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Going over the 2008 Buccaneers Draft

By the end of the 2007 NFL season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers played well enough to get into the playoffs. Sadly, it ended in a Wild Card loss. But this team showed us we had some promise and talent on the team. Our passing defense was one of the best in the league, Jeff Garcia reinvigorated the offense, and both of the lines were playing good football. We just needed a little more to get us further into the playoffs.

In the offseason, we knew the Buccaneers were going to be busy in Free Agency. In doing so, they signed C Jeff Faine to complete the offensive line rebuild, John Gilmore to give Jeff Garcia another TE to throw to, and WR Antonio Bryant to give him a big target on the outside. On the defense, the front office decided to sign DE Jimmy Wilkerson. We also decided to sign RB Warrick Dunn to give him another shot at being a running back for the Buccaneers. We lost CB Brian Kelly, DT Jovan Haye, C John Wade, G Matt Lehr, TE Anthony Becht, and DE Greg Spires to other teams though. Last but not least, we traded for Brian Griese to become our back-up QB.

So coming into the draft, the Buccaneers filled up all holes that might possibly have been an issue. They finally had an offseason where there were no absolute needs and could draft for best player available. But if you look closely, you’d see that WR Joey Galloway and Ike Hilliard, LB Derrick Brooks, DT Chris Hovan, CB Ronde Barber, RB Warrick Dunn, and QB Jeff Garcia were all on the wrong side of 30 years old. So it’s a double edge sword on whether or not to draft best player available.

1st Round

With free reign to draft whomever, the Buccaneers selected CB Aqib Talib out of Kansas with the 20th pick in the NFL Draft. At 6’1", 202 pounds, he was unusually big for the kind of cornerbacks the Buccaneers have had on the defense for ten years. But that wasn’t a bad thing. He also had the speed to keep up with fast wide receivers, jump ball ability for the taller wide receivers, and agility to keep up with the shifty wide receivers.

Rd Pck Pos F. Name L. Name Drafted Team H W 40Yd 20Yd 10Yd Bench Vert Broad 20SS 3Cone CAV/PG
1 16 CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie Arizona Cardinals 74 184 4.29 2.51 1.41 17 38.5 131 4.14 6.63 31%
1 20 CB Aqib Talib Tampa Bay Buccaneers 73 202 4.42 2.52 1.47 10 38.0 131 4.25 6.82 35%
2 35 CB Brandon Flowers Kansas City Chiefs 70 189 4.54 2.60 1.47 14 30.0 117 4.08 6.72 32%
5 140 CB Brandon Carr Kansas City Chiefs 72 207 4.43 2.57 1.47 35.0 124 4.19 6.80 32%
7 229 CB Cary Williams Tennessee Titans 73 185 4.43 2.56 1.47 8 32.5 119 4.34 6.94 23%

As you can see, he did have the fastest 10 yard split or top end speed but for his size, he was very quick. Also his vertical wasn’t the best but with his height and size; it was one of the best. In my opinion, it was the best 1st round pick that GM Bruce Allen had picked while with the Buccaneers.

While we drafted a great CB this year, we missed out on some of the best running backs and wide receivers in the game today. RB Chris Johnson, Matt Forte, Ray Rice, WR Desean Jackson and Jordy Nelson were all chosen before our next pick. Not to mention CB Mike Jenkins, CB Brandon Flowers, OT Duane Brown, and OLB Curtis Lofton. And each of them could’ve been the pick due to their scouting numbers.

2nd Round

With our second round pick, we decided to draft WR Dexter Jackson out of Appalachian State. I honestly feel like copying and pasting everything I said about Sabby Piscitelli in the last draft review. At 5’10" 182 pounds, I think we were going after a replacement for Joey Galloway. In the end, we found a guy who did a terrible job at warming the bench.

