After the conclusion of Greg Schiano’s first season, the Bucs finished with the record of 7-9. For the first time in three years, the offense was clicking. The running game was performing almost at a top 10 level behind rookie Doug Martin. With the addition of Vincent Jackson, the passing game was great until the last three games of the season with Josh Freeman at the helm. However, Greg Schiano’s defense, which is why he was hired, was another version of yin and yan. The passing defense was the worst in the NFL and with 27 sacks, the pass rush was tied for 3rd worst in the league. On the other hand, the running defense turned into the best in the NFL.
Unlike during the Raheem Morris days, Greg Schiano and Mark Dominik were given the checkbook to fix the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They "won" free agency for the second year in a row, doling up over $150 million to new signings. The biggest offseason acquisition was CB Darrelle Revis and his new six year, $96 Million deal with options to release him after each year.
The Buccaneers released RB D.J. Ware and OLB Quincy Black due to their play. They chose not to re-sign CB E.J. Biggers, DT Roy Miller, RT Jeremy Trueblood, and WR Sammie Stroughter for the same reason. For some reason, likely money, the front office didn’t re-sign DE Michael Bennett. With over 40% of the sack total from last season, it was foolish not to re-sign him. Instead, the Bucs replaced many of the players with back-ups. The only quality free agent they signed was FS Dashon Goldson with a five year deal.
But going into the draft the Bucs still had a few glaring needs. Due to Eric Wright’s issues and Ronde Barber’s retirement, the Bucs needed help at Cornerback. Since the defensive line didn’t have much of a pass rush, they needed Defensive Ends and a compliment to Gerald McCoy. And for most of the offense, they needed depth. To put a big bow on it, the Buccaneers needed CB, DE, DT, QB, and overall depth.
With the 43rd pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State.
In Schiano’s defensive system, he liked corners that could play man-to-man coverage. Johnthan Banks fit that roll perfectly. First off, at 6’2" he was the tallest CB to be drafted. He wasn’t fast but due to press and bump-n’-run coverage, he didn’t need to be fast. He had decent agility but most of his scores line up well as a FS not a CB.
While at Mississippi State, Banks was a shutdown cornerback. In four years, he broke up 41 passes and intercepted 15 balls. On a per game basis, he was third out of 15 CBs that were drafted around him.
Other Notable Choices before next pick: CB David Amerson, CB Robert Alford, CB Tyrann Mathieu, DT Bennie Logan, DT Kawann Short, FS T.J. McDonald, OG Larry Warford, OLB Jamie Collins, RB Eddie Lacy, RB Le'Veon Bell, and TE Travis Kelce.
With the 73rd pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Mike Glennon, QB, NC State.
With Josh Freeman’s play faultering in the last few games of the season, the Bucs needed to look for a quality QB for a possible back-up to Freeman. Since QBs are not known for their workouts, I won’t compare each QB to each other. Mike Glennon was the tallest QB in the draft at 6’6" and was fairly slow. If I had to describe him based on QBs in the NFL, it would be Peyton Manning based on just size.
Other Notable Choices before next pick: CB Logan Ryan, DT Brandon Williams, OG Hugh Thornton, OT Terron Armstead, SS J.J. Wilcox, TE Jordan Reed, WR Keenan Allen, and WR Terrance Williams.
Trade: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers trade their 112nd Overall and 181st Overall selections for the 100th Overall selection.
With the 100th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Akeem Spence, DT, Illinois.
The Buccaneers needed help on the defensive front and Spence helped. Schiano’s system uses the front four to hold up the offensive line to allow blitzes to reach the QB. Akeem Spence filled that role perfectly. At 6’1" 307 lbs., he was able to use his leverage and strength to attack the offensive line. It helped that he was explosive in his first step and had decent agility for a 4-3 NT.
While at Illinois, Spence flourish into a good defensive tackle. In 38 games, he gathered 16.5 tackles for loss and 125.5 tackles overall. On a per game basis, that was 4th out 9 defensive tackles drafted around him.
