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2011 Buccaneers Draft Review

In 2010, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had a season that brought us hope that the worst of our depression was over. They went 10-6 and just barely missed the playoffs. The offense was running on all cylinders behind 2nd year quarterback Josh Freeman and undrafted rookie sensation LeGarrette Blount. Mike Williams provided our team with a #1 WR and Kellen Winslow was a great contributor too. In the end, it was our defense that broke the camel’s back.

The Bucs defense was great and terrible. Yin and Yang would’ve been proud at how lopsided it was. Our passing defense was 7th in the league in yards allowed. But the pass rush couldn’t get to the QB and was ranked 31st. Also, our defensive front was in the bottom 5 in the league in rushing yards allowed. It didn’t help that Barrett Ruud couldn’t attack a ball carrier until he was five yards down the field. Also without Brian Price at DT due to his horrific hip injury and FS Tanard Jackson due to his yearlong suspension, we almost made the playoffs.

Through the offseason, the Buccaneers Front Office approached free agency like it was their kryptonite. It was also strange because that the upcoming year was to be without a Salary Cap. While ignoring most of free agency, we did sign one player in P Michael Koenen. As he was a booming punter for the Falcons, we were all excited to have him. But making him the highest paid punter in the league was laughable to some who saw his pedestrian punting average and punts inside the 20. We did resign most of our players. G Davin Joseph was given a $7.5 Million a year contract for 7 years. OLB Quincy Black got a $6 Mil a year contract for 5 years. He was grossly overpaid for playing a strong side linebacker. And we took care of CB Ronde Barber, DE Tim Crowder, OLB Adam Hayward, and OT Jeremy Trueblood. Sadly, we didn’t re-sign RB Carnell Williams or MLB Barrett Ruud due to their play.

1st Round

So coming into the draft, we had holes at a lot of places like MLB, RT, LG, CB, C, and RB, but none more than both DE positions. It was a major issue over the last two seasons and supposedly this draft was filled with quality pass rushers. With the 20th pick, we decided to take Adrian Clayborn out of Iowa. At 6’3" 281 pounds, he was bigger but shorter than the standard Tampa 2 DE. What was good about him was he was fast getting out of his stance and using his agility to get to the QB. The issue was if his Erb’s Palsy would make a difference on his play. Here are the numbers.

Rd Pck Pos F. Name L. Name Drafted Team H W 40Yd 20Yd 10Yd Bench Vert Broad 20SS 3Cone CAV/PG
1 11 DE Justin Watt Houston Texans 77 290 4.81 2.71 1.64 34 37.0 120 4.21 6.88 100%
1 14 DE Robert Quinn St. Louis Rams 76 265 4.60 2.67 1.61 24 34.0 125 4.31 6.99 55%
1 16 OLB Patrick Kerrigan Washington Redskins 76 267 4.67 2.72 1.61 31 33.5 122 4.39 7.18 45%
1 20 DE Adrian Clayborn Tampa Bay Buccaneers 75 281 4.78 2.69 1.61 17 33.0 114 4.13 7.08 20%
1 24 DE Cameron Jordan New Orleans Saints 76 287 4.74 2.72 1.64 25 31.0 117 4.37 7.07 50%

Comparing some of the best pass rushers taken off the board, you can tell he was one of the fastest out of his stance. What was his downfall was his strength and arm length. He looks like the best of them but getting the power behind his moves was tough when you are overcompensating for a weakness. His arms were also 1.5 inches shorter than the average OT taken in the draft. Although it might not seem like a lot, it is a big difference when you are trying to block a guy from grabbing your jersey. In my opinion, Cameron Jordan would’ve been the better available pick.

Quality Players Taken Before the Buccaneers Next Pick

Need: DE Cameron Jordan, G James Carpenter, DE Jabaal Sheard, MLB Bruce Carter, MLB Brooks Reed, G Orlando Franklin, C Stefen Wisniewski, OT Anthony Castonzo, RB Mark Ingram, RB Ryan Williams, MLB Brooks Reed, CB Marcus Gilchrist

BPA: DT Phil Taylor, QB Andy Dalton, FS Rahim Moore, WR Titus Young

2nd Round

Like in 2010, the Bucs decided to double up with the defensive line. After choosing Clayborn, the Bucs drafted DE Da’Quan Bowers out of Clemson with the 51st pick. If he didn’t have issues with his knees, many "experts" thought he was the best DE in the draft. At 6’3" 280, he was one of the bigger DE’s in the draft. In college he was known for being able to push around the offensive line to get to the QB. Here are the Combine and Pro Day numbers.

