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Reviewing the Buccaneers' 2014 Draft

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Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The 2013 season started out badly with the Buccaneers losing their first 8 games. QB Josh Freeman was abruptly released after game 3 and rookie QB Mike Glennon finished the season. The running game was atrocious with no running back getting over 550 yards. The passing game was highlighted by WR Vincent Jackson and UDFA TE Tim Wright. 18 players finished the season on IR including G Carl Nicks, WR Mike Williams, RBs Doug Martin and Mike James, and TEs Tom Crabtree and Luke Stocker. The offense turned out to be the 11th worst in Buccaneers history based on yardage per play.

The defense was led by Gerald McCoy and Lavonte David, earning them both All-Pro honors. The defense was fairly average over the course of the season but couldn’t stop teams from getting TDs in the passing game. They finished with the 9th worst defense in Buccaneer’s history based on yards allowed per play. By the end, the team's play sealed Greg Schiano and Mark Dominik’s fate and they were both fired at the end of the season.

The Glazers knew exactly who they wanted for head coach and signed Lovie Smith to take over for the Buccaneers. He brought with him hope and promise that the Buccaneers would be competitors. Smith brought with him former HC Leslie Frazier to run the defense and signed Jeff Tedford to run the offense. He signed GM Jason Licht from the Arizona Cardinals to run the front office. Here is what they did to reform the Buccaneers.

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For the third year in a row, the Bucs "won" free agency. They signed CB Alterraun Verner from the Titans, DE Michael Johnson and LT Anthony Collins from the Bengals, DT Clinton McDonald from the Seahawks, C Evan Smith from the Packers, and QB Josh McCown from the Browns. That doesn’t include former Bears players who knew Smith’s defense. Even with the influx of star talent, the Buccaneers still had major holes at WR and RG and could get better at RB, OT, MLB, LG and TE.

1st Round

With the 7th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M.

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At 6’5" 233 pounds, Mike Evans was a monster WR going into the NFL Draft. To compare him to similar WRs in the NFL, he matched up closely to Vincent Jackson. He didn’t have blazing speed or great agility but he used his body size and vertical jump to contest passes.

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While playing only two seasons at Texas A&M, Evans showed he had big play capability. He matched the receiving yards of other wide receivers in 12 less games. In all, his per game ranking was third overall of the WRs taken in the 2014 NFL Draft.

Other Notable Choices before next pick: CB Jason Verrett, CB Kyle Fuller, DT Aaron Donald, FS Calvin Pryor, FS Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, MLB C.J. Mosley, OG Joel Bitonio, OG Zack Martin, OLB Anthony Barr, OT Ja'Wuan James, QB Derek Carr, QB Teddy Bridgewater, SS Deone Bucannon, TE Eric Ebron, WR Brandin Cooks, WR Kelvin Benjamin, and WR Odell Beckham Jr.

2nd Round

With the 38th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington.

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At 6’5" 262 lbs., Austin Seferian-Jenkins was a massive player at the TE position. In his last season at Washington, he suffered a foot injury that required surgery that left him unable to participate in offseason drills.

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In college, he put up some gaudy numbers for a TE. And while he wasn’t the best TE coming out, he did have a knack for finding the endzone and being the go-to player at Washington. For all TE’s in the draft, he tied for second on a per game basis.

Other Notable Choices before next pick: C Weston Richburg, DE Trent Murphy, DT Stephon Tuitt, OT Jack Mewhort, OT Justin Britt, OT Morgan Moses, RB Jeremy Hill, TE Jace Amaro, WR Allen Robinson, WR Davante Adams, WR Jarvis Landry, and WR Jordan Matthews.

3rd Round

With the 69th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Charles Sims, RB, West Virginia.

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Hockey Duckie, don’t get all mad but I have to bring "him" up. I know a lot of people questioned the choice of Charles Sims but he was a sound investment. Hear me out. Sims is a little lighter and taller than a typical running back but he has speed and explosiveness in his runs. At least that’s what his NFL Combine and Pro Day scores say. His only issue would be agility but it shouldn’t be an issue  in a one-cut or zone system.

