Good God, I hate the offseason. We're starting from 2006 since it's the earliest draft that still has a man on the roster (Davin Joseph). A great pick- after which we got nothing else. The list of (mostly) disappointments is as follows:
Jeremy Trueblood, OT, 2006
Arron Sears, G, 2007
Sabby Piscitelli, S, 2007
Dexter Jackson, WR, 2008
Brian Price, DT, 2010
Arrelious Benn, WR, 2010
Da'Quan Bowers, DE, 2011
Lavonte David, OLB, 2012
Since we haven't seen him play we're going to skip Johnthan Banks. Look at that list. The lack of success is almost impressive. Two guys are still on the team, and that's only because they were picked within two years. I feel, though, that this column of names is inadequate. Collective rage needs justice to be done, and I've got little else to do, so why not delve into the trying circumstances of each player's departure.
Jeremy Trueblood is a good run blocking offensive tackle, and that is where his abilities begin and end. His frequent penalties were maddening and he just couldn't pass block. Davin Joseph did him a huge favor by leveraging the team into giving him another contract, but he finally lost his job to Dotson and now he's Raheem Morris' problem. Unbelievably, he's the best of this group. He actually started for years.
Arron Sears is just a sad story. His play demonstrated ferocity, strength, and textbook technique. As a rookie he shined, and only got better his second year. In 2009 he displayed severe emotional and neurological instability- getting lost in known areas and becoming inexplicably violent. He brought a lawsuit against Tampa Bay for his condition, alleging concussions have rendered him unable to care for himself. It's truly awful, so much potential choked out.
Sabby Piscitelli had only the desireable measurables of a football player. He was a liability on the field as an atrocious safety. Sabby insisted on being out of position or taking an inappropriate angle.
Dexter Goddamn Jackson.
Brian Price, much like Sears, was dealt a garbage hand. Most of his family has been ripped away from him as he cares for his sister's children, and early mutterings around camp were that he may be more explosive than Gerald McCoy. Watching him practice before his injury and even in some games afterword was something to behold. Sensational burst, closing speed, and power. The gruesome injury he suffered was unprecedented, and his return from it never came. Now he's trying to earn a spot with Dallas, and I wish him the best of luck.
Arrelious Benn was given a pass for his lack of production at Illinois for his lack of a quarterback. After looking as though he may be a deep threat in 2010 he tore his acl and Tampa eventually brought in Vincent Jackson. It soon became a numbers game and he was traded to Philadelphia for almost nothing. He certainly had ability but the team simply didn't have the time.
The above are all failures. Some made me feel stupid to root for, while others have me in their corner due to their unfortunate circumstances. Either way none are still with the team, and for six straight 2nd round picks, that's got to be closing in on some kind of record. I'd look it up but refuse to set aside my scotch.
I'll have to reserve an opinion on Bowers. I have a lot of faith in him, though I also did in Price. Hopefully he can produce this season and remind pundits of all for which he was lauded in 2011.
Lavonte David proved he can play above his second round draft slot. Without injuries, a linebacker is a relatively safe bet to produce on a consistent level. If he plays just as well, without improvement, he will still be a pretty good linebacker. Instincts and speed serve him well, particularly against the run. David tackles extremely well, and does so in space which is crucial.
Superstitions don't entertain me, nor I them. Looking at the numbers, it does seem unusual. If Bowers doesn't bounce back we'll be 1 for 8, and there's not enough Old Pulteney in Queens to get me through that.
The circumstance that Banks will find gives me a great deal of optimism. At this point Tampa doesn't need him, they didn't draft him to be a starter. They sure as hell can use him, and beating out Wright for the second corner job would be ideal, but it isn't necessary. All of those other players were drafted to play immediately and their failure to deliver was agonizing for the team and fans alike. Banks has four years of covering the best amateur talent possible, making him as polished of a prospect one can draft. The Buccaneers are set to weather the storm of his learning curve if need be. I wouldn't mind for Banks and Bowers to play well and start a new trend.