Rd Pck Pos F. Name L. Name Drafted Team H W 40Yd 20Yd 10Yd Bench Vert Broad 20SS 3Cone CAV/PG
2 49 WR DeSean Jackson Philadelphia Eagles 70 169 4.35 2.52 1.53 34.5 122 4.19 6.82 52%
2 58 WR Dexter Jackson Tampa Bay Buccaneers 70 182 4.33 2.53 1.50 11 30.5 122 4.15 6.81 0%
3 81 WR Early Doucet Arizona Cardinals 72 209 4.59 2.64 1.56 34.5 114 4.55 7.34 13%
6 205 WR Pierre Garçon Indianapolis Colts 72 210 4.42 2.56 1.50 20 36.5 125 4.19 6.90 36%
7 224 WR Steve Johnson Buffalo Bills 74 210 4.46 2.56 1.49 32.5 121 4.26 7.07 28%

Feel free to look at the numbers. Dexter Jackson was one of the fastest and more agile WR in the draft. But there are two numbers that stick out. And that is his broad jump and vertical. Each drill shows his explosiveness and jumping capabilities. And considering he was one of the worst in each drill, it showed that his speed and agility was a fluke. Feel free to head over to Mocking the Draft for explanations of what each drill represents in terms of on field capabilities.

We all know what’s after an epically failed high pick. So without further ado, everyone meet RB Jamaal Charles, TE Martellus Bennett, CB Charles Godfrey, DT Kendall Langford, and CB Terrell Thomas. Jamaal Charles, Terrell Thomas and Martellus Bennett showed that they all were extremely athletic people with their scouting numbers. It was terrible to see each of them be passed by the Buccaneers.

3rd Round

In the 3rd round, we decided to get depth on our offensive line. I repeat that we actually drafted for depth. With the 83rd pick, the Buccaneers chose G Jeremy Zuttah out of Rutgers. Fairly small for this draft class, he was one of the more athletic guards. His speed and agility made him a quality swing guard and back-up in a pinch.

Rd Pck Pos F. Name L. Name Drafted Team H W 40Yd 20Yd 10Yd Bench Vert Broad 20SS 3Cone CAV/PG
3 83 G Jeremy Zuttah Tampa Bay Buccaneers 76 303 4.99 2.87 1.73 35 26.5 107 4.54 7.59 34%
3 99 G Oniel Cousins Baltimore Ravens 76 308 5.11 2.94 1.77 23 24.5 107 4.80 7.90 7%
4 135 G Josh Sitton Green Bay Packers 76 319 5.20 2.96 1.76 28 108 4.50 7.55 61%
5 164 G Carl Nicks New Orleans Saints 77 341 5.22 2.98 1.75 31 25.5 109 4.68 7.91 55%
7 241 G Geoff Schwartz Carolina Panthers 78 332 5.36 3.04 1.78 20.5 98 4.79 7.90 14%

In terms of the best guards in the draft, he was one of the smallest but his speed and agility were his best quality. But also notice how much bigger everyone else were. How no one noticed that this draft was filled with quality guards is beyond me. They are leaps and bounds faster and agile than similar sized guards in other drafts.

What we missed out on were more skilled players and a few defensive players that have caused us troubles over the years. They include: WR Harry Douglas, TE Jermichael Finley, DE Cliff Avril, and FS Thomas DeCloud. Both Finley and DeCloud showed promise based on their respected scouting numbers. For a special note, notice we also missed out on Cousins and how he compares with the best Guards in this draft.

4th Round

With the 115th pick in the NFL Draft, the Buccaneers selected DT Dre Moore out of Maryland. For his size and speed, he was a quality pick. But if you take a look at the rest of his numbers, you can see some issues he might have had. His agility numbers for DT’s are really low and his broad jump was fairly average. To put in a different light, he was fairly decent at bull rushing the QB but don’t ask him to do anything else.

Rd Pck Pos F. Name L. Name Drafted Team H W 40Yd 20Yd 10Yd Bench Vert Broad 20SS 3Cone CAV/PG
1 5 DT Glenn Dorsey Kansas City Chiefs 74 297 5.12 2.98 1.74 27 25.5 100 4.80 7.52 29%
3 66 DT Kendall Langford Miami Dolphins 78 287 4.95 2.84 1.62 24 31.0 114 4.69 7.72 32%
4 115 DT Dre Moore Tampa Bay Buccaneers 76 305 4.84 2.70 1.62 31 28.0 105 4.55 7.73 6%
5 152 DT Letroy Guion Minnesota Vikings 76 303 5.20 2.96 1.79 26 30.0 106 4.50 7.41 17%
6 190 DT Ahtyba Rubin Cleveland Browns 75 315 5.20 2.96 1.74 35 28.0 106 5.00 8.05 31%

If you look at the stats, Langford backed up his 10 yard split with his broad jump and vertical. Rubin is the largest which would make him slower but he had the same 10 yard split as Dorsey but with better jumping numbers. With Guion, you can see his agility is his best ability but he also had decent explosiveness out of his starting position. All of these players showed better promise than Moore and two were taken after him.

