I said back in May I wanted to give this community an idea of the players the Bucs would target in this weekends upcoming NFL Draft... By clicking here you can see the list of players the Bucs have been rumored to be interested in. I wanted us to have a decent clue as to who the Bucs could pursue, seeing how last off-seasons draft was a complete unknown just about talent wise. It's comical to think we could even remotely know who the Bucs could pursue, but here's my weak attempt at keeping us in the fold:
1st Round Pick (20th Overall)
Fan Prediction: WR DeSean Jackson - Bucs Reality: I honestly have no idea (QB, WR, CB, OT) your guess is as good as mine...
Potential 1st Round Picks:
Brian Brohm, QB, Louisville, 6'4, 226
Brohm was a highly touted recruit and has not disappointed. Displays patience and is willing to stand in and take hits if necessary. Has a fairly quick release and stays balanced when he throws. Has a high release point and also displays good footwork. Has the arm strength to make deep throws but lacks great velocity. Has had several injury problems in his career. Brohm has a tendency to make big mistakes when defenses apply heavy pressure.
Limas Sweed, WR, Texas, 6'5, 219
Big, athletic receiver. Missed most of 2007 with wrist injury. Gets good separation and can make tough catches. Down field threat. Long strides, but good overall speed. Quiet, humble player. Good open field vision. Feels the coverage well. Can sit in a zone and works back to the ball well. Needs to overcome injuries.
DeSean Jackson, WR, California, 6'0, 166
Dangerous but slender receiver who may only contribute immediately as a return specialist. Has good but not great hands and is an average route runner. Runs mostly vertical routes. Shifty after the catch and on reverses. Will get in trouble against bigger corners who can redirect him and jam at the line.
Malcolm Kelly, WR, Oklahoma, 6'4, 217
Excellent size and agility combination. Strong hands. Can make tough catches in traffic. Missed '07 Spring practice after meniscus surgery. Doesn't show great speed or separation. Long strides and is very fluid. Good after the catch ability. Dangerous deep threat. Plays the ball very well in the air.
Mike Jenkins, CB, South Florida, 6'0, 200
A cover corner who can play physical. Long limbed, but not skinny. Well built. Good speed and awareness. Is best in man coverage. Can turn and run with top receivers. Has loose hips and is fluid in movements. Is an able tackler. Is not afraid of contact. Drops into a zone well. Climbing the draft boards quickly.
Antoine Cason, CB, Arizona, 6'1, 192
Cason is a big, physical cornerback who can keep pace with vertical threats and big possession guys. Closes on opponents extremely fast and has good hands to make plays. Supports well against the run and is a good tackler for a cornerback. Could probably also make it as a safety. Will struggle some with shiftier receivers when they change direction.
Aqib Talib, CB, Kansas, 6'2, 205
Emerged as an elite cornerback early in the season, but struggled down the stretch against bigger receivers. Has good speed and great agility. Is a talker and a vocal leader. Mature for his age. Needs work in man coverage.
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB, Tennessee State, 6'2, 175
Very raw corner with good athleticism. Lanky and skinny. Not very physical. Good in zone coverage. Plays the ball well. Causes turnovers. Will track the ball over his shoulder. Good instincts. Naturally athletic. Must work on technique and fundamentals.
Jonathan Stewart, RB, Oregon, 5'11, 230
Bowling ball running back who never stops moving his legs. Strong legs. Not really elusive, but Stewart is good at working his way through creases. Very competitive. Competent receiver out of the backfield. Not much of blocker. Good kick return man.
2nd Round Pick (52nd Overall)
Fan Prediction: DT Red Bryant - Bucs Reality: CB Tracy Porter
Potential 2nd Round Picks:
Red Bryant, DT, Texas A&M, 6'5, 324
Torn ACL ended his 2006 campaign. Great presence. Ideal physique. Wide-body with good bubble. Matured as a senior. Has been coddled some. Long arms, uses his hands well. A twogap player who can stop the run or get after the quarterback. Finally showing his true self. Is slightly out of shape. Four-year starter.
Trevor Laws, DT, Notre Dame, 6'1, 295
Underrated player who can play end in a 3-4 or tackle in a 4-3. Laws gets a great jump at the snap and follows the ball. Overlooked by other defensive linemen because he was on a 3-9 team. Has flashed athleticism blocking kicks throughout his career. Needs to work on stamina, but could be a steal.
