As the draft creeps closer, now 17 days away, the Bucs creep closer to hitting their limit of 30 visits with out-of-area draft prospects. Three more potential top-100 picks rolled into One Buc Place: Georgia Tech DE Derrick Morgan, FSU CB Patrick Robinson, and East Carolina DE C.J. Wilson.
Robinson is an outstanding player and a freak of an athlete who's been graded by some teams as a first-round ability, but who is projected by some pundits to fall out of the first round due to incredible depth and potential talent at some key positional groups (i.e., OL, DE) and perceived team needs. If he's there at the 35th selection and a significant number of WRs remain on the board, I think he could be a very attractive option and a solid value pick. Stick around here for more on Robinson shortly (****COUGH projecting the draft COUGH****).
Morgan, on the other hand, is projected to be gone well inside the first round, and possibly in the top 10. Either way, it's pretty clear the Bucs would have to be looking at him as a possibility if they receive an attractive trade offer and move down in the first round, which seems improbable if an impact DT is there. (It's worth noting the Bucs' ability to trade down could be hampered by the Redskins' acquisition of McNabb......unless the Rams make the unlikely move of passing on Sam Bradford, in which case the Bucs could get a lucrative offer from a team looking for a franchise QB.... perhaps a team like Buffalo.) Morgan is what you're looking for in a prospect...performance in college (106 total stops over the past 2 years with 28 TFL and 19.5 sacks) and a comfy ceiling for further development. He's got the size (6-4ish, 277), long arms, explosive first step, and leg drive to get after the quarterback from a 4-3 DE position.
C.J. Wilson is a bit of a ying to Morgan's pass rushing yang. Wilson is a big guy at 6-3ish/288 pounds and was known more as a run-stopping stalwart on the end of the line. Although he appears to rely more on his strength through a power rush rather than a speed rush, he still managed to make plays in the backfield (29 TFL over the past 2 years, w/16 sacks). That said, I don't really like a prospect as an every-down NFL 4-3 DE that doesn't have above-average explosiveness and/or quickness, especially in the Tampa 2 that relies more on pressure from the front 4 by itself. It's almost impossible to get regular pressure in the NFL through just strength moves, as NFL tackles are very strong themselves. However, having a large, strong, bulky DE on the edge of the line in 2nd/3rd and short situations is advantageous. I think he could be a role player that, with some hard work and good coaching, might develop some good technique and surprises as an every-down player.
What do you all think about these prospects?