Bucs Draft All Depends on the Rams

The Bucs may be in a great position at the third overall pick for the upcoming draft, but there are a lot of problems that need resolving... and the way things are, the Bucs have little say until the Rams have their say...

The Bucs have three primary needs (OT no longer a need as I thought, after the chiding I got my mid-Feb mockery draft): Defensive Tackle, Wide Receiver, and Safety (to the scouts that are obsessing over Pierre-Paul... our DEs are actually good, it's just the whole D-line needs a boost that only a powerhouse DT can fix!).  The Bucs are in a position at that third spot to snag either 1) one of two best DTs in the draft - SUH! and MCCOY! - and improve that D0line; 2) best available Safety with Eric Berry; or 3) best available WR in Dez Bryant... who may be slightly overpriced at the 3rd overall pick, but Best Available WR helps our anemic passing attack.

But the Bucs draft depends entirely on when and where the top two DTs go.  Suh and McCoy are both scouted as top five picks, period.  And all three teams picking 1 2 3 - Rams Lions and Bucs - would improve immensely with either one.  This means the Bucs will be the last one standing at musical chairs when the music stops and both players go to Rams and Lions.

For the Lions, it's a no-brainer.  Detroit had the WORST defense in the league, and one of the worst rush defenses out there.  Taking a DT is a greater need for them than the Bucs.  They can live with either Suh or McCoy no matter who's left on the draft board.  Their biggest problem would be IF (and only IF) both players are still there: they'd have to make a judgment call on who to take (current buzz is actually McCoy).  Meaning a coin toss in their War Room (best 3 of 5?).

So this all falls on the Rams.  St. Louis was a bad team all-around (explaining why they pick first, natch).  Going for Best Available Player Period (Suh) is for the most part (Suh) a no-brainer (DUDE SUH!) for them as well.  Except for a few factors.  First, the Rams have equally big needs at key spots - QB above all - that traditionally get resolved with the First Rounder.  Second, the Rams already spent two of their last three First Rounders on D-linemen, there's word that getting another D-lineman would be viewed as wasteful.  Third, you have all this talk on the sports channels that teams tend to not spend top-pick guaranteed money to non-QB players: they sound terrified of a DT getting $60 million contracts.  Fourth, there's new ownership: new owners like to make a statement for their franchise, meaning they want a bright shiny toy to show off, and there's nothing shinier like a franchise-stamped QB.

So the Rams *could* be using their top overall pick for QB instead of best player... meaning both DTs slip to Detroit, who chooses one with an evil grin on their collective faces, and slipping one more (maybe Suh, maybe McCoy) down to the Bucs whose evil grin will be wider (that scream you hear will be Drew Brees crying for his mommy).

But there's ONE other option the Rams could choose: Trade Down.  This is a suggestion I've had for the Bucs as well: there are teams that are in a position (Seattle) to trade UP to get a rookie franchise QB for themselves.  And those teams (Seattle) have a reason for trading up to either the first second or third draft pick... it's Washington, sitting at 4th and in a good position to draft (another) Franchise QB.  AND those teams (Seattle) have two First Rounders (6th and 14th) that a talent-deprived team like the Rams could use to fill more than one gap (getting whichever First Round value QB is still on the board and then Best Available WR).  It's not a bad move to make if the Rams can't make up their mind on getting a DT or a QB...

So until the Rams resolve those issues, the Bucs are in a bind.  Can the Bucs use their top pick to get a game-breaking DT?  Or do they settle for something else...?  It's all up to St. Louis...

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