Pat Sims, DT, Auburn, 6'4, 310
Consistency is an issue with Sims, but talent is not. Exhibits the get-off that makes scouts take notice. He came on this fall, as his play required double teams. If his maturity catches up with his raw physical ability, he's a high-ceiling prospect with first-round potential as a devastating interior force.
Xavier Adibi, OLB, Virginia Tech, 6'2, 221
A stellar athlete who many expected to break out at some point. Unfortunately for Adibi, he never did, which could be an indication that he's an underachiever. Is athletic as any linebacker in this year's class and has the speed to track down opponents and make plays sideline-to-sideline. His upside is tremendous and Adibii will flash the ability to dominate. Very intriguing prospect.
Tracy Porter, CB, Indiana, 5'11, 185
Athletic and fast cornerback who has the ability to shutdown any receiver he covers. Excels in man-to-man because he can keep up with any receiver and gets in good position. Has all the tools wanted in a cornerback. Slightly undersized. Needs to add some bulk because his tackling skills are limited and he's a non-factor against the run. Needs to become more competitive.
Terrell Thomas, CB, Southern California, 6'1, 200
Solid corner who lacks great speed or athleticism, which could hurt him at the next level. A quality zone coverage guy who could stick with a cover-2 team. Won't test well. Has had some serious injuries throughout his career which may scare some teams off. A playmaker when the ball is in the air.
Reggie Smith, CB, Oklahoma, 6'1, 197
Superb combination of size and speed. Great height and length. Capable return man. Great natural athleticism. Good in man coverage. Quick hips. Smooth back pedal. Could play safety or corner. Good natural instincts. Fluid in coverage. Confident.
Donnie Avery, WR, Houston, 5'11, 190
Amazing speed. Could be the fastest receiver in the draft. A talented return man as well. Lean and lanky. Must play off the line. Very well built. Gets good separation. Can be a vertical threat. Not very tough. Very competitive. Needs fine tuning.
Keenan Burton, WR, Kentucky, 6'2, 195
Good, solid receiver who flashes decent hands, speed and athleticism. Has good size with a powerful frame. Uses his strength to beat jams. Hard worker. Also returns kicks. Runs good, crisp routes. Doesn't seem to have excellent top-end speed to run away from defenders. Might not have much upside.
Andre Caldwell, WR, Florida, 6'1, 200
Big-framed receiver who has a burst in the short area game. Rarely gets jammed. Displays good body control to keep his balance and work routes correctly. Hands are good but not great. Not much of a playmaker after the catch. Should buck the trend on Gators receivers.
3rd Round Pick (83rd Overall)
Fan Prediction: WR Jordy Nelson - Bucs Reality: QB Josh Johnson
Potential 3rd Round Picks:
Jordy Nelson, WR, Kansas State, 6'2, 213
A former walk-on who has worked into an All-American. Great in the slot. Good hands and speed. Very elusive. Consistent route runner who finds openings and reads the defense well. Will be a great asset as a slot receiver and special teams ace.
Eddie Royal, WR, Virginia Tech, 5'10, 181
Amazing speed. Can run vertical routes or play underneath so he can make something happen after the catch. Will be an excellent return man in the pros. Although Royal looks small, he's pound-for-pound one of the stronger receivers in the class. Has trouble with corners who can match his speed and athleticism.
Chris Johnson, RB, ECU, 5'11, 200
Johnson is an incredibly fast player who has lined up at running back and wide receiver during his career. Compactly built with powerful legs, Johnson has the power to go up the middle. However, his best asset is his ability to bounce to the outside and break away. He doesn’t seem to like blocking at all.
Josh Johnson, QB, San Diego, 6'3, 195
Prolific passer with good mobility and phenomenal arm strength. Very quick release. Gets through his progressions well. Smart. Makes very few mistakes with the ball. Almost never throws an interception. Playing against D-II competition.
Drew Radovich, OG, Southern California, 6'5, 305
Power-packed road grader. Plays with a lot of intensity. Depends on his strength more than his technique and leverage, both of which are only average. Not much of a factor playing at the second level.
Roy Schuening, OG, Oregon State, 6'4, 317
Athletic and physical left guard who plays with some nastiness. Long arms. Gets in position quickly. Technique is great. Always keeps his legs moving to push a defender off the line of scrimmage. Can match up with either speed or power tackles. Hasn't been used in space much and doesn't work well laterally.
