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Going Over The 2007 Buccaneers Draft

When the Buccaneers came into the 2006 Season, they had most of their roster holes filled and were ready to perform. Sadly, it didn’t turn out very well. Carnell Williams got hurt, Chris Simms never came back from Spleen surgery after week 3, Michael Clayton never returned to rookie form, and we had Bruce Gradkowski and Tim Rattay finish the season. Our defense lacked a pass rush and was getting up there in age. By the end of the season, we had issues at more positions than not.

In free agency, we released Simeon Rice due to not taking a pay cut. We also released LT Kenyatta Walker. However, we did have a very active free agency. We signed LT Luke Petitgout, CB Phillip Buchanon, TE Jeremy Stevens, FB B.J. Askew, QB Jeff Garcia, and traded for QB Jake Plummer, who retired rather than play here. Even though we signed all those players, we still needed help at DE, DT, LB, CB, S, WR, LG, and C.

1st Round

When draft day came in 2007, I know exactly what everyone wanted. WR Calvin Johnson out of Georgia Tech. Sadly, GM Bruce Allen wouldn’t trade up for him and he was off the board at #2. What we were left with turned out to be 14 future Pro Bowlers taken just in the 1st round. Considering that we needed a pass rusher and that we just released Simeon Rice, the Buccaneers selected Gaines Adams out of Clemson.

Rd Pck Pos F. Name L. Name Drafted Team H W 40Yd 20Yd 10Yd Bench Vert Broad 20SS 3Cone CAV/PG
1 4 DE Gaines Adams Tampa Bay Buccaneers 77 258 4.64 2.71 1.58 21 35.0 119 4.36 7.17 35%
1 8 DE Jamaal Anderson Atlanta Falcons 78 288 4.75 2.73 1.59 22 32.5 116 4.22 6.88 23%
2 56 DE Tim Crowder Denver Broncos 76 272 4.69 2.71 1.59 32 30.5 111 4.32 7.28 14%
3 83 DE Charles Johnson Carolina Panthers 74 270 4.75 2.74 1.58 33 34.0 118 7.50 30%

Looking at his numbers, I could see only one reason why we chose him. And that was he had the fastest 40 time out of the DE’s. His numbers were fairly well but due to his lack of size and pass rushing ability, they were false positives. Take a look at Johnson for a second. He was 12 pound heavier and could run the 10 yard split the same speed. He also benched 25 pounds 12 times more than Adams. His vertical and broad jumps were the same. I will say he had a weaker cone time but that was due to him getting injured. You could even compare Anderson to Adams but they had similar pass rushing flaws.

Again, we missed out on 14 future Pro Bowlers. The list is: FS LaRon Landry, RB Adrian Peterson, ILB Patrick Willis, RB Marshawn Lynch, CB Darrelle Revis, OLB Lawrence Timmons, SS Michael Griffin, WR Dwayne Bowe, FS Brandon Meriweather, ILB Jon Beason, DE Anthony Spencer, OT Joe Staley, and TE Greg Olson. You could make an argument to take one of these players.

2nd Round

With our new QB in Jeff Garcia, I could see why we chose Aaron Sears out of Tennessee with the 35th pick. He wasn’t fast but he had strong legs and was agile. His numbers portray that we were trying to find a pass blocking LG that might be good a lateral movement with the running game.

Rd Pck Pos F. Name L. Name Drafted Team H W 40Yd 20Yd 10Yd Bench Vert Broad 20SS 3Cone CAV/PG
1 29 G Ben Grubbs Baltimore Ravens 75 311 5.10 2.95 1.65 35 26.5 103 4.72 7.70 44%
2 35 G Arron Sears Tampa Bay Buccaneers 75 319 5.09 2.95 1.74 21 30.5 103 4.50 7.63 47%
2 39 G Justin Blalock Atlanta Falcons 75 320 5.10 2.96 1.73 40 28.5 102 4.72 7.75 44%
3 86 G Marshal Yanda Baltimore Ravens 76 307 5.15 2.88 1.69 23 27.0 101 4.58 7.36 48%
5 149 G Uche Nwaneri Jacksonville Jaguars 75 325 5.37 3.09 1.81 24 27.5 97 34%

As you can see, Sears was the slowest 10 yard split and the weakest lineman but he did have the strongest legs out of the group. His 20 yard shuttle time also shows he was able to change direction well and move his hips. It does make me wonder why we didn’t just wait and take Marshal Yanda, considering all of his times were better and he had similar leg strength.

