Bucs Head Coach Jon Gruden had a couple things to say last week at the NFL Owners Meetings about his potential NFL Draftees, here's what he said:
On Wide Receiver: [Which one do you like?] I mean the guy at Cal is 169 pounds. Is he going to be big enough? He's certainly fast as hell. He'd be a hell of a returner. The guy at Indiana [James Hardy] is big. Every film you pick up there's another touchdown. Is he fast enough? We've got Stovall, what the hell have we've got him for? You don't want to stock guys. So that's a tough call, it always is, though… Theres a number of good receivers
That quote up there on DeSean Jackson doesnt exactly exude confidence in the kid. It's funny how Gruden compares probably the smallest WR (DeSean 6'0 166lbs) to the largest WR (Hardy 6'6 220;bs) in the draft... Are we restricted to drafting huge WR's only? I hope Gruden doesnt over look the DeSean's, Keenan Burton's, and Jordy Nelson's do to lack of size. Chad Johnson, Laveranues Coles, and Steve Smith should prove that mentality as a mistake, as should our current duo of Michael Clayton and Maurice Stovall (granted he hasnt had the reps)
On Quarterbacks: I think his [Joe Flacco] Senior Bowl game performance really helped him. I think when you watch [Chad] Henne and [Erik] Ainge and you watch Colt Brennan and all the guys who were there in mobile, I think Flacco helped himself. He stood out there. He's a big guy, poised and confident. People liked his stroke. People liked the way he threw the football. He's thrown for a gazillion yards and dominated the level of competition… Josh Johnson, You've got to take all of it into account. 45 touchdowns and one interception. That's hard to do. Then you watch the East-West game and watch him run around and make plays. Phil Simms came out of Moorehead State. Alot of these guys came out of small schools. He's going to play in the league. I'm convinced of that … I keep telling Bruce Allen I'd like to coach a first-rounder [at QB] sometime before I'm out of the league. I wouldn't mind coaching one. Guys do get picked in the first round for a reason
This we know for a fact: Gruden WILL NOT draft a QB in the first round of this draft. As such, it would be a waste for him to draft one in the later rounds.. You want that 1st Round QB, wait for Florida's Tim Tebow. He's strong, fast, and built to last... eh
On the Bucs Draft needs I think when you're picking 20th, sometimes youre not quite sure how deep [the draft] is. If you take a guy you really want there, you're not going to get him in the 2nd round. Its pretty clear who the top seven, eight or nine players are, it always is. Theres some depth on the OL and CBs. It appears to be pretty deep. There's some quality running backs. Then you get down there at no. 20 and theres a guy at this position and that position and that position. Theyre all pretty good players. which one do you take? That's a tough question. you'd just like to keep adding as much firepower as you can. A guy who can make a big play. interceptions returned for tds, return a punt, our return game we'd like to pick that up…
I'm excited for the sheer fact that he acknowledges we need help in the Return game. We needed that help last april as well and it didnt get addressed. I guess Gruden's tired of trotting our 3rd Down Possession Receiver out there for Punt Returning duty. Maybe the depth wasnt great last april, it is this year, come through Chucky!!
On the difficulty of Scouting for the Draft Watching college tape is a lot different for me now then it used to be five years ago. Everybody is in spread offenses, everybody. Theres not as much two back play-action as there used to be. Its hard to evaluate, a lot of bubble screens and quick screens. Its not like youre the corner and I'm the wideout and I'm running an out route or a quick screen. You might be running a bubble screen. The linebackers as well, theyre not in the box taking on a fullback..
Just Draft for pure speed, the lethargic big guys havent worked out so well for you...
On CB Mike Jenkins I like him. We had an individual workout at our facility. I like the mentality that the USF kids have. They've been well coached and the kid has talent.
In SBNation's Mock Draft, we're at pick No. 15 and Jenkin's name has yet to be called. I wouldnt take that as a sign of things to come, sure Jenkins could fall, but all the way to the Bucs would be quite a tumble.. I think our 5 Draft Picks will unfold as such: 1st Round: WR/PR... 2nd Round: CB/PR... 3rd Round: DT... 4th Round: OL... 5th Round: QB/RB/WR (basically a wildcard round)... Regardless this years draft will prove to be interesting, so long as Gruden and Allen are calling the shots..
Quotes brought to you by Frank Cooney from NFL Draft Scout