We’ve officially approached Combine Week and man, does it feel good.
In an effort to prepare for this week, NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah hopped on a conference call with many, many writers across the country to answer questions about the upcoming draft and how certain players may pertain to certain teams.
I was fortunate enough to be a part of the call. I didn’t get to ask my question, however, as I was about the 80th person in line and the conference only lasted about two hours. I was going to ask DJ the following:
“Let’s say you’re Jason Licht. If Javon Kinlaw and K’Lavon Chaisson are sitting there at 14, who do you take?”
I figured that’d be a pretty good one to ask, no? But I digress.
Even though I wasn’t able to ask my question, I still took note of some interesting things Jeremiah had to say about certain players that the Bucs may be looking at when it comes to their draft class.
Wait no more. Let’s dive in.
- Mekhi Becton is a left tackle: This one really caught my ear because Becton’s stock is really taking off. Tampa Bay already has the left tackle spot locked down. A right tackle is whats in need. Would the Bucs be willing to spend a first-round pick and attempt to convert Becton to RT?
Jeremiah was asked what he thought the Giants should do with the fourth pick, and that’s when his evaluation on Becton came to light:
“I’m not in the business of trading off freaks at a need position. He’s a left tackle. He’s a better version of Bryant McKinnie. He’s going to be that guy for the next 10 to 12 years to protect your franchise quarterback. He’s so big, so long, so athletic, even when he is not perfect, it doesn’t matter because nobody can get through him. He’s 6’7”, 370 pounds.
You just don’t see guys like that come around very often. I know trade-back options exist. I know you can take a defensive playmaker. To me I’m not trading off that pick. I’m sitting there right there taking Mekhi Becton.”
- Teams are all over the place when it comes to Jacob Eason: It’s basically whomever you talk to when it comes to Eason’s evaluation. Jeremiah said one team has him as high as QB2 while others have him as a second-round pick. According to Jeremiah, Eason’s bad tape is fixable and it wouldn’t be a shock if he goes in the first round.
“When you start with Eason, teams are literally all over the map. And I talked to a team yesterday that has him as the second quarterback in the draft. So there’s teams that really, really like Eason. And then you’ve got teams that have concerns.”
- Chase Young is the best player in the draft: Any team picking in the top-5 should love hearing this, as Young has a realistic shot at landing their lap(s). Would the Bucs sell the farm to nab one of the better defensive talents in recent memory?
- Tristan Wirfs can be an All-Pro guard: Another interesting tidbit when it comes to a potential offensive lineman for the Bucs. Jeremiah said that Wirfs can play tackle at the next level, but has the chance to be an All-Pro guard. Could this throw a wrench in the Bucs’ plans? Would they bring in Wirfs to compete with Cappa at guard or would they try him at tackle?
“I think he’s somebody that has a chance to be an All-Pro guard. And I know he’s played tackle, he’s played on the right and the left. And he’s a good tackle. I think he can play tackle in the NFL. I think he has a chance to be an elite guard.”
- The Colts should sign Philip Rivers and draft a receiver at No. 13: This is pure speculation on Jeremiah’s part, but it’s interesting to Bucs fans. If Indy were to sign Rivers, that means Jameis Winston is likely back and it’d make sense to give Rivers a playmaker opposite T.Y. Hilton. A receiver at 13 would also mean another position of need falls into Tampa Bay’s hands.
“I would start by signing Philip Rivers, and I would try and make a run at this thing for the next couple of years because I think they’re pretty close...
... if you see a Jerry Jeudy, a CeeDee Lamb, a Henry Ruggs, one of those three guys was there, I would go ahead and pull the trigger right there.”
- Jordan Love is a high-upside pick: The word “upside” is so beautiful, yet so dangerous. Would the Bucs be willing to take the chance on Love if they’re left with a void at signal-caller as they head into the draft?
- Henry Ruggs III is a home-run pick for the Eagles: We know the Eagles need to add speed to their offense. Ruggs is ridiculously fast. Jeremiah called him a “home run pick” for the Eagles, but doesn’t think Rugss will be around when the Eagles pick at No. 21. Could they be a possible trade partner with the Bucs? Depending on how the draft goes, a trade back may become a viable option for Tampa Bay.
“I assume that Henry Ruggs will be long gone as well. But that to me, if you were to say home run pick for the Eagles, who is it, it’s Henry Ruggs, just because of how much speed and juice he would give to that offense.”
- Derrick Brown is Ndamukong Suh on tape: The Bucs may need someone to replace Suh. Brown would be a cheaper, younger version. I mean, what could be wrong with that?
“Derrick Brown is — to me, I have the same grade on Derrick Brown at his position as I do with Chase Young at his position. I think he’s a phenomenal player. He’s the closest thing, ironically, to Ndamukong Suh, who everybody in Detroit know so well. That’s who he reminds me of when you watch him on college tape, so strong and powerful. He can really punch off blocks, separate, find the ball, make plays. He plays really hard.”
- The Raiders won’t draft Isaiah Simmons: There’s no telling where Simmons winds up. The Bucs could certainly take the multi-versatile defender with the 14th pick, but there is little chance he will be there. Hearing that the Raiders aren’t interested increases the Bucs’ chances of getting him just a little bit.
- Aaron Fuller is a good receiver to take on Day 3: He’s got “juice” as Jeremiah puts it and we all know how much Bruce Arians loves juice.
Unless it’s OJ.