Prospecting the Draft.... USF Style: DE Jason Pierre-Paul, S Nate Allen, WR Carlton Mitchell

Anyone who's followed the Buccaneers casually knows there are several holes to fill on the roster.  Help is clearly needed along the defensive line, in the secondary, and at the wide receiver position.  At the same time the Buccaneers are looking for young talent to infuse into the bloodstream of this organization.  Potential studs to groom and mold into long-term starters.  Guys who will make plays and electrify the crowd in Raymond James Stadium for 8-10 years or longer.

How about taking a look at 3 guys who've been making plays for years at Ray Jay?

The University of South Florida Bulls opened eyes across the country after rising up to #2 in the nation in 2007 and thrust themselves into the discussion as a top-tier Florida football factory with their impressive victory at FSU last fall.  We're just now beginning to see why they've enjoyed the success they have.....when they're putting players like DE Jason Pierre-Paul, S Nate Allen, WR Carlton Mitchell, and possibly even DE George Selvie to be taken in the top half of an incredibly talent-laden draft. 

For those of you who haven't had the chance to watch any USF games, our friends over at Voodoo Five have provided an in-depth scouting report for JP-P, Allen, and Mitchell......which you can check out after the jump.......

Jason Pierre-Paul

For once, the good fellas from Voodoo Five can take away the show, starting with JP-P, and give me a bit of a break.  This comment quote by Michael Lombardi stuck out in the analysis....

Jason Pierre-Paul of South Florida has only started seven games and one year of major college football, yet he looked as impressive as any defensive lineman I’ve watched work out. He’s raw and athletic, and he played hard all season. The lack of experience will hurt him in his rookie season — but in two years, if he keeps working hard, he might be the next DeMarcus Ware.

Dayum indeed, sirs.  DeMarcus Ware is the highest of praise nowadays.  I agree with V5 on the attributes JP-P brings to the table.  His speed, athleticism, and long arms make him incredibly adept at getting after the passer with reckless abandon.  However, if he could get outphysicaled in the running game, V5 is right in thinking he'd be a perfect fit in a 3-4 OLB role...at least right off the bat.  At 270 pounds, he's still got some room to add a little bulk it seems like....which could help him improve against the run and hopefully make him more than just a situational pass rusher in a 4-3 system.  His long arms and lateral quickness should help compensate at the point of attack for any perceived lack of strength.

Nate Allen

Nate Allen is very, very impressive to watch play.  He's a sound tackler and a playmaker in pass defense.  Per Voodoo Five's report, Allen could be the least risky pick out of the three Bulls featured.  It's not hard to wonder why........

Can hang in both man and zone coverage, so you don't have to hide him in passing situations. Smart, instinctive player who knows where to be on the field. Has made several clutch plays, including the single biggest play of USF's 2008 season - an interception and runback against Kansas in the last 40 seconds that put the Bulls in position to kick the winning field goal on the final play. Stayed healthy throughout his college career.

Allen could be available when the Bucs pick at 42 and probably wouldn't be around when the Bucs go again at 67.  Much depends on who's out there at the time, but would you like to see Allen snapped up by the Bucs at 42? 

Carlton Mitchell

Per Voodoo Five's report............

Primarily a deep threat and big-play receiver, averaging almost 16 yards per reception over his career and 17.6 yards in 2009. We really got an idea of Mitchell's downfield speed and range when B.J. Daniels and his bazooka arm took over at quarterback.

(Hmmm..... I heard of this other big-armed quarterback in Tampa.....name's Josh.)

Like many, I'm enamored with Mitchell's straight-line speed, size, and physicality.  A prototypical NFL WR frame.  Should be able to fight off press coverage and run past cornerbacks with average speed.  However, it seems as though Mitchell is a bit raw in his route-running and doesn't get off the line in a flash.  He could certainly be a boom-or-bust player.  I'd consider him no sooner than round 3, but someone could go ga-ga over his skillset and take a flier on him before that....although I'd be a little surprised.

So weigh in, Buccaneer and USF fans........what do you think of these guys?  Would you be happy to see their names pop up by the Buccaneer flag on your television screen on draft day?   Let's hear it.......................

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