2013 NFL Draft: Drafting BPA or need? How about drafting on impact instead?

Matt Cashore-US PRESSWIRE

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be drafting 13th overall in this year’s 2013 NFL draft. Some want to draft the best player available (BPA) and others best player available based on our needs (BPAN). My thought is to draft a player that will be the most impactful to the Buccaneers, who are on the verge of becoming playoff bound.

Let’s review before we delve into whom we should draft.

Buccaneers


offensive and defensive scoring


Games


Points


For


Points


Against


First four


20.5

22.75

1 – 3


Middle Six


34.2

23.2

5 – 1


Last Six


17

25.0

1 – 5


* Points Allowed was adjusted to remove any INTs returned for a TD.

As you can see, the defense was relatively consistent in points allowed. In fact, in the first four games, the Bucs were entertained with an Aqib Talib and Eric Wright tandem as their starting cornerbacks. In the last six games of the season, neither player was on the field. So the difference between a talented tandem versus practice squad corners was only 2.25 points per game allowed on average.

Now look at our offensive output. This offense was able to put up 34.2 points per game average for six games. It was not a fluke that the offense scored that much. Sadly, though, it is also not a fluke that our offense stopped scoring so much more in the last six games of the year. They scored even less than they did from the first four games. By the way, in the last six game set the Bucs lost to the Eagles by two points and the Falcons by one point. If the offense was scoring at least as much as the first four games, then there’s a possibility we could have won those two games, thus enabling a winning season.

We can say that our offense may need more help than our defense needs help. Considering we have done nothing with our secondary situation, we should not be frightened as to what we could expect from that group because we have had already seen its debut last season for six games, but we did improve at the safety position by signing Pro Bowler Dashon Goldson. On offense we have wideout weapons in Pro Bowl Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams. We have another Pro Bowler in running back Doug Martin. The offensive line is set, provided they are all healthy, boasting a few Pro Bowlers as well. Assuming we are not moving QB Josh Freeman, then we have openings at both tight end and slot receiver.

In an article by jBen that focused on who are our third option in passing discovered that our tight ends were that third option, surprisingly. I wrote a complimentary article which revealed that our TEs were recipients of Red Zone touchdowns about 30% of the times thrown.

Next, let’s look at our off-season transactions. We lost defensive linemen Bennett and Miller. TE Clark’s services have not yet been retained, the Bucs' best receiving TE. Slot receiver Benn was traded away. We did acquire Pro Bowl safety Goldson along with other lesser known players such as DT Landri, to replace Miller’s spot on the defensive line. Also, the Bucs won the right to void CB Eric Wright’s contract. Currently, we have nothing going on with CB Revis.

I know there is a need to draft a cornerback, especially with the 13th pick in the first round. There’s also talk about acquiring a defensive tackle as well. But at the 13th spot in the first, the Bucs will not be able to acquire the best CB nor the best DT in the draft to make that much of an impact. In fact, I doubt of an impact from a rookie CB or DT at the 13th overall pick.

So let us look at offense, instead. The multi-talented Tavon Austin is being bandied about, but I think his talent will be under-utilized. A 5 foot 8 inch speedster would be considered the fourth option in the passing game and be a bit redundant if he were drafted for the long ball as we have both VJax and Williams.

The only other option is at tight end. Initially, I was completely opposed to picking a tight end at thirteen until I gave it some logical thought. (Yes, I blame DraftPhantom.) And after some articles on TEs were published, I am more supportive of drafting a TE. A TE that can both block and catch, so as not to tip off the opposing team of our scheme as was pointed out by a Rams’ defender.

Also, recall that our organization wants the best meme. CB Rhodes is not the best CB in the draft. A healthy DT Star will not fall to us. Multi-faceted Austin would be great if we ran a West Coast offense. But at 13, we can draft the best tight end in the draft. Remember, we stopped scoring about 17 points per game in the last six game set, where one of those games was against the St. Louis Rams, the same team that said we were predictable due to who was on the field by our TE’s.

The winning and losing dependence is a result of our offensive play; not our defense. We can improve our defense all we want through the draft, but they won’t have as much as an impact as adding the best TE in the draft. Again, we lost our best CBs for the last six games of the year and didn’t allow too much to be scored on us per game. What can a rookie CB do better than Eric Wright or Aqib Talib? What can the best rookie TE do better than a one dimensional Clark or Stocker? Besides add that extra dimension? Probably add more scoring opportunities. The problem the Bucs were having at the last six games of the season.

In conclusion, the Buccaneers draft…(drum roll, puh-lease) "from Notre Dame, Tyler Eifert."

Read more:

What Blount teaches us about Schiano, part one

ESPN grades Bucs' free agency efforts

Bucs work out Tyrann Mathieu

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