Rd Pck Pos F. Name L. Name Drafted Team H W 40Yd 20Yd 10Yd Bench Vert Broad 20SS 3Cone CAV/PG
2 37 OLB Jabaal Sheard Cleveland Browns 75 264 4.68 2.63 1.59 32.5 115 4.65 7.34 39%
2 51 DE DaQuan Bowers Tampa Bay Buccaneers 75 280 4.64 2.89 1.76 22 34.5 110 4.57 6.98 11%
3 70 OLB Justin Houston Kansas City Chiefs 75 270 4.61 2.61 1.61 30 36.5 125 4.37 6.95 59%
3 86 DE Allen Bailey Kansas City Chiefs 75 285 4.71 2.70 1.67 27 36.5 117 4.56 7.43 19%
5 165 OLB Pernell McPhee Baltimore Ravens 75 278 4.80 2.78 1.72 20 28.5 107 4.59 7.13 14%

With the five best pass rushers taken after the 1st round using CAV, you can see that Bowers has the worst get off out of all 5. Notice his broad jump is also one of the worst out of the 5. Since starting this series of articles, I have noticed that comparing the 10 yard split and broad jump, it usually is a good reference as to whether a defensive end will be good or not. Similar to Clayborn, his arms are fairly short. Being manhandled by OTs while trying to pass rush isn’t valuable to any team. In the end, the best player would have to be Justin Houston. His speed and agility betters anyone else taken outside of the 1st round.

Quality Players Taken Before the Buccaneers Next Pick

Need: ILB Kelvin Sheppard, C Rodney Hudson, OT Marcus Gilbert, OLB Justin Houston, RB Shane Vereen, RB DeMarco Murray, and RB Stevan Ridley.

BPA: DT Stephen Paea, DT Jurrell Casey, WR Torrey Smith, and WR Randall Cobb.

3rd Round

After drafting to solve the defensive line issues, the Buccaneers decided to stay on defense. With the loss of Barrett Ruud, we needed an MLB. In the 3rd round, we solved those issues with MLB Mason Foster. Coming out of Washington, Foster was the prototypical size for a 4-3 MLB. His strengths were run blocking and being a big hitter but he was limited as a pass coverage linebacker.

Rd Pck Pos F. Name L. Name Drafted Team H W 40Yd 20Yd 10Yd Bench Vert Broad 20SS 3Cone CAV/PG
3 68 ILB Kelvin Sheppard Buffalo Bills 74 250 4.64 2.76 1.66 22 33.5 110 7.25 20%
3 84 ILB Mason Foster Tampa Bay Buccaneers 73 245 4.74 2.67 1.59 22 31.0 110 4.45 7.14 34%
3 91 ILB Akeem Dent Atlanta Falcons 73 242 4.73 2.72 1.70 24 37.5 123 4.38 6.93 20%
4 99 OLB K.J. Wright Seattle Seahawks 75 246 4.71 2.65 1.65 20 34.0 120 4.35 7.21 48%

This draft was very limited in supply with middle linebackers. In comparing some of the linebackers based on size, I can see why they drafted Foster. He had a great 10 yard dash and decent agility. What he didn’t have was the ability to change directions fast and top end speed. In the end, K.J. Wright would’ve been my choice. He was able to change direction better based on his shuttle time. Also, he had a great ability to gain speed fast based on his broad jump. The extra three inch vertical would also be good for pass coverage. The issue with this draft entirely is that he would’ve only been a minimal upgrade verse Foster.

Quality Players Taken Before the Buccaneers Next Pick

Need: DE Allen Bailey, G Clint Boling, OLB K.J. Wright, ILB Akeem Dent, and OT Joseph Barksdale

BPA: OLB Sam Acho, TE Jordan Cameron, SS Da’Norris Searcy, FS Chris Conte

4th Round

As an update, we decided to draft our three biggest needs with both DE positions and MLB. Our needs now consist of RT, LG, CB, C, and RB. In the 4th round, we decided to draft out of the suggested needs and choose TE Luke Stocker out of Tennessee. At 6’5" 258 pounds, he was a little bigger than the average TE taken in the draft. As a blocker he performed well in college but he was also fairly good as a pass catching tight end too.

Rd Pck Pos F. Name L. Name Drafted Team H W 40Yd 20Yd 10Yd Bench Vert Broad 20SS 3Cone CAV/PG
2 43 TE Kyle Rudolph Minnesota Vikings 78 259 4.83 2.80 1.67 19 34.5 113 4.37 7.24 17%
2 47 TE Lance Kendricks St. Louis Rams 75 243 4.57 2.64 1.56 25 38.5 122 4.15 6.94 14%
4 102 TE Jordan Cameron Cleveland Browns 77 254 4.53 2.57 1.53 23 37.5 119 4.03 6.82 17%
4 104 TE Luke Stocker Tampa Bay Buccaneers 77 258 4.68 2.71 1.59 27 33.0 115 4.40 7.03 3%
4 129 TE Julius Thomas Denver Broncos 77 246 4.64 2.63 1.62 16 35.5 111 4.31 6.96 20%
7 238 TE Daniel Hardy Tampa Bay Buccaneers 76 249 4.77 2.78 1.62 18 30.5 106 4.35 7.19 0%

Compared to the other pass catchers coming out of the draft, Stocker was fairly fast getting off the line. His issue was that he couldn’t continue to be fast throughout his route running. Also his agility wasn’t as good as many thought it was. So he couldn’t run crisp routes for a tight end. In the end, he was just an average tight end. Out of all of them, Jordan Cameron is the best athlete out of the group.