A few picks after Moore was chosen, DE Red Bryant was drafted by the Seahawks. At 13 pounds heavier, he put down a similar 10 yard split, better jumping, and agility numbers than Moore. Also chosen after Moore were G Josh Sitton, CB Brandon Carr, DT Letroy Guion, CB Zackary Bowman, and CB Orlando Scandrick.

5th Round

In the 5th round, we decided to take QB Josh Johnson. Although he wasn’t the best QB in the draft, he was the most athletic and put up great passing numbers in college. The only QB that did anything after him was Matt Flynn. Since QBs numbers don’t really matter, I won’t compare him.

Looking at the draft choices between our next pick and this pick, there was only one major player who made a difference in the NFL and that was G Carl Nicks. A few of the other picks that turned out to be quality back-ups include WR Josh Morgan, OLB Erik Walden, and OT Barry Richardson. Morgan showed quality speed and jumping capabilities to be a slot receiver.

6th Round

With our 6th round pick, the Buccaneers decided to take Geno Hayes out of Florida State. With his size and speed, he was drastically undersized and kind of slow. He was only 226 pounds and was average across the board. The only way they could see the potential in this choice was in his game tape.

Rd Pck Pos F. Name L. Name Drafted Team H W 40Yd 20Yd 10Yd Bench Vert Broad 20SS 3Cone CAV/PG
1 9 OLB Keith Rivers Cincinnati Bengals 74 241 4.54 2.65 1.56 42.0 127 4.38 21%
2 52 OLB Quentin Groves Jacksonville Jaguars 75 259 4.53 2.62 1.57 30 29.5 120 4.42 7.31 17%
3 93 OLB Philip Wheeler Indianapolis Colts 74 248 4.66 2.65 1.55 24 36.5 122 4.29 7.11 23%
6 167 OLB Erik Walden Dallas Cowboys 74 238 25 33.0 4.29 24%
6 175 OLB Geno Hayes Tampa Bay Buccaneers 73 226 4.64 2.64 1.56 22 31.5 116 4.33 7.22 28%

What I find great is that he turned out to be the best OLB of this draft. Based on the highest chosen OLB’s in the draft, he was one of the fastest, and similarly agile. He was the 4th best value taken in the 6th and 7th round based on CAV/Played Games.

I don’t feel that bad when it comes to the next few people chosen due to the play we got out of Geno Hayes. But it still might sting a little. C John Sullivan, DT Ahtyba Rubin, and OT King Dunlap have anchored their respected lines since coming into the NFL. Also, WR Pierre Garcon has turned into a great WR due to his speed and agility. A couple others include: RB Peyton Hillis, RB Justin Forsett, WR Chaz Schilens, WR Steve Johnson, and CB Cary Williams.

7th Round

With our last pick in the 2008 NFL Draft and the 238th pick; the Buccaneers selected RB Cory Boyd. Although he was one of the last RB’s chosen in the draft, he was pretty average compared to the rest. It was a pretty good pick in terms of value at that point in the draft.

You’d think that this late in the draft, that you wouldn’t find that good of players. But there were a couple. Players like: G Geoff Schwartz, G Mackenzy Bernadeau, SS Chris Horton, and OLB David Vobora were all chosen after Boyd. And most of them showed some sort of potential in the NFL.

Conclusion

This draft feels like a rollercoaster. We made some very good choices for the immediate future and terrible choices that were resolved fairly quickly. With the ability to draft based on skill, GM Bruce Allen turned a draft that was filled with quality but still missed on another high draft choice. In the end, it was the faults of missing the high draft picks that brought the Buccaneers to their knees.

Previous Draft Articles

Terrible Drafting by the Buccaneers

2004 Buccaneers Draft

2005 Buccaneers Draft

2006 Buccaneers Draft

2007 Buccaneers Draft

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