While picking Aaron Sears at guard was a good pick, we missed out on a few good players in the draft. SS Eric Weddle, TE Zach Miller, WR Sidney Rice, WR Steve Smith, OLB LaMarr Woodley, and C Ryan Kalil all turned into Pro Bowl players. G Justin Blalock, CB Chris Houston, MLB David Harris, CB Josh Wilson, and C Samson Satele were also taken before our next pick. Each player listed showed that they could of perform extremely well in the NFL by their respectable numbers.

Our next pick is the fan favorite of the "Buccaneers Worst Draft Pick Ever" club. Not due to his lack of playing but rather him playing extremely badly. Put your hands together for the 37th pick in the NFL Draft, SS Sabby Piscitelli. The main thing about this pick is that we should’ve watched his game tape better.

Rd Pck Pos F. Name L. Name Drafted Team H W 40Yd 20Yd 10Yd Bench Vert Broad 20SS 3Cone CAV/PG
1 19 SS Michael Griffin Tennessee Titans 73 202 4.40 2.52 1.49 16 39.5 120 4.10 6.60 38%
2 37 SS Eric Weddle San Diego Chargers 71 203 4.48 2.56 1.43 11 35.0 114 4.12 6.78 48%
2 64 SS Sabby Piscitelli Tampa Bay Buccaneers 75 224 4.43 2.54 1.49 19 34.5 122 3.90 6.84 14%
3 89 SS Aaron Rouse Green Bay Packers 76 223 4.53 2.60 1.53 16 35.0 121 4.19 6.81 17%
7 224 SS Michael Johnson New York Giants 75 205 4.53 2.61 1.52 18 35.5 117 4.11 7.04 22%

I mean look at those stats. He was the fastest, most agile, and fairly strong. But what gets me when I look at those stats, why didn’t he get picked in the 1st round. And that’s the issue here. Why was he, statistically the best safety, not chosen until the late 2nd round? We found that out the hard way. And that is why scouting is a balance between numbers and game tape.

Considering that there were only three choices until our next pick, there wasn’t many people to choose from that we could’ve done better. But if we had to, SS Usama Young would’ve been the best choice. And by his numbers, he was faster, could jump higher, and had similar agility. It’s too bad that the Saints drafted him.

3rd Round

After covering some of the significant needs on the offense and defense, we wanted to get younger on the defensive side. Derrick Brooks, Ronde Barber, and Chris Hovan were all getting up in age. So with our 3rd round pick, we decided to take Quincy Black out of New Mexico. He was fairly tall and he had top end speed, a massive vertical, and good agility.

Rd Pck Pos F. Name L. Name Drafted Team H W 40Yd 20Yd 10Yd Bench Vert Broad 20SS 3Cone CAV/PG
1 11 ILB Patrick Willis San Francisco 49ers 73 242 4.37 2.54 1.52 22 39.0 119 4.36 7.10 72%
2 34 ILB Paul Posluszny Buffalo Bills 74 238 4.58 2.61 1.53 22 37.0 116 4.20 6.94 37%
3 68 OLB Quincy Black Tampa Bay Buccaneers 74 240 4.42 2.58 1.53 24 41.5 124 4.34 6.86 21%
4 136 OLB Clint Session Indianapolis Colts 71 236 4.57 2.62 1.56 36 30.5 114 4.15 25%
6 182 OLB Adam Hayward Tampa Bay Buccaneers 72 235 4.48 2.57 1.53 23 36.0 118 4.47 7.07 9%

In terms of statistical data, he was one of the best linebackers in the draft. Only Patrick Willis and Paul Posluszny were close to him. What was his major downfall was his game tape. He didn’t play against quality people so we didn’t know how much of his game tape was based off his talent or his football skills.

What we missed out on was precious. He is still giving us hell every time we face the Panthers, DE Charles Johnson. In terms of need, we missed out on WR James Jones, WR Mike Sims-Walker, DT Brandon Mebane, G Marshal Yanda, DE Ray McDonald, and DE Brian Robinson. All of which showed promise of being good in the NFL.

4th Round

As an update, the Buccaneers needs have dwindled to DT, CB, WR, and C. With our next pick, we went off the need path but it was still a minor need. The Buccaneers selected FS Tanard Jackson with the 106th pick in the NFL Draft. He had questions coming into the NFL Draft about personal things but his play on game tape was very good. He didn’t have the best stats for all of the FS coming out but it was the game tape that made up for that.

