Remember how the BUCS had the #5 pick in 2012?
Remember how there were these two "can't miss" prospects that could fall to the BUCS?
One was a physical freak that had dominated the College ranks. The other was clearly the best at his position and labeled a "shutdown cornerback" at the NFL level even though he hadn't played one NFL snap yet.
Remember how the mock drafts had the two guys flipped flopped for a couple months??
Remember the debates and bickering going on about which of those two "can't miss" prospects should be taken by the BUCS as #5??
Well, here we are again. Only this time, there's more than two of these "can't miss" prospects being debated for and against. There's even more talent surrounding these "can't miss" prospects. Probably the best collection of College talent in an NFL draft in over 15 years. In 2012, Morris Claiborne of LSU and Trent Richardson of the University of Alabama, were the hot would-be picks for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The two best guys at their position. "Franchise" prospects. Supposedly, you could have built an offense or a defense around them with their respective talents. At least, that's what the scouts and the "mark draft" experts told you and me.
Well, when that draft night came about and the BUCS were slated to pick at #5, the BUCS traded back with Jacksonville to acquire an extra pick. The Jaguars selected the "can't miss" WR of the Draft in Justin Blackmon. The Dallas Cowboys would trade up to jump ahead of the BUCS via the St. Louis Rams. With that pick, the Cowboys selected the "can't miss" prospect that had been mocked to the BUCS and heavily argued for/against in every BUCCANEERS-centric blog on the internet. They took our "can't miss" CB in Morris Claiborne at #6. Dammit!!!
So, with the next pick in the NFL Draft order, the BUCS selected a pick that no one had even considered a Top 10 in that draft. But he was the best at his position. And it was a position the BUCS could use help with. The BUCS picked the best Safety in the draft, Mark Barron of the University of Alabama. Nobody saw that one coming. Like, nobody. Period. Lots of fans were pissed that we didn't take the "sexier" pick or more high profile with more highlights. But Barron was a solid pick for the BUCS. No character concerns. No work ethic flags. He wasn't a "Franchise" pick; he was a Team-building pick. Not perfect. But damn good and seemingly eager to be better. First thing he asked the Head Coach when they talked over the phone on draft night? "Coach, can you send me a playbook?".
That's my kinda guy. That's what I want to see/hear from my top pick. I couldn't care less about the "Franchise" tagline or the "potential Franchise" tagline or the "freak" mantra. I LOVE seeing a player come in and wanting to get better and get better right away. There's this one guy that has been killing the competition since his Collegiate career officially ended a few months ago. He's been impressing scouts and has moved from a 2nd Round projection to a possible mid-1st Round projection. I'm just about ready to make him my #1 defensive prospect. He's Aaron Donald of the University of Pittsburgh. This cat is scary good. Though there are some concerns about his size, he can't be blocked one-on-one. And he plays every position on the line. And he's a mismatch at each one. That's scary. That's value. That's a big deal to me.
The guy won't sell a lot of tickets initially, but his play can definitely get him and the Team some recognition as the Wins come along. He's a quiet and humble guy that has one helluva mean streak on the field. I believe this cat can be/will be a big deal in the NFL. Looking at his Collegiate career, Donald should project to be one of, if not, the best defensive lineman in the Draft. Bar None.
For those that want to say "College competition isn't NFL competition and it means nothing..." : Please don't be one of the one's clamoring for a "Franchise QB" to drafted.
Oh yea...Remember how the BUCS had that extra pick by trading down from #5 to #7 in the 2012 NFL Draft?
That extra pick was used to trade back into the 1st Round and get RB Doug Martin, a player that fans have since named a "Franchise RB".
And the other 2nd Round pick the BUCS had was spent on Lavonte David of Nebraska. Lavonte David is currently an All Pro and likely to get even better. And, in my opinion, he's better than the 2012 1st Round selection that won 2013 Defensive Player of The Year.
As it stands, I'm predicting a trade down.