You've heard the narratives from disgruntled Buc fans - and really, has there ever been a player Bucs fans universally liked? Vernon Hargreaves III was owned by Amari Cooper and Kelvin Benjamin. Laquan Treadwell had his way with him. You see, there's a big difference in looking at the stat sheet and saying, "Oh heck, Cooper had over 200 yards receiving - he owned Hargreaves" and actually watching the football game.
As a Florida Gator fan, I've watched every single game of VH3's college career. Since the day he stepped on the football field at Florida, you knew this kid would be the next Joe Haden. Quarterbacks avoided him. When they didn't, he typically made a play against them. The Gators scheme wouldn't match Hargreaves up one-on-one, for an entire game, so teams would move their superstars away from whereever Hargreaves lined up. That's a sign of respect.
Oh and that infamous Hargreaves vs. Cooper game? Most of Cooper's catches came when the Gators played zone or Cooper was matched up with someone other than VH3. Cooper beat Hargreaves twice - both plays called back because of penalties. Another play where Cooper scored arguably could have been a push off by the Bama receiver, but VH3 was there competing and it was a great play by Cooper. By the way, Cooper's pretty good, too. For the most part, when Hargreaves was locked with Cooper, Alabama QB Blake Sims looked elsewhere. See it for yourself.
Most games have been like that for Hargreaves. Like any corner, he's going to give up some catches. Heck, Richard Sherman and Darrelle Revis give up catches. Josh Norman, arguably the top corner in the league last year, got torched by Odell Beckham, Jr. It happens. Hargreaves won more battles than he lost and made some spectacular plays in the process.
One thing I will say about Hargreaves is I didn't like how he finished his Gator career. There were way too many "business decisions" down the stretch, especially in the bowl game against Michigan. Then again, seeing what happened to Myles Jack and Jalen Smith, its hard to argue VH3 protecting his own interests. To me though, it was a bad optic and a reason why some teams soured on him.
There were also instances where if the play didn't happen on his side of the field, he became a spectator instead of rallying to the ball. ESPN showed one such highlight last night. Can that be coached out of him? Perhaps. Maybe not. We'll need to see.
The one thing you have to ask yourself is - does Vernon Hargreaves III make the Bucs a better, more competitive football team? If your answer isn't yes, then maybe you need to head back over to Draftbreakdown and watch a few more games rather than letting the stat sheet tell you what's going on.
Day Two - Defensive Line
One of the best developments of the first round of the draft was the run on quarterbacks and wide receivers. Guys many expected to be mid-late first round picks were pushed down into the second round. With the Bucs picking in with the 8th pick in the second round, here is my wish list for Round Two
1. Kevin Dodd, DE, Clemson
2. Emmanuel Ogbah, DE, Oklahoma State
3. Noah Spence, DE, Eastern Kentucky
4. A'Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama
5. Shilique Calhoun, DE, Michigan State
If the Bucs don't go DE or DT (or want to double up) I'd be interested in Carl Nassib, the Penn State DE, in the third round.