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While at West Virginia, he wasn’t a typical running back. He played running back but also was able to spread wide and be a WR. He’s like Dexter McCluster but better. His receiving yards are higher than all TEs and matched a lot of the WRs drafted. He wasn’t drafted just to run the ball but to be used at every position as a mismatch, similar to what the Patriots do with their RBs.

Other Notable Choices before next pick: C Bryan Stork, C Marcus Martin, C Travis Swanson, CB Bashaud Breeland, DT Justin Ellis, ILB Chris Borland, ILB Preston Brown, OG Gabe Jackson, OG Russell Bodine, OG Trai Turner, OLB Anthony Hitchens, RB Devonta Freeman, RB Jerick McKinnon, TE Crockett Gillmore, TE Richard Rodgers, WR Donte Moncrief, WR John Brown, and WR Martavis Bryant.

5th Round(A)

With the 143rd pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Kadeem Edwards, OG, Tennessee State.

Hockey Duckie, here is your guard. Kadeem Edwards was raw coming out of Tennessee State. Basically, he needed to be retaught the position from leg width, hips, arms, and general football knowledge. Besides that, he was still a questionable pick. He had below average 10 yard split, decent explosion out of his stance and okay agility. But my guess is he was drafted due to his tape rather his scores.

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Other Notable Choices before next pick: OLB Telvin Smith.

5th Round(B)

Trade: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers trade their 196th Overall and 229th Overall selections for the 149th Overall selection.

With the 149th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Kevin Pamphile, OT, Purdue.

On the other hand, the Buccaneers decided to draft Kevin Pamphile. He didn’t stick out in stature but at Purdue’s Pro Day, he showed the athletic ability to play tackle. He had decent strength, great explosion, speed, and good agility. His only questionable score was at the short shuttle test. To put that into perspective, he could mirror a DE but if the DE decided to change direction very quickly with an outside-in move, he may lack the shiftiness to block him in time.

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Other Notable Choices before next pick: C Corey Linsley, ILB Avery Williamson, RB Alfred Blue, DE Aaron Lynch, and OLB Devon Kennard.

6th Round

With the 185th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Robert Herron, WR, Wyoming.

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I don’t know what the Buccaneers were thinking at this pick. It is entirely possible that the Buccaneers were looking at his NFL Combine and Pro Day scores a little too closely. Herron didn’t have much get-up-and-go but he did have great top end speed. And with his strength and agility scores, it’s entirely plausible he could fit into the slot receiver role. But at 5’9" and 193 pounds, that would be tough.

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Robert Herron put up terrible numbers at Wyoming. Even Charles Sims beat his overall receiving yards. On a per game basis, Herron performed 22nd out 34 drafted WRs.

Notable 7th Round Picks: CB Andre Hal, CB E.J. Gaines, CB Travis Carrie, OG Charles Leno, OG Zach Fulton, and OT Seantrel Henderson.

Notable UDFAs: C Jonotthan Harrison, CB Malcolm Butler, CB Marcus Williams, K Cairo Santos, K Chandler Catanzaro, K Chris Boswell, OG Andrew Norwell, OLB Christian Jones, OT Garry Gilliam, P Travis Coons, RB Isaiah Crowell, WR Albert Wilson, WR Allen Hurns, WR Corey Brown, and WR Willie Snead.

Conclusion

As the draft progressed, the Buccaneers decidedly got worse and worse. Mike Evans has been a rock star in his first two seasons. Austin Seferian-Jenkins has had two injury plagued seasons but when on the field, he showed why Licht drafted him. Charles Sims may not have been a guard but he has turned into a good complement of Doug Martin. Kadeem Edwards lasted a season with the Buccaneers but has yet to play in an NFL game. Kevin Pamphile has turned into a quality flex-tackle with the ability to back-up the LG and LT positions. Lastly, Robert Herron played in eight games with the Buccaneers but was released last season and has yet to play again. In all, the draft didn’t fill all of the holes the Buccaneers had but they were able to draft some building blocks for the future. Come back next year for the 2015 Buccaneers' Draft Review!

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