Other Notable Choices before next pick: OT David Bakhtiari, DE Alex Okafor, and MLB Jelani Jenkins.
With the 126th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers select William Gholston, DE, Michigan State.
With two holes at defensive end, Dominik drafted William Gholston to be a run stopper. He didn’t show well at the NFL Combine. His 10 yard split was bettered by Akeem Spence, as was his vertical. But even with a terrible showing, the Buccaneers saw something in him.
What they saw was a player who regularly was in the back-field stopping the run. On a per game basis, Gholston was one of the best in tackles and tackles for loss. Just don’t ask him to be a sack artist.
Other Notable Choices before next pick: WR Kenny Stills and FB Kyle Juszczyk.
With the 147th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Steven Means, DE, Buffalo.
Speaking of sack artists, the Bucs drafted Steven Means to be that guy. Used as a hybrid OLB/DE at Buffalo, he was regularly asked to rush the quarterback. However, the Bucs felt he was better as a defensive end. His Pro Day scores reflect that he was a little too small, too slow, and not agile enough to be that guy. His attributes fit better as a 3-4 OLB.
While at Buffalo, Means put up decent numbers but didn’t jump off the tape. He had 30.5 tackles for loss, 19.5 sacks, and 11 passes broken up in 48 games. On a per game basis, he was 9th out of 18 DEs from the 3rd to the 7th round.
Other Notable Choices before next pick: CB Micah Hyde, FS Josh Evans, OT Jordan Mills, OT Ricky Wagner, P Sam Martin, RB Andre Ellington, RB Latavius Murray, TE Luke Willson, and TE Mychal Rivera.
Trade: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers trade their 196th Overall and 229th Overall selections for the 189th Overall selection.
With the 189th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Mike James, RB, Miami(FL.).
With their last pick, after trading up, the Buccaneers got a one-cut running back in James. He had a similar build to Doug Martin but due to his lack of agility in the short shuttle, it’s likely that he was drafted to be a "bruiser" back.
While at Miami, Mike James rarely showed up. From running backs in the 5th and 6th round, he was rated last due to his inability to make it into the starter role. However, Dominik felt confident that James could perform well and traded up for him.
Notable 7th Round Picks: DT Chris Jones, RB Theo Riddick, CB Demetrius McCray, SS Kemal Ishmael
Notable UDFAs: CB Nickell Robey, FS Melvin White, FS Tony Jefferson, ILB Joplo Bartu, ILB Paul Worrilow, K Patrick Murray, LS Carson Tinker, OG Josh Kline, OT Ryan Schraeder, P Brad Wing, P Ryan Allen, P Tress Way, RB Benny Cunningham, RB C.J. Anderson, SS Jahleel Addae, and TE Joseph Fauria
While not a part of the draft, Darrelle Revis molded it. He did well in his only year as a Buccaneer but his contract was too much for new HC Lovie Smith. Jonathan Banks played great his first year under Greg Schiano but regressed under Lovie Smith. While still with the Buccaneers, he has been pushed into a back-up role and may switch to FS. The Bucs found a good QB in the 3rd round in Mike Glennon and he turned out to be one of the best QBs in a weak QB draft. Akeem Spence has played a pivotal role at NT under Schiano and Smith but has been limited due to multiple injuries. William Gholston has played well as a run stopper and has the ability to play DT. Steven Means never fit into the DE role with the Buccaneers and was released in 2014. Mike James has been a decent back-up but has struggled to stay on the roster. In all, the 2013 draft was not the best draft as Darrelle Revis took the 1st round pick but many of the draftees have turned into quality back-ups.
Normally I wouldn’t bring this up but Mark Dominik is terrible with trades involving players. He virtually traded former 1st round pick Aqib Talib and former 2nd round pick Brian Price for a 4th round pick. Also, he basically traded former 2nd round pick Arrelious Benn, LeGarrette Blount, the 218th Overall, and 229th Overall for the 189th pick and Jeff Demps. That’s terrible on so many levels.
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