Rd Pck Pos F. Name L. Name Drafted Team H W 40Yd 20Yd 10Yd Bench Vert Broad 20SS 3Cone CAV/PG
1 6 FS LaRon Landry Washington Redskins 73 213 4.35 2.52 1.47 37.5 126 4.36 7.11 30%
1 21 FS Reggie Nelson Jacksonville Jaguars 73 198 4.35 2.51 1.46 35.0 126 4.15 6.67 35%
1 24 FS Brandon Meriweather New England Patriots 71 195 4.47 2.61 1.53 11 35.0 111 4.33 7.06 23%
4 106 FS Tanard Jackson Tampa Bay Buccaneers 73 200 4.49 2.59 1.54 12 34.0 121 4.28 6.89 19%
4 126 FS Dashon Goldson San Francisco 49ers 74 205 4.54 2.64 1.53 12 36.0 117 4.46 7.04 34%
7 253 FS Nedu Ndukwe Cincinnati Bengals 74 206 4.49 2.60 1.54 15 37.5 18%

As you can see, he was the slowest out of the gate but he had great top end speed. But his best feature was his ability to be flexible in changing directions. In terms of stats, he was worth the 4th round choice. But if you have seen his ability to read the QB’s eyes, he was worth much more.

Although he did turn out to be a good pick for a little while, we did miss on a few players. Massive DT Paul Soliai was taken two picks after us. At 344 pounds, he reminds me of NT Dontari Poe. We also missed out on OT Doug Free, OT Jermon Bushrod, FS Dashon Goldson, and MLB Clint Sessions. Soliai, Bushrod, and Free were all promising prospects based on their NFL Combine and Pro Day numbers.

5th Round

As if on queue, the Buccaneers decided to draft someone who didn’t make sense. With the 141st pick in the NFL Draft, we drafted DE Greg Peterson. He is the biggest DE we drafted since 2004 until now and I am going to assume that we were going to use him to be our LE. But what I can see, it he is slow off the snap and not very agile.

Rd Pck Pos F. Name L. Name Drafted Team H W 40Yd 20Yd 10Yd Bench Vert Broad 20SS 3Cone CAV/PG
4 108 DT Paul Soliai Miami Dolphins 76 344 5.02 2.86 1.63 30.5 103 4.53 7.66 28%
5 141 DE Greg Peterson Tampa Bay Buccaneers 77 286 4.73 2.72 1.64 21 32.5 107 4.51 7.84 4%
5 152 DT Antonio Johnson Tennessee Titans 75 310 5.08 2.90 1.68 28 29.0 108 4.49 7.51 22%
5 166 DT Derek Landri Jacksonville Jaguars 75 288 24 13%

Due to his 288 pounds, I decided to compare him to DTs. If you look closely, you can see that Peterson was beat out in speed and agility by a guy who weighs 56 pounds more than him. It was an absolutely terrible choice to draft him.

And as it feels like with every Bruce Allen draft, a good player was taken right after him. WR Steve Breaston was small but he was very quick, agile, and had good hands. He would’ve helped with our WR issues. A few quality starters taken after our pick were CB Tarell Brown, G Uche Nwaneri, DT Antonio Johnson, TE Brent Celek, CB Corey Graham, CB William Gay and K Nick Folk.

6th Round

Although I usually wait until the 7th round to not compare stats, our next pick was compared earlier in the 3rd Round. We decided to take LB Adam Hayward out of Portland State. The same questions with Quincy Black also apply to Hayward. But he was extremely fast, undersized, and agile. If he didn’t make a good linebacker, he would’ve been good at special teams. There wasn’t a lot to choose from for alternative people but K Mason Crosby was taken later on in the 6th round.

7th Round

It wouldn’t be a Bruce Allen draft without a player who never played a game for the team. With the 214th pick, we picked that up in the form of OT Chris Denman. Although he was big, he had nothing else going for him. The guy was one of the slowest players in the draft. In drafting him, we missed out on SS Michael Johnson and P Brandon Fields.

The last two picks in the draft were back to back. With each choice, we selected CB Marcus Hamilton and RB Kenneth Darby. Hamilton was a middle-of-the-pack guy. He wasn’t too fast or too slow but for a late 7th round pick, he was worth the possibility. With Darby, we got one of the slowest running backs in the draft with fairly weak legs based on his vertical and broad jump. He seems more like a special team’s player.

In taking these two special teams players, we missed out on two possible starters. RB Ahmad Bradshaw wasn’t the fastest running back in the draft but he did have the strongest legs and the best agility out of all of the running backs taken in the draft. Also, we missed out on FS Nedu Ndukwe.

Conclusion

I would have to say this was our deepest draft yet for talented players that contributed to the team. We missed on a lot of obvious players due to the lack of watching game tape and a few based on statistics. I knew coming into writing these articles that the numbers were not everything. And this draft is the perfect example. Of course, if we could go back and change it, we would. But as we all know, it was the beginning of the end of the Bruce Allen and John Gruden regime.

Previous Draft Articles

Terrible Drafting by the Buccaneers

2004 Buccaneers Draft

2005 Buccaneers Draft

2006 Buccaneers Draft

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