Presented by Buc'Em
With the 20th overall selection in the 2008 SB Nation NFL Mock Draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have chosen DeSean "DJax" Jackson, Wide Receiver/Punt Returner, California. I was pretty shocked DJax fell to us and if you go over to Mocking the Draft's comments section you'll see a couple fans who thought :WE: made a bad move drafting Jackson... Here's my analysis:
When you take into account that General Manager Bruce Allen did absolutely nothing to upgrade the receiving corps this off-season (Antonio Bryant? Ben Troupe? Please...) and we currently use our 3rd down possession receiver (Ike Hilliard) as our Punt Return man, Cal’s WR/PR DeSean Jackson is a no-brainer for the Bucs and their 20th Draft slot. Granted he doesn’t have the best hands and as Jon Gruden kindly reminds us, he’s only 168 pounds, but he DOES excel at two facets of the game; receiving the ball and returning the ball.
With Joey Galloway turning 37 years old this season, big boy receivers Michael Clayton and Maurice Stovall providing zero production, and a veteran quarterback (Jeff Garcia) that has a two year window TOPS, the offense needs new life and weapons now. DeSean Jackson will provide that immediately with his return capabilities. He should be able to step right into the offense and contribute there as well.
In the wild card playoff game against the eventual Super Bowl Champion New York Giants, Joey Galloway re-injured his shoulder early on, the Bucs became one-dimensional, and that was all she wrote for the Bucs' offensive production. We need to improve the offense and injecting speed via DeSean Jackson is how we’ll do just that. This is the route the community at Buc ‘Em would like to travel; it remains to be seen whether Gruden, Allen, and Company will follow suit.
I have not been as high on Jackson as most draftniks, but I do like his value here and the need that this pick fills for Tampa Bay. This is a team who has been historically bad on kick and punt returns, and also a franchise that lacks an explosive play maker at any position. Jackson will give Jeff Garcia, or whomever is playing quarterback, a dependable run after catch threat and will give the offense the speed they lose with Michael Clayton. Jackson's value as a return man/receiver may make him drafted higher in three weeks, but for our draft this pick is perfect.
:: DeSean Jackson Scouting Report - New Era Scouting :: Matt Miller's Top Five Prospects Remaining: 1. LB Dan Connor, 2. CB Antoine Cason, 3. QB Brian Brohm, 4. LB Jared Mayo, 5. QB Joe Flacco
I was ready to lay into Matt had he bagged on the pick, but as predictable as the pick might seem, its exactly the jolt of athleticism this team needs on offense, despite the questionable WR ability and potential character issues.
Believe it or not this Mock Draft DOES have a 2nd Round, so start brain storming...