I'll make it a good 'un, Captain! (jumps to his death)
(Hmm. Embedding the video isn't showing in previews. Darn)
So, who wants to read a half-crazed, poorly-thought-out Mock Draft for the Bucs this coming Apri 28th-30th? Anyone? Anyone?
Alright, here goes:
First Round (20th pick) - The Bucs choose:
Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue
The need at Defensive End is the biggest one the Bucs have this year. Last season the team garnered the fewest sacks in the league: for a team that prides its history at defense, that was inexcusable. More pressure coming from the D-line should go a long way to keeping the linebackers in coverage better, for one thing.
Kerrigan is one of the names that the scouts expect to be left on the draft boards by the time the Bucs choose. The good news, this year's crop of DE talent is highly rated by the scout. The bad news, there's about 8-10 teams drafting ahead of the Bucs who need DE just as badly. The Bucs are in a tough spot: wait too long and they'll end up with the remaining DE talent that does NOT have excellent pass-rushing skills. But if the Bucs trade up, they'll likely lose a mid-Round draft pick they need to fill other gaping needs (at MLB, OG, OLB, and now CB).
If Kerrigan is gone, possible names left would be J.J. Watt (acceptable), Adrian Clayborn (not a good pass rusher), and possibly OLB/DE tweener Aldon Smith.
Second Round (51st pick):
Greg Jones, MLB, Michigan St.
A lot of this depends on if current starter Barrett Ruud is out the door via free agency. But the other thing to consider is that Ruud has been slipping of late: he's not become the dominant defensive presence that previous MLBs for the Bucs had been. The good news is that even if they keep Ruud, Jones can begin studying the position from the bench. Even better: Jones can convert to OLB if needed and cover any needs there.
Problem with this pick: he may well be gone by the 51st. If so, Quan Sturdivant from NC should still be on the boards, and would be an acceptable alternative. There is a possibility the Bucs may draft CB here - concerning the need to replace Talib due to off-field issues - so don't be surprised if the Bucs go for a Corner like Brandon Harris (Miami) or Brandon Burton (Utah) or Curtis Brown (Texas)
Third Round (84th pick):
James Carpenter, ROT/OG, Alabama
Takes care of the need for depth or talent upgrade at right tackle, maybe even shifting in to one of the Guard slots. His draft value is that he's coming out of a pro-style offense system from college, hopefully translating into quick development/readiness for the NFL.
Other options for Guard or ROT would include Marcus Gilbert (Florida) or John Moffitt (Wisconsin).
Fourth Round (116th pick):
Korey Lindsey, CB, Southern Illinois
Helps with the Cornerback depth/development needs, especially if Talib is out the door. Lindsey scouts like a decent cover-type Corner.
Fifth Round (151st pick):
Jermale Hines, S, Ohio St.
Our team's need at Safety for depth (players coming off injury or suspension) means the Bucs have to look here for someone. The needs at other positions (DE, LB, O-line, Corner) kept us from going here with a higher pick.
Sixth Round (187th pick):
Shaun Chapas, FB, Georgia
Frees up Graham to switch back to RB if needed. Chapas is a decent blocking FB. Is coming off an injury, but getting drafted here he's not expected to come out right away anywho.
Seventh Round (222nd pick):
Randall Hunt, OG, Illinois
Depth evaluation for injury-plagued position on the team.
And Compensatory (238th pick):
J.T. Thomas, OLB, West Virginia
Linebacker with some injury history and dire need of training. But should excel at special teams for awhile...
* * *
Okay. How bad is the damage?