Draft draft draft draft draft. That’s what most of the offseason looks like, right up until teams actually make their picks. So in the spirit of the offseason, let’s take a look at Daniel Jeremiah’s Top 50 prospects over at NFL.com —and who the Bucs are likely to target.
If the draft sticks more or less to Jeremiah’s rankings, which is not going to happen, the Bucs will have few overly attractive options at number 19. Alabama tight end O.J. Howard might be interesting, and the two Florida cornerbacks would look better if the Bucs hadn’t just drafted Vernon Hargreaves. Takkarist McKinley would be cool, but it’s hard to see him get a lot of playing time with Noah Spence and Jacquies SMith already hanging around as undersized edge rushers.
Mostly, though, there’s a whole lot of ‘eh’, there. Players who might be solid, who could start or at least add rotational value, but no real gamechangers. Which is what happens when you get a lower draft pick. It’s been a while since the Bucs didn’t have a pick in the top half of the first round, after all.
The one player who’s likely to be available there and make a big impact for the Bucs would be Washington receiver John Ross. He has speed, skill, ability as a returner and production — though he do lacks some size. Then again, the Bucs have plenty of size in Mike Evans.
This draft is shaping up to be a lot like the 2011 draft: few outstanding options that also fill a need for the Bucs. They eventually ended up picking Adrian Clayborn, who turned out to not be bad, just lackluster — and now on injured reserves as his team heads to the NFC Championship game. Hopefully the Bucs will get more out of their first-round pick this year.