Quality Players Taken Before the Buccaneers Next Pick

Need: CB Buster Skrine, RB Jacquizz Rodgers, OT Jason Pinkston

BPA: WR Cecil Shorts, WR Denarius Moore, TE Julius Thomas

5th Round

With the 5th round upon them, the Buccaneers took SS Ahmad Black out of Florida with the 151st pick in the 2011 draft. For any type of safety, Ahmad Black was extremely short and undersized. Not to mention he was also one of the slowest players at the safety position. The one quality that I did like was that he was extremely agile and had a good vertical jump. To me, that describes a good pass coverage safety as long as he was playing zone coverage. Any man to man situations would put him at a disadvantage.

Rd Pck Pos F. Name L. Name Drafted Team H W 40Yd 20Yd 10Yd Bench Vert Broad 20SS 3Cone CAV/PG
2 45 FS Rahim Moore Denver Broncos 73 202 4.58 2.60 1.56 15 35.0 115 3.96 6.98 28%
3 93 FS Chris Conte Chicago Bears 74 197 4.52 2.63 1.66 18 35.5 127 4.19 7.01 28%
4 100 SS Da'Norris Searcy Buffalo Bills 71 223 4.50 2.53 1.62 27 33.0 125 4.09 6.87 20%
5 151 SS Ahmad Black Tampa Bay Buccaneers 70 184 4.70 2.61 1.59 18 36.5 119 4.12 6.77 6%

As a reference, I used the three closest coverage safeties I could find. Chris Conte was the closest comparison based on size. Notice he is actually slower than Black in his short range speed and agility. The difference is that he is 4 inches taller and 13 pounds heavier. That usually means that he is more durable. Moore and Searcy are also known for their zone coverages. Both are faster at the 20 and 40 yard dashes, similar in agility, and noticeably heavier to increase durability. That’s why both have turned out to be the best safeties in this draft.

Quality Players Taken Before the Buccaneers Next Pick

Need: CB Richard Sherman, CB Byron Maxwell, G Brandon Fusco

BPA: WR Jeremy Kerley, TE Charles Clay

6th Round

In the later rounds, many teams look for depth at positions that might already be filled by star players. But due to the lack of free agency this year, they still had multiple holes to fill. With the 187th pick in the draft, the Bucs selected Allen Bradford out of USC. Being the biggest RB in the draft, he could’ve fit the roll that Mike Alstott played many years ago.

Rd Pck Pos F. Name L. Name Drafted Team H W 40Yd 20Yd 10Yd Bench Vert Broad 20SS 3Cone CAV/PG
2 57 RB Mikel Leshoure Detroit Lions 73 227 4.56 2.63 1.53 21 38.0 122 4.40 6.82 10%
2 62 RB Daniel Thomas Miami Dolphins 72 230 4.62 2.64 1.54 21 34.0 123 4.29 7.06 17%
3 73 RB Stevan Ridley New England Patriots 71 225 4.65 2.65 1.60 21 36.0 118 4.17 6.78 36%
3 96 RB Alex Green Green Bay Packers 72 225 4.45 2.60 1.56 20 34.0 114 4.15 6.91 10%
6 187 RB Allen Bradford Tampa Bay Buccaneers 71 242 4.53 2.55 1.59 28 29.0 113 4.39 6.97 2%

When you look at the numbers, you can see that he weighed almost 10 pounds more than any other running back. Because of it, he was the second slowest in the 10 yard split. The difference was when he got going, he wasn’t slow at all. The issue was that he couldn’t change direction very well. It was the same issue Leshoure had with the Lions and he was only .01 slower than Bradford. In the end, he probably would’ve been best at a zone blocking scheme as a one cut running back.

Quality Players Taken Before the Buccaneers Next Pick

Need: OT Derek Newton, G Keith Williams C Jason Kelce

BPA: OLB Jacquian Williams, OLB Brian Rolle

7th Round

In the last round of the draft, we were still filling needs. With the 222nd pick in the draft, we selected CB Anthony Gaitor out of Florida International. He was undersized as a cornerback and fairly slow. If he was bigger, he could’ve been used as a man to man cornerback. In the end, he probably would be best on the special teams. With the last Buccaneer’s pick in the draft, we selected TE Daniel Hardy. Undersized for the tight end position, he would’ve been best used as a pass catching TE. In the end, we tried to use him as a blocking tight end but he didn’t have the size or lateral agility to keep up blocking defensive ends and linebackers.

Quality Players Taken After the Buccaneers First 7th Round Pick

Need: None

BPA: OLB Malcolm Smith

Previous Draft Articles

Terrible Drafting by the Buccaneers

2004 Buccaneers Draft

2005 Buccaneers Draft

2006 Buccaneers Draft

2007 Buccaneers Draft

2008 Buccaneers Draft

2009 Buccaneers Draft

2010 Buccaneers Draft

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