After the Jump I'm gonna go pick by pick and list what I think of each
1a. S Mark Barron - You guys know how closely involved and deeply rooted I am with Bama and so that gives me full knowledge of every Bama prospect. Barron is easily one of the cleanest and most complete secondary players without a doubt in this draft. After 2 weeks ago when Tampa released now Redskins S Tanard Jackson because he failed his physical. Rumor was that his rehab was going a lot slower than expected, that coupled with his extremely poor play last year and lack of leadership was his death knell in Tampa it would seem. It was easily our biggest need on D, we have serviceable LBs, and above average CBs (albeit an aged Ronde Barber and bad boy Aquib Talib) but no Safety worth a crap at all on roster, yet we were constantly locked in with 2 prospects at the top of this draft, Richardson and Morris Claiborne, however we really weren't tied with any interest in Barron despite having him in on a visit etc. Whether this was a product of a failed jump to get TRich or a well disguised and designed smokescreen we will never know, but I assume it was the 1st reason since we did jump back into the 1st to secure a RB. I know despite having former LSU DB coach Brooks, we weren't interested in Claiborne as much as Barron since we could've easily had him at #5, yet traded down with the Jags to pick #7 to get Barron. He is an extremely physical S both in run support in the box and out in space on the back end, it also should not be lost on anyone how much of a defensive leader Barron was asked to be his whole career at Bama, that seemed to be a theme amongst all of our picks. As a Bama and SEC fan primarily I became well acquainted with Brooks' seemingly masterful creation of the monsters at CB thanks to a well designed scheme and balance on the back end, and his absolute most important position in this scheme was his S, and now he has the one he wants. His S was always extremely physical and aggressive in the zone on the back to provide support allowing any CBs in the scheme to play man to man and be aggressive, jump routes and worry less about tackling and being physical and more about making plays and shutting their assignment down and Barron is easily one of the best zone defenders and best tackler as a secondary player in this draft, he needs work in man coverage, but I believe he will be asked very seldom to play man, he is also the best run defending in the box S in this draft as well, just an overall phenomenal athlete, even more athletic I would argue than Buc legend John Lynch. Barron will be a superstar S in Brooks' scheme and not just be the main working cog in his secondary, but make any of the CBs in the roster that much better.The only hesitations I get from making this a 100 A+ grade are 2 things: 1. He is just coming off surgery repairing double hernias he suffered after playing almost a whole game with a torn pectoral muscle in his chest, which is more a testament to how hard he pushes himself, often to the brink, and 2. The S position, while important, is extremely undervalued, so some would consider him going that high a reach, but in Brooks' style of coverage scheme on the back end, it will be a more important position than most people realize if we are mimicking anything from our new DB coach, and I think we would be better suited to do that.
I give this pick an A (95)
1b. RB Doug Martin Boise St - It is very well known that both Schiano and Sullivan, Tampa's new OC both value RB's and the run game in general pretty high. Martin was a consensus as the 2nd best RB in this draft and ever since the season ended and the NFL Combine where he got to show his speed, power, and fluidity, his stock had skyrocketed him up into the 1st rd making it tougher to go get their man. Tampa traded up to pick 31 over the Giants to take Martin and fill another need on offense with another guy with huge potential and another Senior offensive captain. Martin has been compared more than a few times by analysts and coaches as a Ray Rice clone, not just in running style, but also in stature and build. I watched a ton of film on Martin and the very 1st thing that jumped out was how extremely bad his Oline, particularly the interior was. He had very little opportunity running downhill and gained the majority of yards working the edges and making 1 or 2 miss, the other encouraging thing was how extremely great he was in the passing game both catching out of the backfield and as the 2nd best pass blocker after Trent. His speed and power combo will be a GREAT compliment to Blount as a 1, 2 punch and he has a really cool nickname "The Muscle Hamster" and he will wear my favorite RB number 22. With the dedication Tampa had to trade back up into the 1st again over the team that likely would've taken him, and get him as a 1st rder so he would be on a 5-yr contract, Dom not only sees him as another great player, but 1/2 of the 2 headed monster & possibly future franchise back, so for showing that dedication & determination to their guy, and arming Schiano with his Ray Rice clone, I give this pick a pretty high grade
I give this pick an A+ (98)
Day 1: A (96.5)
2. LB Lavonte David Nebraska - If there was 1 guy the Tampa FO and Dom didn't hide their love and infatuation for, it was David. It wasn't easy to secure him though without that 2nd rd pick, despite having an early 3rd, he would've easily been gone, so Dom waited again and struck a deal to move back into the lower 2nd to get our guy and he was a steal at the bottom of the 2nd. He was a standout LB and phenomenal playmaker at Nebraska for a Saban disciple Bo Pelini, he was also a Senior defensive leader and captain (see a trend here) and easily the best OLB or 2nd best MLB in a 4-3 scheme in this draft. Another impressive comparison follows him as a Derrick Brooks clone because of his physical nature, short stout build, and coverage skills. When I watch film he reminds me so much of Brooks it's scary and I see the comparison. He instantly upgrades zone coverage as a very stout pass defender and will not just start from day 1, but I believe he will be an impact player as a guy I considered elite skill set at his position and I have NO PROBLEM giving what we gave up to get the guy we really wanted as a day 1 starter at OLB, for this move and the fact that we got a steal for a guy with 1st rd talent and 1st class intangibles I give this my HIGHEST possible grade, it was a HR pick and again showed the dedication Dom had to this guy.