Early Doucet, WR, Louisiana State, 6'0, 207
A smaller receiver with decent speed, but solid hands and crisp routes. Will not impress you on the track or weight room, but makes plays on the field. A dangerous route runner underneath. Can create separation and catch in traffic. Lacks straight line speed and may not test well. A strong blocker who likes to mix it up. Very good instincts and vision with the ball in his hands.
Owen Schmitt, FB, West Virginia, 6'3, 260
One of the most-noted fullbacks in the country, Schmitt is a large reason that the Mountaineer running game is as successful as it's been over the past three seasons. Powerful at the point of attack, Schmitt plays fullback with the mindset of a running back, knowing where holes are and how to exploit defenses. Not the overall threat that others might be with the ball in his hands, but effective in the short yardage.
Cliff Avril, DE, Purdue, 6'3, 247
Excellent sized outside linebacker prospect who looks the part. Extremely competitive player who plays to the whistle every down. Needs to play with more power. Because of his speed, he's a candidate to play in the 3-4 as a rush linebacker. Doesn't have many pass rush moves, but he's quick around the edge. Good tackler. Needs to improve coverage skill.
Lavelle Hawkins, WR, California, 5'11, 185
Water bug slot receiver with excellent speed. Well built for a player his size, but he too often gets overpowered at the line. Benefits from playing alongside receivers DeSean Jackson and Robert Jordan. Nice burst when going over the middle. Runs good routes.
Dustin Keller, TE, Purdue, 6'4, 240
Good receiving tight end who will have to become a better blocker. Undersized for the position. Gritty player who will play through injuries. Typically lines up in the slot because of his plus athleticism and agility. Built powerfully, but doesn't always utilize his strength properly.
Andre Fluellen, DT, Florida State, 6'4, 286
Underachiever who runs hot and cold and will flash big-play ability. Naturally athletic and quick. Lacks technique. Doesn't always seem to care. Will need a good coach to make it.
4th Round Pick (116th Overall)
Fan Prediction: OC Adam Spieker - Bucs Reality: WR Dexter Jackson
Potential 4th Round Picks:
Adam Spieker, C, Missouri, 6'3, 305
A shotgun center with experience in the zone scheme. Fast back step. Can handle the line calls. Good help blocker. Completely handled every nose tackle he faced this year, most impressively against the Nebraska defensive line.
Patrick Lee, CB, Auburn, 6'0, 195
Lee came out of nowhere as a senior and became one of head coach Tommy Tuberville's favorite players. Lee, who was invited to the Senior Bowl, plays the ball well in the air. One of his biggest assets is his strength, which allows him to jam at the line. Gets in trouble against small, quick receivers. Has an inconsistent motor, which is troublesome.
Jack Williams, CB, Kent State, 5'9, 180
Slightly undersized corner who excels in man coverage and is good enough in the zone. Has flown under the radar because of where he goes to school and being former teammates with Usama Young. Not a great tackler. Makes a lot of plays on the ball when it’s in the air. Great character.
DeMario Pressley, DT, North Carolina State, 6'4, 293
Regressed as a senior. Slow off the snap. Good at taking up multiple blockers but isn't much of a playmaker in the backfield. Inconsistent motor. Powerful at the point of attack. Shows good acceleration when he wants to turn it on. Has some upside because of his natural tools.
DeJuan Tribble, CB, Boston College, 5'9, 190
Compactly built corner whose speed may be suspect. Gambles too much. Not much of tackler. His best asset is mirroring receivers as they try to lose him on breaks in routes. Possesses excellent ball skills. Added value as a return man.
Steve Slaton, RB, West Virginia, 5'10, 195
One of the faster runners available for the draft, a team that takes Slaton will be one in need of a playmaker at the position. Dynamic ability when he gets into space, with a rare ability to reverse field totally and create a big play almost on his own. Slaton has been asked to do a lot more inside running this year, and has added weight to compensate, but there's no question he's made to run outside the tackles.
Mike Hart, RB, Michigan, 5'9, 196
Although Hart lacks prototypical size and breakaway speed, he has a good combination of vision, quickness and power. Hart's durability is suspect, but when healthy he's a good running back. Decent receiver and blocker. Good leadership skills and character.
Brian Johnston, DE, Gardner-Webb, 6'5, 274
Had 24 stops for loss last season to go along with 6 sacks. He plays left defensive end primarily. He had 4 tackles and 22 QB pressures. Considered one of the top defensive ends in the draft.
