Ashlie’s Dream Draft Scenario
This year has been a roller coaster of emotions and with 2 weeks left in the NFL season, the Bucs have been officially eliminated from the playoffs for the 11th straight year.
That being said, the Buccaneers will have 6 picks in this years draft and this is how I think they should use them:
Round 1: OL
You could argue a CB should be taken first, but with the turnstile that is Caleb Benenoch being the steady starter (somehow) all year, Dotson And Smith struggling, fixing this o line should be Bucs priority. The offensive line has been a highway for Defensive lineman alike to chase Jameis Winston around as well as stop any hopes of a rushing game. If the Bucs want to be a winning football team they need to be able to establish the run game and that starts with having an offensive line that can create holes and push defensive lineman back onto their heels. With Dotson and smith both struggling the Bucs have not been able to set the edge for their RB’s to bounce it outside and attack the edge of the field. Most of Barbers success has been found between the tackles up the middle which is a great trait to have but imagine how much better he would be if he could also stretch the field. Protection for Jameis will also minimize rushed throws and injuries and hopefully help him correct his turnovers as he has been over the last 5 weeks
Round 2: CB.
Rookie CB’s Carlton Davis and MJ Stewart have, for the most part, held their own this year. Both have dealt with injuries, but have played better than expected. Stewart’s lack of speed is a concern however, As he often was trailing WR’s he covered. He can fix this in the upcoming offseason in both weights and speed work, as well as harnessing a “closing speed” to breakup pass attempts. Although the future of the CB’s in Tampa is promising, Brent Grimes is all but out the door at One Buc place. Grimes contemplated retiring after last season and at 35 years old with 40 tackles on the season and 0 int, his time as a buccaneer and maybe a CB in the NFL maybe coming to an end. The Bucs will need to find a replacement for grimes and talents such as Greedy Williams, DeAndre Baker and Trevon Diggs could provide the speed Grimes has lacked and be a cornerstone of this Bucs defense to help it get back to reputation it had in the 90’s-early 2000’s.
Round 3: DE/EDGE
Okay. Here me out.
Let me start off by saying JPP was the BEST offseason acquisition the Buccaneers made last season. JPP has 11.5 sacks with two more games to play. He broke the double-digit sack curse of the Bucs not having a 10+ sacker since Simeon Rice. Picking up Carl Nassib off of waivers after being cut from the Browns was also a steal as he has 6.5 sacks on the season and multiple HUGE TFL. But, the other acquisitions, Beau Allen and Vinny Curry haven’t been as productive as hoped. They each have less than 20 tackles. Gerald McCoy is also having a somewhat “off” year as he has only 23 Tackles, but a respectable 6 sacks. His future in Tampa bay could be in jeopardy for the first time. I personally believe he comes back under new coaching but the Bucs could look to add to the puzzle piece D line that now should consist of a starting rotation of McCoy, Vea, JPP, And Nassib. One more big name could Make this Bucs Defensive Line something to fear. Since week 10 they’ve accumulated the 2nd most sacks in the league and another speed rusher would only make them better.
Round 4: SPEED WR
I should have underlined, highlighted, italicized the word “speed” for this one. The Buccaneers have a top 2 (Yes, I went there) WR In Mike Evans who has now 5 straight 1000 yard seasons as well as second year stand out Chris Godwin, Swiss Army Knife Adam Humphries and Desean Jackson as their starting WR’s. In all likelihood thanks to his stellar 2018 campaign, Adam Humphries should also return in pewter and red next season. Not knocking the skilled WR set, but what the Bucs lack on offense is a true SPEED Wr. DeSean Jackson was suppose to be that for the Buccaneers but after a rocky season and him asking for trade then injuring his finger, Jackson’s future in Tampa is murky at best. a speedy WR would take attention from Evans, provide a deep threat and even open up the playbook. Could we see the Bucs run and arounds and reverses that worked so well against them?!
Round 5: OL/RB
Honestly, this could go either way.
The Bucs honestly need a lot of help on the offensive line as more than half of the players on it have struggled. With Benenoch most certainly, the Bucs still have a decision to make about Demar Dotson and Donovan Smith. Smith has been a solid lineman through the years but has had a very rocky season at the worst possible time- his contract year. Dotson is getting up there in age (33) and it’s starting to show. If the Bucs moved on from even one of them they would almost certainly need to use another draft pick on the position.
On the other hand, the Bucs have a RB issue. Peyton Barber is the buccaneers starter as of now and has done a good job behind the inconsistent line he has been handed this year at almost 700 yards on limited touches. The real problem lies within the depth. The Bucs drafted Ronald jones last year and he’s really just held a roster spot. He’s seen 23 rushes for 44 yards. Granted, that’s one games worth of touches but his pass catching skills have been a problem. Is he struggling that bad that dirk won’t put him in? (As he was a healthy scratch for a few games) or has he just not seen enough of the field? I feel like it’s option two but with Quizz Rodgers, the Bucs 3rd down back now 28 the Bucs could be looking to future and pick up another RB to put pressure on Rojo.
Round 6: LB
“BUT ASHLIE THE BUCS HAVE ONE OF THE BEST LB DUOS IN THE LEAGUE”
Yes, they do. Lavonte David has been a standout OLB since he entered the league (and has been snubbed from multiple probowls) and Kwon Alexander or “LiTiRilla” has put up impressive numbers before tearing his ACL earlier this year. Kwon is set to be an unrestricted free agent, but I think the Buccaneers resign him to join David back in pewter and red. With that said, the Bucs are THIN on LB. Kwon: IR. Jack Cichy:IR Kevin minter: IR. The Bucs have linebackers Cam Lynch and Adarius Taylor still healthy but the lack of depth the Bucs had this year at the position leads me to Believe they take one late in the draft.