Sorry I missed out on much of the draft on here. It was bad enough having to miss significant chunks of the draft on TV. It was worse not being on here to celebrate and commisserate during the ups and downs of the draft. Wait til you youngsters get that ball and chain locked on your ankle (that's an adult joke for getting married, BTW). Not so easy to get a whole weekend free in my household in any non-football month. That said, it certainly was an.... interesting.... draft, both for the Bucs and around the league.
- Well, there we have it. Josh Freeman is the face of this franchise going forward. He's it. He's the man, like it or hate it. My opinion? Meh, ok. It was no secret that I stongly wished the Bucs would address another in the first round. However, it's clear the Bucs see enough upside and promise to stick their necks and reputation on the line by drafting him with the first selection of their tenure. Arm strength? Check. Size? Check. Confidence? Uh-huh. Coconut to play in NFL system? Don't know and probably won't know for at least 2 years. Unfortunately, the latter is probably the most important thing, so for those of us who are impatient by nature, it'll be frustrating to wait to see how he develops with his ability to adjust at the line, progress through reads, and read NFL defenses. To be clear, I am pulling for Josh Freeman to succeed. I have concerns that he will, but I really hope my guy Maxumas' faith in Mr. Freeman proves to be well-taken.
-So, at what point did Mark Dominik become sold on QB Josh Freeman? Perhaps that impressive road beatdown of the Texas Longhorns in 2007? Maybe the OU game where he threw for 400-something yards? Nope. Per Mark Dominik on AM 620 today, it was the Kansas game in which the Jayhawks hung a 52-21 smackdown of the Wildcats, where Freeman went 22-37 for 207 yds with 0 TDs and 3 picks. I...., um, don't get it. I admittedly didn't see the game, but I guess they saw something they liked.
-So what does the pick mean for the other QBs on the roster? I think Brian Griese will ultimately be the odd man out, and he might not see training camp. If he does, he will likely be battling Leftwich for a roster spot with McCown. Ultimately, I see Leftwich staying on the roster to mentor his new buddy Freeman and McCown possibly earning the starting gig come the start of the season. It wouldn't shock me if Freeman earns the starting gig, but I have to think the Bucs will work him into the league slowly. Josh Johnson will likely be passed down to the practice squad.
-I was frustrated that a guy like Jeremy Maclin fell in the Bucs' collective lap. I think Maclin was possibly the steal of the draft and will form a sick connection with McNabb. Suddenly, the Eagles are starting to form a fearsome passing threat, with Maclin joining the always dangerous receiving RB Brian Westbrook, DeSean Jackson, and now Cornelius Ingram. I hope this one won't end up hurting down the line.
- DT Roy Miller was an excellent pick. He was the strongest DT at the combine, putting up 225 36 times (wow). His strength is stuffing the line, eating blocks, and holding his ground in the running game, which is certainly what we're looking for in both our D-tackle positions. Right now, he's got the size to play both tackle positions at 310. Raheem said today that he envisions Roy's playing weight to be between 301-310 pounds. As long as he stays on the heavier side of that range, he should be able to fill both tackle spots with ease. I think the Bucs got good value here.
-DE Kyle Moore also addresses a need, so I really can't knock the selection of him (didn't like trading up to get him, but whatever). He did have six sacks last season, but tended to disappear in some games. I like his size at 6'5, 270 lbs... which should make him a potential every down pass/rush DE. He should be able to rush either at LDE or possibly inside in passing situations.
-I'm a little disappointed the Bucs didn't do more to take an undrafted free agent WR after the draft, namely Quan Cosby or Greg Carr (as well noted by JScott). It seems apparent that Coach Morris is bringing in tons of competition at each position, so why not do the same for the WR position? I think it could use another potential playmaker or two, especially for a slot guy. Maybe it means they have some faith in Dexter Jackson, or maybe they have someone else in mind they think will step up. Sammie Stroughter might have the goods to compete for significant playing time in the slot and may earn a long look as a returner.