Tom Zbikowski, SS, Notre Dame, 6'0, 210
Zbikowski is punt return man as well as a safety. Gets caught by play action too many times. Plays like a linebacker, and usually goes for big hit instead of tackling. Solid punt return man, and plays with mean streak. Gives 110 percent, but may not be a high pick in the NFL draft because of his athletic limitations.
Zackary Bowman, CB, Nebraska, 6'2, 200
Has been plagued with injuries throughout his career. Almost entered the 2007 NFL Draft. A good cover corner with the size and speed to shut down one side of the field. Raw in his technique, but is athletic enough to overcome fundamental flaws.
5th Round Pick (145th Overall)
Fan Prediction: LB Ezra Butler - Bucs Reality: LB Red Keith
Potential 5th Round Picks:
Ezra Butler, OLB, Nevada, 6'2, 248
An instinctive and complete linebacker, Butler has led Nevada in tackles in each of the past two seasons. His three interceptions also rank first on the team, and his tenacity and nose for the ball are assets that could propel him up draft boards come draft day.
Wesley Woodyard, OLB, Kentucky, 6'1, 212
Looks like a linebacker who can only make it in the Tampa-2 defense. May project as a safety in other systems.. Needs to get stronger because he'll struggle to tackle bigger players. Team leader who shows amazing work ethic, especially in the film room.
Red Keith, ILB, Central Michigan, 5'11, 242
Undersized but productive inside linebacker. Very instinctual player, especially against the run. Lacks speed going straight ahead and laterally. Struggles in coverage. Will probably only make it as a two-down or special teams player. Good tackler. Great character and team leader.
Tashard Choice, RB, Georgia Tech, 6'1, 205
Strong runner who rarely goes down on first contact. Vision is good. Feet aren't very quick and Choice doesn't have much breakaway speed. Competitive and hard working. Will be a coach's favorite because of his work ethic. Solid blocker. Average as a pass catcher.
Simeon Castille, CB, Alabama, 6'1, 189
Could also play safety. Doesn't have cornerback speed. Productive, gets a lot of turnovers. Good size, long arms. Good instincts. No burst or top-end speed. Smart player who reads and reacts fast. Might be best at safety where he is not asked to cover man-to-man.
Mario Urrutia, WR, Louisville, 6'6, 228
Physical specimen of a wide receiver. Very fast for a man his size, and knows how to take advantage of that athletic edge. May be his best outside the hashmarks where he can use his body, and may not be as tough as someone his size should be. Has a tendency to either be on or off during games, no in between.
Amarri Jackson, WR, South Florida, 6'5, 195
Size and athleticism should have turned Jackson into a star at the college level. Never could break into a consistent role as a Bull, in a receiving corps that often rotated heavily. His 6-foot-5 frame and speed could get him drafted as a project.
Darius Raynaud, WR, West Virginia, 5'10, 200
Big play receiver who spent much of his West Virginia being underutilized in their offense. Great speed and quickness could make him a dangerous receiver, but still very much a work in progress. Smaller, but built solidly, almost like a running back. Also a dynamic return man, which is more than likely where he'll make his initial impact at the next level.
J Leman, ILB, Illinois, 6'2, 240
Ultra-productive, overachieving four-year starter. Leman doesn't have great athleticism or speed, but he gets the job done every week. His stock will probably fall during private workouts and the Combine, but he'll be a heck of player for some team. Could probably start as a rookie and turn out a year similar to DeMeco Ryans' rookie season. Always seems to be around the ball. Not very good in pass coverage.
John Greco, OT, Toledo, 6'5, 318
Naturally large left tackle with a lot of experience. Great hand usage. Initial punch is one of the best in college football. May need to improve his foot quickness off the snap. Drives opponents to the ground. Probably more of a right tackle candidate because of his lack of great agility. Not much of a puller.
John Sullivan, C, Notre Dame, 6'4, 290
Solid center. Won't go high in draft because of down year in 2007. Also a liability when in shotgun after some bad snaps. Is a possible NFL center because of his intelligence, lower body strength and ability on the second level.
First and foremost let me THANK Matt Miller of New Era Scouting and Mocking the Draft for all of the analysis provided above, he ought to get a degree in scouting if there is such a thing. Again you are greatly appreciated Matt!!
So lets hear it Bucs Fans.... Who should the Bucs Draft? Who do you want them to draft? Who do you think the Bucs will draft? Selfish reasons or not, lets hear them!!!!!!