I give this pick an A+ (100)
Day 2 grade A+ (100)
5. LB Najee Goode WVU - Considering who was still left on the board at both CB and LB, this pick is a bit perplexing as his skill set seems marginal at best. On film he looks like an extremely physical raw LB, but takes too many chances and has terrible tackling technique and that is putting it mildly. Now he fits our Schiano draft mold as a Senior defensive captain and leader, but his game on film seems extremely limited as a 2 down LBer with little to no coverage skill. Again kinda surprising as a few other options were on the board still available that Dom would reach for Goode and honestly I have not seen him game in and game out and can't give you a full breakdown which is extremely hard to do with a LB (and I have seen a LOT more David film) but it seemed like a major reach to me, considering we had other needs, he has added value with his speed and hitting ability as a kick coverage guy so I won't grade it a total F, but you try to get a more complete player in the 5th rd, not just a ST coverage specialist in my opinion, and then why not go after the highest OT on your draft board, again my opinion. Hopefully Schiano sees a lot more upside and a guy he can mold
I give this pick a D+ (68)
6. CB Keith Tandy WVU - Really didn't know much about this guy again until I dived into more film and man do I really like this pick. He is easily WVU's best D player and yes that little speed demon Bruce Irvin who is extremely one dimensional included. Tandy is a very good zone defender, so much so I believe he could be an impact player at either FS or Nickel CB, compared to a couple other nickel CB's I am very high on Bama's DeQuan Menzie, and ASU's Omar Bolden, I believe in the long run Tandy could end up being better than both, he is better at reaction and breaking on balls, and is a HUGE steal as low as we got him for. Tyrann Matheiu is another impact player this year in college football who should give you an idea of the type of role Tandy could step right in and serve for us in the secondary, now granted Matheiu struggled mightily in coverage, but wreaked havoc in a roaming role and on blitzes, this is why I wanted Boykin so bad from UGA, well after watching enough of Tandy's film, he could easily play the nickel right away and even is good enough with feet and hips to be taught by Cooper and molded into a great asset and his zone coverage and ball skills are far and away better than Matheiu's or Menzie's for that matter. He is very versatile and aggressive and should also be an asset as well on Special Teams. Again finding this type of talented player who will undoubtedly fill a role and be a cog in the defensive backfield is doing a great job drafting, I take off points only for not addressing the CB need earlier in the draft, then double dipping at the position, but I am still very happy with this pick.
I give this pick a B+ (88)
7a. RB Michael Smith Utah St - I had concerns about this pick at 1st with a dominant runner like UW's Chris Polk still on the board, but in reality he has a lot of upside, so much so that at least 2 other teams called to offer 2013 picks higher in the draft than the 7th to trade him and that had to make Dom and the Bucs FO happy. I have a buddy that I went to UAB with (was a GA) who is now on staff at Utah St as an assistant running game coordinator so he is well versed with Smith's abilities, he is an extremely fast runner with nice wiggle to be the 3rd down threat. He was buried behind larger starting RB Turbin and I was told by my buddy i was more of a dedication to Turbin and he believed Smith had the ability and talent to start at a LOT of other west coast teams in the PAC 12 and likened his abilities and skill set to Maurice Jones-Drew's blend of speed, power, and balance (his words not mine). Again a lot of value here as a 3rd down back and a P/K returner with his speed and vision and while Polk was an accomplished runner with more polish, had a LOT more mileage and less of a threat as a PR/KR that is the only reason to take off points for this one. Also after hearing the report I admire Dom for sticking to his guns when he had offers to trade and believing in his guy
I give this pick a B+ (88)
7b. TE/H-back Drake Densmore Northwestern - This pick qualifies as the most interesting pick IMHO, as NW's hybrid position very similar to Bama's Hback the "Superback" position at NW had him doing tons of things from a pure FB to out wide and on the line, again very similar skills to Bama's Hback Brad Smelley, or if you wanted a NFL comparison, I would say Pats Aaron Hernandez, in fact there were a few teams other than the Bucs that were way more interested in Densmore than the rest of the NFL, one was the Pats who brought him in multiple times. Interesting to me also to consider he still could possibly be an answer as depth to TE, but he brings value as well as an extremely versatile offensive weapon and another steal in the 7th. I wanted to compare and contrast him to Smelley since I have a good knowledge of him in Bama's system, but he is a lot more versatile and a better blocker than Smelley IMHO. He is also a lot better catcher and more dangerous in space and a lot more athletic. He is a red zone threat as a pass catcher or runner, just an extremely versatile value pick, which is why I give it a pretty high grade, we got a guy that were it not for his weird position and the fact that he was tucked away at NW, he clearly would've been a lot higher grade, a hidden gem if you will. Case in point is his 65 yd TD run against Auburn in the bowl game a few yrs ago, they didn't scout for him so they had no idea he could do that, but when your stat line rivals most TE's 3 yrs he is definitely worth this pick and more. Since it's a little harder to find his vids etc, here is a few interesting stats & a vid for you:
Aaron Hernandez UF stats 07 - 09: 111 catches total, 1382 yds (12.4 YPC), 12 TDs
Drake Densmore NW stats 07 - 11: 143 catches total, 1567 yds (11 YPC), 14 TDs
Video of the 66 YD TD RUN!! against Auburn:
I give this pick an A (95 and I'm VERY intrigued to see how he fits into the mold of Sullivan's Offense)
Day 3 Grade - B (84.75 rounded up to 85)
Bucs overall draft grade = A- (90.28) Good job Dom