Another outstanding FanPost from Buc It - Sander
As many of you know, I decided to make a FanPost about the most athletic people in the draft based off of their size and speed at the NFL Combine of their respected Pro-Day. Since then, we have drafted 7 individuals from all over the USA. There were some that made us happy and some that made us want to throw the remote at the TV. In the end, we can’t know what the Buccaneers were doing in the draft room but we can guess.
I decided to show you guys a closer look at the players we drafted. Specifically our 2nd through 5th round picks. That would be LT Donovan Smith, G Ali Marpet, OLB Kwon Alexander, and WR Kenny Bell. Each player here showed something while testing that caught my eye. It might have been their speed, agility, or jumping capabilities but it was something.
Before I jump to the Buccaneers 2nd round pick, I wanted to let you guys know that Jameis Winston is not athletic. I know most of us know that already but I wanted to be more specific. Based on his NFL Combine data, he is extremely familiar to Nick Foles, of the St. Louis Rams, when it comes to running, agility, and jumping. If you were expecting Peyton Manning or Jamarcus Russell, I am sorry but it’s not even close. So all of those comparisons you guys have heard, Nick Foles is the best player per the data.
2nd Round (A)
In the 2nd round, the Buccaneers decided to draft LT Donovan Smith out of Penn State. I’ve heard the rumors of him being lazy and that he graduated in 3.5 years. I have also heard that he has dropped his weight to 325 pounds and he has a mean streak. I thought we would trade back but I am happy we didn’t. Smith is a massive 338 pounds. To put that into context, he is in the top 10% of LTs in his weight class. But what I decided to do was find the averages of 40, 20, and 10 yard dashes along with verticals and broad jumps for all 229 tackles taken in the past 10 years. After applying all of them, this is what I came up with.
The comparison came out to eleven 1st Round picks, seven 2nd, four 3rd Round picks, and two Day 3 draft picks. And a lot of the guys are extremely well known. Nate Solder, Sebastian Vollmer, Jared Veldheer, Orlando Franklin and a lot more are on this list. And what I like most about Smith is that his agility is the best out of the other 2 people his size and it will get faster the lighter he gets. Also notice that Kevin Pamphile is on the list too.
2nd Round (B)
At the end of the 2nd round, Jason Litch decided to trade up for G Ali Marpet out of Hobart. There were rumors going around that the New England Patriots or Seattle Seahawks wanted him. I am 100% happy that we traded up to get him. I also liked that we didn’t lose a draft choice but rather slide down in the 4th. For the offensive guards, I used an average of all 208 players across the board. That includes the Short Shuttle and 3 Cone. Some of the players that showed up surprised me.
I didn’t expect to see Davin Joseph and Aaron Sears on this list of Guards. I also didn’t expect to see 3(!) 2015 Draftees on this list either. But they are in a good list to be in. Along with the former Buccaneers, Chris Chester, Evan Mathis, and Chris Snee are on this list. And across the board, they are quality players.
In the 4th round, the Buccaneers surprised us all by drafting the first defensive player in the Licht-Smith Era. And for some reason it was LB Kwon Alexander out of LSU. I know many of us wanted a defensive end but Licht mentioned that the quality players at that position were picked by then. And I have to agree for the most part. By using the same average system above, I found the best linebackers out of past drafts. And here is what I found.
Notice that 4(!) out of the 21 players were chosen by the Buccaneers. Not only that, but everyone but Dekoda Watson enjoyed great careers in the NFL. But take a look at the numbers. Lavonte David and Kwon Alexander’s numbers are extremely familiar. And by talent, I would say that is a good comparison but we also have heard comparisons to Dekoda Watson. So I’ll put it this way, he has the athletic ability of David but the NFL smarts of Watson. But I bet if he put his mind to the Buccaneer’s playbook, he could be extremely good.
With the Buccaneers 5th pick in the draft, they selected WR Kenny Bell out of Nebraska. I mentioned him prior to the pick due to his speed and agility although many people wanted Tre McBride. I’ve heard he plays slower than his numbers suggest and I think he could play a little slower. But from the numbers from his Pro-Day and NFL Combine, I think he could be extremely valuable for the Buccaneers. I know last season we had Jackson moving to the slot but had Louis Murphy on the outside. I know Murphy is fast but he isn’t an imposing Wide Receiver on the outside. I think Kenny Bell can be that guy.
As you can see, he falls into that speedster category for Wide Receivers. Players like Emmanuel Sanders, Torrey Smith, and Pierre Garcon are on the list. And Bell fits in perfectly. His speed, agility, and jumping abilities all rival Emmanuel Sanders. The difference is that Bell is 2 inches taller, 10 pounds heavier, and jumps higher than Sanders. If we could have that deep threat with Bell, which leaves a lot of space for our Tampa Bay Dunkaneers to use their toughness to break open field tackles to the end zone.
After The Draft
As you can probably tell, I like these four picks very much. They are a lot better than the picks I summarized from the 2004-2013 Buccaneer Drafts. But I don’t think they are the only players who could benefit the Buccaneers this season. The Buccaneers have signed or will be trying out this week a couple of undrafted players who could make the team. I color coded players who could make the team (Blue), could be cut due to speed (Red) or agility (Orange), and one unknown (Green).