his success continues. Purportedly, he's also a good run stopper, though he rarely gets to showcase this in the Big 12.
Didn't get him? The next choice would be: Brandon Spikes (MLB/ILB, Florida)
#2:Taylor Mays (S, USC)
I hesitate to pick Mays, based on a few big passing touchdowns the Trojans have given up this year. But we do lack a substantial secondary at this point. As good as a solid pass rush can be, the facts state that Sabby Piscatelli just doesn't have what it takes.
Didn't get him? The next choice would be: Eric Berry (S, Tennessee)
#3: Jordan Shipley (WR, Texas)
Fact: The Buccaneers need something substantial at WR. We've lacked a decent passing attack this season, and with our ever-present rushing problems, we need something through the air. Also, sadly, one passing target (Kellen Winslow) just won't cut the mustard. A second, speedier pass catcher is needed. Shipley provides not only the speed, but the hands to match.
Didn't get him? The next choice would be a good tight end or a good wideout, i.e. Jermaine Gresham or Dez Bryant, who has elected to enter the draft next year, according to most sports news sources I could cook up.